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| 14 June, 2018

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Meghan cheered on first joint royal trip

The queen and Meghan will first officially open the Mersey Gateway Bridge

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends a garden party at Buckingham Palace, in London, Britain May 22, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via Reuters

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends a garden party at Buckingham Palace, in London, Britain May 22, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via Reuters

RUNCORN, England - Crowds cheered Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, as they arrived in the English county of Cheshire on Thursday to begin their first official joint royal trip without Prince Harry.

Meghan, who married the monarch's grandson in a glittering ceremony at her Windsor Castle home last month, travelled by the Royal Train to northwest England for a day of events.

The 36-year-old former American actress and star of the TV drama "Suits" wore a slim-fitting Givenchy cream dress, caped at the shoulders and belted at the waist. The famed French couture house's British designer made her wedding dress.

The queen, 92, sported a lime green ensemble. Green is the colour adopted by survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire in London a year ago.

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Both royals, heads slightly bowed, observed a national silence in honour of the victims of the fire.

Dozens of schoolchildren greeted the queen and Meghan waving Union flags and cheering. In Chester, an ancient Roman city near the Welsh border, hundreds clapped and cheered as the two arrived. The queen waved.

Both smiled as they opened the Mersey Gateway Bridge, a new toll bridge over the River Mersey and one of the UK's biggest infrastructure projects in recent years.

At one point Meghan appeared confused over who should enter the royal car first but resorted to asking the queen what her preference would be. Meghan then climbed in first.

In Chester, the pair opened the Storyhouse, a library, theatre and cinema complex.

(Reporting by Phil Noble; writing by Michael Holden and Costas Pitas; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge) ((michael.holden@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 3213; Reuters Messaging: michael.holden.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))