See Kate Middleton's First Solo Outing with the Queen Before Meghan Markle Makes Hers Tomorrow
On Thursday, Meghan Markle will head out on her first one-on-one trip with Queen Elizabeth. Their visit, which will involve Meghan and the Queen taking the royal train to Cheshire, will take place less than four weeks after she married Prince Harry at St. George’s Chapel.
Kate Middleton’s first outing with the Queen, however, came almost one year after she and Prince William tied the knot at Westminster Abbey in April 2011. On March 8, 2012, Queen Elizabeth and Kate, joined by Prince Philip, traveled to Leicester by train from Kings Cross St. Pancras Station, where fans gathered to catch a glimpse of the royals. The excursion was part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour (celebrating her 60-year reign) of the U.K and included stops at De Montfort University and Leicester Cathedral.
Kate, then 30, wore a teal peplum suit by L.K. Bennet and a pillbox hat by James Lock. The Queen opted for a bright pink suit dress and matching hat.
The royals watched a dance performance in De Montfort Square on their way to the school. Then at the university, students put on a fashion show as Kate and the Queen watch from the front row.
“They seemed very relaxed together,” Dr. Julie King, head of the School of Fashion and Textiles, told PEOPLE at the time. “The Queen has been doing this for so long and is so experienced and just seems to set everyone at ease. And Kate’s got that manner as well.”
King added that her students can “relate” to Kate because, “She dresses in British designers and mixes them with High Street which a lot of people do day to day. She’s very much got a modern look.”
After the royals emerged from the 5,000-person crowd, the winner of a contest to design a shoe for Kate was announced: Becka Hunt, who designed a sapphire blue creation inspired by Kate’s engagement ring.
“I studied Kate’s look and what she likes so I would make something right for her,” she said.
When the Queen, now 92, and Meghan, 36, embark on their trip Thursday, their itinerary includes unveiling a new bridge in Widnes, Cheshire, and opening the Storyhouse Theatre before having lunch at Chester’s Town Hall.