"She has jumped in straightaway," a palace source tells PEOPLE of the new Duchess of Sussex


Meghan Markle vowed that she would “hit the ground running” in royal life — and she’s already doing so.

The announcement of her June 14 joint outing with Queen Elizabeth — something that took far longer for her predecessor, Kate Middleton — signals that Meghan, 36, is moving forward even faster than expected.

“This is happening at triple speed,” Ingrid Seward, author of the royal biography My Husband & I, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. Adds a palace source of the new Duchess of Sussex: “She has jumped in straightaway.”

The joint outing to Cheshire in northwest England is a “is a really positive sign of favor, encouragement and endorsement by the Queen,” says Robert Lacey, historical consultant for The Crown.

The Queen will have plenty of time to brief her new granddaughter-in-law, as they arrive together into Runcorn, about 200 miles northwest of London, via Royal Train. They will first head to the opening of a spectacular new bridge over the Mersey River and then catch a performance by school children that features the history of the area’s river crossings through the ages.


For more on Meghan Markle’s special bond with the Queen, pick up a copy of the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Next, at nearby Chester’s Storyhouse Theatre, former Suits actress Meghan and her grandmother-in-law will have some fun visiting the children’s library and watching a song from Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. The royal pair will then take a short walkabout to greet locals and have lunch with local dignitaries at Chester’s town hall.

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While Meghan will be picking up tips from the 92-year-old master of more than seven decades of royal outings, Lacey believes the learning comes from both sides.

“It’s as much the Queen seeing how Meghan does events like this,” he says. “I can’t think of a more striking signal and expression of welcome into the royal family for a new recruit. It shows the Queen’s excited by it.”