Meghan Markle's first royal tour will be the ultimate 'litmus test'

By Jessica Pollack

Meghan Markle has had no shortage of royal firsts in the months since she officially joined 'the firm.' From her debut at Trooping the Colour to a two-day Ireland visit with Prince Harry and that milestone day in Cheshire with the Queen herself, the former actress has been seemingly fearless and utterly charming at every turn. But she's gearing up for her biggest challenge to date: a weeks-long official tour and all the local custom, outfit changes, travel and small talk that comes with it. The Queen's longtime former spokesperson, Dickie Arbiter, told The Mirror that this will be the ultimate "litmus test."

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“She’s a good communicator, she’s good at talking to people but it will be a real baptism of fire," explained the former press secretary, who worked with Her Majesty for twelve years. "They will have a very demanding schedule and the Duchess will have to get used to local customs with the eyes of the world on her."

The duo charmed the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, and his wife, Sabina Coyne. Photo: © Andrew Parsons - Pool/Getty Images

During their fall excursion, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to build good will in the Commonwealth by visiting four countries. The official announcement, made in June, stated: "Their Royal Highnesses have been invited to visit the Realms of Australia and New Zealand by the countries’ respective governments. The Duke and Duchess will visit the Commonwealth countries of Fiji and Tonga at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office."

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The couple's tour itinerary makes perfect sense as Sydney is hosting the third instalment of Prince Harry's Invictus Games for injured soldiers. “She’s had a taste of the Invictus Games in Toronto last year but she was Harry’s girlfriend. Now she is his wife there will be much more expectation," says Dickie. Meghan attended a few Invictus events in the walkup to the games in April, including a reception in London and the UK team tryouts in Bath, but being by her prince's side Down Under from Oct. 20 to 27 will be her greatest involvement yet.

Dickie said the Queen and Meghan looked very relaxed with one another. Photo: © Getty Images

Despite all the challenges and the "tremendous learning curve" she's been on, Dickie is confident that the 37-year-old will come out on top once again. "No doubt she will come through with flying colours and they will show they will be a force of good for the Commonwealth and the Royal Family on the global stage.”

The next few months will definitely be a crash course in just how hectic life as a royal can be, and though the former actress has had her fair share of long days on set this takes things to a whole new level. But the first time for everything presents the greatest challenge. “With experience will come confidence and in the next few months I have no doubt we will see her come out of her shell even more and start to be more vocal for causes and charities she wishes to support.” The world is rooting for the duchess and we can't wait to see her tackle it all with grace and style.

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