Meghan to accompany Queen for first time on visit to Cheshire

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This will be the first time the Duchess of Sussex will have joined the Queen for an event without Harry.

The Duchess of Sussex

Newlywed the Duchess of Sussex will pass another royal milestone on Thursday as she accompanies the Queen for the first time together on an official royal visit to Cheshire.

Meghan, 36, who married the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry last month in the gothic splendour of the 15th-century St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, will begin her rites of passage as a royal newcomer with a visit to Widnes and Runcorn, on the banks of the River Mersey, famous for chemicals and rugby league.

All eyes will be on the duchess, the first time she has joined the Queen for an event without her husband, as she gets to grips with her new role of ribbon cutting and plaque unveiling, under the watchful eye of the 92-year-old monarch.

Work on the new Mersey Gateway Bridge
Work on the new Mersey Gateway Bridge, near Runcorn (Peter Byrne/PA)

Both will arrive by royal train at Runcorn train station to begin the day’s engagements before departing by car for the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

There the Queen will unveil a plaque to officially open the £1.86 billion project, a six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey, to ease traffic between Runcorn and Widnes.

The opening event will be held at Catalyst Museum in West Bank, Widnes, which offers a bird’s eye view of the new crossing from the glass top observation gallery.

The royal party will also watch a performance by local school children there called Bringing Communities Together: Halton’s river crossings over the ages.


Afterwards the Queen and the duchess will depart by car for Chester, 20 miles away, for two more royal engagements.

The first is for the official opening of Storyhouse, a library, theatre and cinema complex,  where they will be taken on a tour of the building.

While there they will meet a Syrian settlement group engaged in craft work and watch a performance by Fallen Angels, a dance theatre company for people in recovery from addiction, before moving to the theatre to see a medley of songs from Storyhouse’s latest production, A Little Night Music.

Local schoolchildren will also sing songs alongside actors from, Swallows And Amazons.

The Queen and the Duchess will then walk to Chester Town Hall where they will attend a lunch as guests of Chester City Council, which will mark the conclusion of their visit to Cheshire.

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