Queen Elizabeth II visits the English Market in Cork. Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment
tea with the queen

The Queen is hosting a Buckingham Palace reception for the Irish community tonight

Louis Walsh is going.

THE QUEEN AND the Duke of Edinburgh are to hold a reception for members of the Irish community in Britain at Buckingham Palace this evening.

The reception is being held in advance of the visit of President Michael D Higgins to Britain next month.

Tonight’s guestlist will feature more than 350 Irish people who have made a contribution to British life according to The Irish Post newspaper.

Among the guests will be music manager Louis Walsh, Irish designer Orla Kiely and Cork fishmonger Pat O’Connell who met The Queen when she visited the English Market on her visit to the city in May 2011.

Also attending the reception on behalf of the British Royal Family will be the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent.

President Higgins will visit the UK from 8-11 April, making him the first Irish head of state to make an official visit to Britain.

As part of the state visit, The Queen is expected to host President Higgins at Windsor Castle.

Read: Broad welcome for President Higgins’s planned trip to Britain >

Column: It’s time to define an entirely new relationship between Ireland and Britain – Gerry Adams >

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