DATES AND DETAILS HAVE YET to be announced, but Queen Elizabeth II has accepted President Mary McAleese’s invitation to visit Ireland this year.
No ruling British monarch has visited Ireland since 1911.
Today the Department of an Taoiseach issued a statement saying:
The Government welcomes the acceptance by Queen Elizabeth of President McAleese’s invitation to visit Ireland. The visit will mark a further improvement in the very good relations between Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The British Ambassador to Ireland, Julian King, said the invitation “symbolises how far the relationship” between the UK and Ireland had progressed in recent years. King also said the trip would provide an excellent opportunity to celebrate economic and political ties, as well as developments in Northern Ireland.
Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the Queen’s spouse Prince Philip will accompany her on the visit. Philip is famed for his ability to say highly inappropriate things during state visits.
In 1963, as the Union Jack flag was being lowered at a ceremony to mark Kenya’s independence from Britain, he asked Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta,”Are you sure you want to go ahead with this, old chap?”
Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Charles came to Ireland on a state visit in 1995.