Duchess of Sussex joins Queen for first royal engagements together on Chester visit

The Duchess of Sussex has begun her day-long royal masterclass with the Queen, at her side for a day of public engagements in Chester.

The Duchess, who travelled up to Chester on the royal train with Her Majesty, will undertake her first day of duties without her husband, under the watchful eye of her new grandmother-in-law.

The day, which will include the opening of a bridge, theatre performances and lunch with local dignitaries, will be a significant induction for the newlywed Duchess into the reality of royal life.

The Queen, with a lifetime of experience, is likely to offer only the quietest guidance, leading by example as the pair meet the public together.

It is the first time the Duchess has undertaken public engagements without the Duke, although she is known to have  met privately with charities as she plans what she will do in royal life.

Schoolchildren near Runcorn Station await the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duchess of Sussex

School children near Runcorn station await the royals‘ arrival

Peter Byrne /PA

Both were arriving by royal train at Runcorn 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.

Video: Duchess of Sussex’s first event as royal

Afterwards the Queen and the Duchess, who married the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry last month, 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.