Nottingham was chosen for her inauguration into “the firm”, and her first step in a career that will include an abundance of royal waves, handshakes, tree plantings and ribbon cuttings. Crowds keen to catch a first glimpse of the American actor and fledgling royal, who will marry Harry in May next year, lined the streets.
The former Suits actor may previously have known little of Nottingham beyond the Hollywood versions of Robin Hood, and the fact that her first marital home will be Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace.
In their engagement interview on Monday, Markle expressed eagerness to get her “boots on the ground”, and four days later she was enjoying a civic reception in the city.
On their first official joint royal engagement, Harry, 33, who has visited the city eight times in the past five years, was keen to introduce his 36-year-old fiancee to a community “that has become very special to him”, his spokesman said.
On the walkabout, along a stretch of a couple of hundred metres, the crowd shouted congratulations as the couple shook hands with people, accepting bouquets and good wishes.
Helena Bottomley, 63, Zoe Scott, 55, and Carole Bingham, 58, fortifying themselves with coffee laced with cherry brandy, came equipped with union flags and optimism.
63岁的Helena Bottomley、55岁的Zoe Scott和58岁的Carole Bingham都喝了樱桃白兰地咖啡提神。他们手持国旗，心怀祝福出现在沿街的人群中。
“We have always followed the royal family. We absolutely adored Princess Diana and we follow her boys,” said Scott, who said the three friends were retired. “I think she's fantastic. She doesn't need the royal family. She's made it on her own and she has obviously fallen in love.”
Physiotherapists Rhianan Hutchings, 26, and Beverley Tidy, 32, and her 11-month-old son, Jacob Tidy, said they had arrived early to get a good spot. “She's beautiful and a modern woman,” Hutchings said. “She's had a good career and so it's probably the right time to concentrate more on charity work.”
26岁的理疗医师Rhianan Hutchings，32岁的Beverley Tidy还有她11个月大的儿子Jacob Tidy，他们早早地来了就为了占一个好位子，“她又美又潮。” Hutchings说，“她有很好的事业，现在集中精力来做慈善是个好时机。”
The couple appeared to be colour-coordinated, both in navy and camel. “So smart. They even matched,” sighed one woman to her friend. Unlike the Queen, Markle went gloveless, which was all the better for showing off the sparkler on her ring finger. Like the Queen, she clutched a handbag, though hers was a little larger than the monarch's.
“Excited, really excited,” she repeated over and over to inquiries about how she was feeling about the wedding.
“Hi, I'm Meghan,” she introduced herself time and again. She told one woman in the crowd: “I can't believe it. I've been made so welcome and I can't believe it.”
“How does it feel being a ginger with Meghan,” one red-haired man yelled at a beaming Harry. “It's great, isn't it? Unbelievable,” the prince grinned.
Markle, who began dating the fifth in line to the throne 16 months ago, is to be baptised and confirmed before wedding at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. She will also apply to become a British citizen, but is expected to spend some time back in the US with family and friends before the wedding.
Best known for her role as a lawyer in the legal drama Suits – which is shot in Toronto, where she had been living until she packed up her rented house this month – Markle has decided to give up her previous charity ambassadorships to “start afresh” and concentrate on the Royal Foundation, set up by Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.