Erin Hill
December 01, 2017 10:47 AM

 

Reporting for royal duty!

Meghan Markle made her first official royal appearance alongside fiancé Prince Harry on Friday. The future royal was poised, friendly and comfortable as she greeted enthusiastic fans in Nottingham.

Almost seven years ago, it was Kate Middleton who made her official debut alongside then-fiancé Prince William when she joined him for their formal debut in Anglesey, where they made their first home. 

Here’s how the ladies’ first royal engagements match up!

Kate’s Setting

Kate’s first royal appearance was in Anglesey, North Wales, on February 24, 2011, just three month after they announced their engagement. The couple made their first home in Anglesey, where William was stationed as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.

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Meghan’s Setting

Meghan’s first royal appearance was in Nottingham, about 125 miles north of London, on December 1, just four days after she and Prince Harry announced their engagement. The couple were on hand to visit to a World Aids Day charity fair hosted by the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images

Kate’s Duties

The couple named a lifeboat, which Kate christened with champagne after Prince William made a speech commending the efforts of the volunteers and rescue crew. “I do the talking, she does the fun bit,” Prince William told the crowd. They duly named the “Hereford Endeavour” in a small ceremony at the Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station. She also perfectly recited the Welsh national anthem.

Phil Noble-WPA Pool/Getty

Meghan’s Duties

Meghan spent the day meeting charity organizers and participants who Harry has worked closely with over the years. Their goal was to raise awareness of HIV/Aids and efforts to tackle youth crime on World AIDS Day.

REX/Shutterstock

Kate’s Walkabout

Kate charmed a crowd of more than 1,000 well-wishers who had been waiting for hours in the cold, windy weather to catch a glimpse of the newly-engaged couple. Kate seemed at ease as she bent to speak to her young fans, who gifted her with bouquets.

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Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Meghan’s Walkabout

The couple arrived to cheers from the crowds outside the National Justice Museum in Nottingham. Meghan often put her arm on Harry’s back as they walked slowly down the barriers, greeting well-wishers. The future royal, who accepted bouquets as she made her way down the line of fans, repeatedly introduced herself with a friendly: “Hi, I’m Meghan” to everyone she met.

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock
Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty

Kate’s Style

Kate chose to wear a cream tailored coat with a brown collar by Katherine Hooker, a dark scarf and had her hair in a pony tail, fastened with a black feathered fascinator handcrafted by Vivien Sheriff Millinery. She completed the look with brown tights and brown suede ankle boots.

Indigo/Getty

Meghan’s Style

Meghan looked chic in a navy double-breasted military maxi wool coat from Canadian label, Mackage. Underneath her luxe coat she wore a beige cotton midi skirt from Joseph and a black turtleneck from Wolford. She accessorized her look with a color-coordinated tote from Strathberry and black slouchy boots.

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ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty

One major difference between the two appearances was their PDA approach. While Will and Kate laughed and smiled with each other during their outing, Harry and Meghan were more affectionate, holding hands and linking arms as they made their way through the crowd.

Dan Kitwood/Getty

“While Prince Harry and Megan holding hands is atypical for royal engagements, it is a seemingly welcomed gesture to show unity and celebration of their engagement period,” royal etiquette expert Myka Meier, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, tells PEOPLE. “There is no protocol that says they can not show affection on official engagements, and this gesture makes them relatable and lovable to the public.”

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