It's barely been three weeks since she married Prince Harry. But Meghan Markle's relationship with the Queen already appears to be blossoming. Behind closed palace doors, the pair are believed to be spending plenty of quality time together with their first solo engagement together already in the diary. The pair are set to head to Chester, which is around 200 miles from London, on June 14 for a packed-out day of personal appearances.
But why has Her Majesty been dedicating so much time to her new granddaughter-in-law? According to People, the Queen has been duly schooling the Duchess of Sussex in the trials and tribulations of public engagements. "The Queen knows the potential pitfalls of not giving [rookie Royals] a guiding hand," royals expert Ingrid Seward told the publication. "It’s all about the monarchy. She can’t expect Meghan to know everything without being shown."
Seward penned a recent biography of the Queen and Prince Philip, titled My Husband & I, and so is well versed in this sort of etiquette. Commenting on the importance of Her Majesty's relationship with Markle, the royal expert continued: "She doesn’t want 70 years of hard work to be for nothing. I’m sure she feels Meghan needs a steadying hand in these early days."
It seems a steady hand is going to be essential in the coming weeks, as Markle has such a busy calendar lined up. Vanity Fair are reporting Markle will be joining The Queen for the Trooping The Colour celebrations. For those of you who don't know, the ceremony is performed by members of the British and Commonwealth army, accompanied by over 400 musicians. It takes place at Buckingham Palace and it is thought that Markle and Prince Harry will be making their first balcony appearance on the day.
Anticipation around what Markle might wear for the big event is already massively hotting up. Kate Middleton may well have shared her tips and thoughts on this big event, as she was subject to the same level of scrutiny on her first appearance.
Beyond this though, Markle has a number of engagements she will be accompanying The Queen on solo. That's right, no Prince Harry, just Markle and the reigning Monarch. According to the official Royal website, Markle and The Queen will be attending two events when they head up to Chester together. This will include the opening of a restored '30s cinema turned cultural hub and a lunch in Chester Town Hall.
The pair will be travelling to Chester on the Royal Train no less, according to the Daily Mail, which is something of a rarity. The Royal Train is a bit of a controversial fixture. In 2016, i reported that it cost taxpayers £800,000, and was used just 13 times. And only limited numbers of the royal family can use it — the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, and Harry. Despite this, the Daily Mail reports that Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry have never used the train, and so it seems Markle will be boarding it before her husband, or her brother and sister-in-law do. The paper has reported that the train will set off the night before the Chester engagements, and so Markle and the Queen will be travelling overnight — allowing the two to spend some "quality time" together, in a move that is "unprecedented."
Whether this time will be spent further inducting Markle into the ways of royal life and the pitfalls of public engagements, remains to be seen. People also spoke with Charles Anson, the Queen's former press secretary, about their Chester venture. Commenting on why Her Majesty appears to have taken the duchess under her wing, she said: "It is the way of the royal family. It is all part of the training and getting used to being in public life and under public scrutiny. Showing people the ropes is a high priority for the Queen."