For Meghan Markle, traveling solo with Queen Elizabeth for the first time was undoubtedly a stressful scenario. Not only is she the matriarch of Markle's new husband's entire family, but she is, you know, the Queen of England—which means there are approximately a zillion rules to keep track of when it comes to royal protocol. And one such rule appeared to trip the Duchess of Sussex up a little during her and the Queen's one-on-one trip to Chester on Thursday.
According to footage shared with the Daily Mail, after the royal train pulled into the station at 10:03 a.m., Markle was told to get into the car ahead of Queen Elizabeth. The queen, though, made her way toward the car first. Markle, likely trying to follow typical rules of etiquette, stepped aside to allow the Queen to go ahead of her, leading to a pretty awkward moment in which everyone tried to figure out who should get into the car. Eventually, Markle went ahead and got in first, allowing the Queen to go behind her.
So what happened here? "The Queen always sits behind the driver," etiquette expert William Hanson told the Daily Mail. "This is just a case of habit not protocol (protocol actually says the most important person sits diagonally behind the driver) but the Queen has always preferred being directly behind whoever is driving her." While Markle didn't technically do anything wrong—she ended up getting in the car first, after all, and was simply following traditional rules—it's still easy to feel for her in this situation.
Aside from this momentary mix-up, the rest of the duchess and the Queen's day out appears to be going well. So far, they've reportedly unveiled the Mersey Gateway Bridge, where they watched performances by local schoolchildren, and helped open the Storyhouse theatre, before heading to Chester Town Hall for lunch. One teeny, tiny faux pas in the course of a full-day trip? Seems like those duchess lessons are really paying off!