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Queen Elizabeth II meets Irish President Michael D. Higgins during a visit to the Lyric Theatre in Belfast last year. Paul Faith/PA Archive/Press Association Images
State Visit

President Higgins accepts invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to visit the UK

President Higgins said he is “very pleased” with the invite from the Queen of England.

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D. Higgins has been invited by Queen Elizabeth II to visit the United Kingdom.

Áras an Uachtaráin confirmed that President Higgins will go to the UK for a state visit from 8-10 April 2014.

State visit

In an interview with last year, President Higgins stated that he had hoped to return the State visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland last year by visiting the UK either in 2013 or early in 2014.

The statement released today said President Higgins was “very pleased to accept” the invitation from Queen Elizabeth.

The President will be accompanied on the State visit by his wife, Sabina Higgins.

No further details about the president’s schedule were released but it stated that details of the president’s programme will be announced jointly by Áras an Uachtaráin and Buckingham Palace.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said in a statement this evening that he warmly welcomes the news, stating:

This is a further demonstration of the warm and positive relationship that now exists between Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The State Visit in April, following on the very successful visit to Ireland by Queen Elizabeth in 2011, will be a wonderful opportunity to deepen this even further.

Queen Elizabeth II made a historic visit to Ireland in May 2011, visiting places such as the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, the Guinness Storehouse and the National Stud in Kildare.

imageQueen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh admire a pint of Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse during the second day of her State Visit to Ireland. (Arthur Edwards/PA Images)

At the time of the visit, Mary McAleese was President of Ireland.

Speaking during her visit at the State dinner, Queen Elizabeth said Ireland and the UK are becoming “as good neighbours should be”.

Read: Duking it out, part deux: Who wants to stop for a Guinness?>

In pictures: The second day of the Queen’s historic visit>

Read: What the international media is saying about the Queen’s visit>

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