US actress Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle tells fans she is ‘very excited’ about her big day

Meghan Markle today joined the Queen and senior royals for her first official engagement with the monarch.

The US actress may not be a member of the royal family yet, but her attendance at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey was the first time she has taken part in an official event with the Queen.

The major milestone for Prince Harry’s bride-to-be at this afternoon’s service, which was also attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, came two months before she joins the royal family when she marries on May 19.

Meghan joined the royals in singing the National Anthem at the start of the service. The camera focused on the former Suits star singing the words ‘happy and glorious’ during the event which was shown live on BBC One.

Screams and shouts from the public greeted Meghan and Harry when they arrived and the US actress looked stylish in a dress and coat by Amanda Wakeley and hat by Stephen Jones.

US actress Meghan Markle
Queen

Meghan Markle (left) and the Queen (right) both arrive for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey today

The Duchess of Cambridge and her husband Prince William arrive with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this afternoon

The Duchess of Cambridge and her husband Prince William arrive with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this afternoon

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry arrive at Westminster Abbey in London for the Commonwealth Day service this afternoon

Harry and Meghan in London today
The royals arrive at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in London this afternoon

The royals arrive at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in London this afternoon

The event at Westminster Abbey is a public acknowledgement by the Queen of the US actress, who will marry Harry in May

The event at Westminster Abbey is a public acknowledgement by the Queen of the US actress, who will marry Harry in May

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Meghan and Harry

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (left) arrive with Meghan and Harry (right) at Westminster Abbey this afternoon

Meghan and Harry joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they watched Ghanaian drummers perform outside today

Meghan and Harry joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they watched Ghanaian drummers perform outside today

Keep it chic in Meghan's coat by Amanda Wakeley

Meghan Markle joined the rest of the Royal Family for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey this afternoon, and she proved she has well and truly joined the firm now.

We've previously spotted her wearing coats by J.Crew, Mackage, Burberry and Stella McCartney, but this time her cream cover-up is by Amanda Wakeley. Fans of the brand include the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Beatrice and Theresa May so she's in good company!

We love the ribbon detailing around the waist, as well as the stand-up collar on this coat, which you can buy now by clicking the link (right). When teamed with a dress which is also Amanda Wakeley and a Mulberry bag, it's a flawless look.

Or for a more budget-friendly take on Meghan's occasionwear, check out our edit below. We've found chic cream coats by Theory, BCBG and more that will do the trick.

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Screams and shouts from the public greeted Meghan and Harry when they arrived at Westminster Abbey this afternoon
Meghan smiles as she arrives at the event

Screams and shouts from the public greeted Meghan and Harry when they arrived at Westminster Abbey this afternoon

The Duchess of Cambridge, who was joined by the Duke one month before she is due to give birth to their third child after Prince George and Princess Charlotte, wore a dress and coat by Beulah and hat by Lock and Co.

Commonwealth Day is celebrated across the region and billed as an opportunity for each of the institution’s 53 member states to highlight the positive values of the family of nations.

In her Commonwealth Day message, which is printed in the event’s order of service, the Queen praised the ‘Commonwealth connection’ that allows people from different nations to bond and celebrate ‘diversity’.

London will soon host a gathering of leaders from the family of nations and the Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, also paid tribute to the biennial event as an example of how consensus can ‘help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable’.

With the UK leaving the European Union the importance of the Commonwealth may increase, according to some commentators.

Members of the royal family arrived ahead of the Queen including the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of York and Princess Royal as did the Prime Minister Theresa May.

Queen Elizabeth is greeted by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, the 38th Dean of Westminster, at the service today

Queen Elizabeth is greeted by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, the 38th Dean of Westminster, at the service today

In her Commonwealth Day message, which will feature in the service, the Queen has praised the 'Commonwealth connection'
The Queen arrives at Westminster Abbey

In her Commonwealth Day message, which will feature in the service, the Queen has praised the ‘Commonwealth connection’

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the Commonwealth Day service today

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the Commonwealth Day service today

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey today

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey today

Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Sophie, Countess of Wessex (left) and Prince Andrew, Duke of York (right) both arrive at Westminster Abbey today

The royals, including William, Kate, Harry and royal-to-be Meghan, sing during the service in London this afternoon

The royals, including William, Kate, Harry and royal-to-be Meghan, sing during the service in London this afternoon

Former One Direction band member Liam Payne performed during the service – but the Duke of Edinburgh, who has effectively retired from public duties, is not attending.

In her Commonwealth Day message, which will feature in the service, the Queen has praised the ‘Commonwealth connection’ that allows people from different nations to bond and celebrate ‘diversity’.

London will soon host a gathering of leaders from the ‘family of nations’ and the Queen also paid tribute to the biennial event, an example of how consensus can ‘help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable’.

In her Commonwealth Day message, the Queen says: ‘Through exchanging ideas, and seeing life from other perspectives, we grow in understanding and work more collaboratively towards a common future.

‘There is a very special value in the insights we gain through the Commonwealth connection; shared inheritances help us overcome difference so that diversity is a cause for celebration rather than division.

‘We shall see this in action at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which takes place in the United Kingdom next month, bringing together young people, business and civil society from across the Commonwealth.

Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for the service
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major

Prime Minister Theresa May (left) and former prime minister Sir John Major (right), using a walking stick, both arrive today

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrives
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry arrive

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (left) arrives, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry (right) also make their way into Westminster Abbey

Mr Corbyn (left) was accompanied by his wife Laura Alvarez (right) at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey

Mr Corbyn (left) was accompanied by his wife Laura Alvarez (right) at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey

Sir Vince Cable

Former One Direction band member Liam Payne (left) will perform during the service, which was also attended by former business secretary Sir Vince Cable (right)

Malta's Prime Minister Josepth Muscat and his wife Michelle arrive at the Commonwealth Day service this afternoon

Malta’s Prime Minister Josepth Muscat and his wife Michelle arrive at the Commonwealth Day service this afternoon

‘These gatherings are themselves fine examples of how consensus and commitment can help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable.’

The reflection at the service will be given by Dr Andrew Bastawrous, an eye surgeon who has turned a smartphone into an examination tool to combat avoidable blindness in developing counties.

William faced criticism last year when he missed the service to attend his controversial lads-only skiing holiday in Verbier.

Newspapers poked fun at the future king’s ‘dad dancing’ when video footage emerged of his antics on the dance floor and in the DJ booth during the trip.

After the service, William, Kate, Harry and Meghan will attend a private reception for those involved in the event.

The Commonwealth has played an important role throughout the Queen’s reign, and she takes a special interest in the family of nations.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to two women before the service begins at Westminster Abbey this afternoon

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to two women before the service begins at Westminster Abbey this afternoon

Liam Payne performs a rendition of John Mayer's Waiting On the World with two guitarists during the service today

Liam Payne performs a rendition of John Mayer’s Waiting On the World with two guitarists during the service today

Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey this afternoon

Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey this afternoon

The Commonwealth Children's Choir and the Band of the Coldstream Guards take part in a programme of music to mark Commonwealth Day 2018 at Horse Guards Parade today

The Commonwealth Children’s Choir and the Band of the Coldstream Guards take part in a programme of music to mark Commonwealth Day 2018 at Horse Guards Parade today

Some 400 members of the Commonwealth Children's Choir from London, Essex and Dorset took part in the Sing For The Commonwealth event in London today

Some 400 members of the Commonwealth Children’s Choir from London, Essex and Dorset took part in the Sing For The Commonwealth event in London today

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London this afternoon to attend the Commonwealth Day service
Mrs May is going to the Commonwealth Day service

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London this afternoon to attend the Commonwealth Day service

Harry and Meghan signalled their commitment to the Commonwealth and its people when they both mentioned the institution – which has the Queen as its head – during an interview to mark their engagement.

The prince said they looked forward to travelling around the Commonwealth, meeting some of the 2.4 billion people from the 53 member states.

Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Commonwealth service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the UK and is being broadcast live by the BBC.

Other royal guests include the Duke of York, Princess Royal, Countess of Wessex, the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra.

Also among the 2,000 strong congregation will be the prime minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland, high commissioners, ambassadors, senior politicians from across the UK and Commonwealth, faith leaders and more than 800 schoolchildren and young people.

Public trip 5: Bride-to-be Meghan is pictured on a walkabout in Birmingham with her fiancé Prince Harry last Thursday

Public trip 5: Bride-to-be Meghan is pictured on a walkabout in Birmingham with her fiancé Prince Harry last Thursday

Public trip 4: Harry and Meghan meet Pony Major Mark Wilkinson and mascot Cruachan IV in Edinburgh on February 13

Public trip 4: Harry and Meghan meet Pony Major Mark Wilkinson and mascot Cruachan IV in Edinburgh on February 13

Public trip 3: Harry and Meghan clap after watching a performance in Wales during a visit to Cardiff Castle on January 18

Public trip 3: Harry and Meghan clap after watching a performance in Wales during a visit to Cardiff Castle on January 18

Public trip 2: Harry and Meghan speak to presenters on a community radio station in Brixton, South London, on January 9

Public trip 2: Harry and Meghan speak to presenters on a community radio station in Brixton, South London, on January 9

Public trip 1: Harry and Meghan go on their first public walkabout together in Nottingham on December 1 last year

Public trip 1: Harry and Meghan go on their first public walkabout together in Nottingham on December 1 last year

The theme for this year’s service is Towards a Common Future, emphasising how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all citizens through the sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity and fairness.

Later that evening Charles, Camilla and William will be guests of Baroness Scotland at a reception at Marlborough House, the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the institution’s civil service.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell led a noisy protest across the road from the Abbey today where activists banged drums and chanted slogans as they called for greater rights for the LGBT community in Commonwealth countries.

Mr Tatchell appealed to the Queen’s grandsons and their partners to make their voices heard on the subject, claiming 37 Commonwealth countries criminalise homosexuality, nine others have life imprisonment and in parts of two countries there is even the death penalty for gay people.

He said: ‘We hope the younger royals like William, Catherine, Harry and Meghan will recognise the immense persecution suffered by LGBT people in the Commonwealth and speak out as they have on many social issues.’

Posted on; DailyMail>>

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