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Michael D Higgins arrives at Heathrow Airport yesterday evening.
Michael D Higgins arrives at Heathrow Airport yesterday evening.
Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Here's what the President is up to on day one of his State visit to the UK

A meeting with the Queen, an address to both houses of Parliament, and a State banquet among other things…
Apr 8th 2014, 6:30 AM 10,068 38

DAY ONE OF Michael D Higgins State visit to the UK will see him address both houses of Parliament and attend a historic State banquet among several other events today.

The President arrived in a rain-soaked London yesterday evening after departing from Baldonnel.

Before he left he told the media of his hope that not only would official visits such as these become more regular but that it would happen “very naturally” for ordinary Irish and British people.

This morning, the President and his wife Sabina will be greeted by the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the Irish Embassy, after which they will depart together for Windsor.

There, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will formally greet the President and Sabina at the Royal Dais on Datchet Road before travel by horse-drawn carriage for a ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle.

In the quadrangle at the castle, the President, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will inspect the Guard of Honour. As part of the formal welcome, the Guard of Honour will give the Royal Salute, and the band will play the Irish and British National Anthems.

After a lunch, the President will view Irish-related items in the Royal Collection. The President will then go to Westminster Abbey before laying a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier.

Then he will meet both the speaker of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, before delivering an address to both houses in the Royal Gallery.

In the evening, the President will receive a courtesy call from the British Labour party leader Ed Miliband at Windsor Castle.

Then it’s the State banquet with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Prime Minister David Cameron will be among the many dignitaries in attendance attendance as well as Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness.

Follow all our State Visit coverage here >

Touchdown: The President has arrived in the UK as historic State visit begins

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Hugh O'Connell

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