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What the international media is saying about the Queen's visit

The first 24 hours of the royal tour have seen a flood of more than 5,000 reports in newspapers around the world. We take a look at how the visit went down globally.

The Queen arrives at Government Buildings today with Taoiseach Enda Kenny
The Queen arrives at Government Buildings today with Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Image: Maxwells/PA Wire

AS THE QUEEN continues on her whistle-stop tour of Ireland, her official visit has been in the spotlight of the international media.

News organisations from Boston to Bangkok are covering the historic trip, with more than 5,000 articles on the subject published worldwide in the last 24 hours alone, according to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Around 450 international journalists have flown in to report on the Queen’s reception.

Many reports homed in on the implications for Anglo-Irish relations. Declaring that “Ireland’s troubled relationship with the royal family was finally banished” by the visit, the Daily Telegraph described Elizabeth’s arrival at Baldonnel:

After a momentary pause on the bottom tread of the aircraft’s stairs, knowing her next step would be one of the most symbolic of her reign, the Queen reached down with her left foot and strode into history.

China’s official news service Xinhua took a similar line in more moderate tones, explaining to readers: “Her visit is designed to show that the bitterness of Ireland’s war of independence 90 years ago has been replaced by Anglo-Irish friendship.” And The Australian newspaper sharply criticised groups who tried to disrupt the visit with bomb threats, noting in an editorial that: “Dissidents within what remains of the Irish republican movement just cannot help themselves. Passing up the opportunity to show what pathetic cowards they are was too much to ask.”

Almost alone in viewing the protests kindly was Iran’s English-language news service Press TV, which reported that “the central streets of Dublin echoed with chanting in support of the union of the two Irelands while angry protestors burned UK flags.”

The Queen and Prince Philip’s visit to the Guinness Storehouse was also a big draw. Explaining that a pint had been poured for them, the Bangkok Post wrote that “The Queen declined to sup on the black stuff and her husband Prince Philip lingered as if he might, but eventually the couple moved on.” The Sacramento Bee was less equivocal, telling readers:

Prince Philip gazed at the brew with obvious longing but also walked away without a taste.

Papers across Europe homed in on the story. Germany’s Der Spiegel, which also publishes an English-language version, ran the headline: “Royal Charm Offensive Has Irish Eyes Smiling”. In Barcelona, La Vanguardia covered its front page with a photo of “Isabel II” – as she is known in Spain – at the Garden of Remembrance.

Meanwhile, The Guardian hired a body language expert to analyse the Queen’s handshake with President Mary McAleese. He noticed that McAleese ditched her usual ‘pat on the hand’ technique – which he described as intended “to remind the other person who is in charge” – and instead went for the straightforward shake. “There was no bending of the knee or dipping of the head – nothing that might suggest an unequal relationship between the two countries,” he added.

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Slideshow: Headlines around the world for day two of the Queen’s visit:

What the international media is saying about the Queen's visit
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  • The Queen's visit: La Vanguardia, Spain

  • The Queen's visit: Al Jazeera, Qatar

  • The Queen's visit: Buenos Aires Herald, Argentina

  • The Queen's visit: Deseret News, Salt Lake City

  • The Queen's visit: Le Monde, France

  • The Queen's visit: Lidove Noviny, Czech Republic

  • The Queen's visit: New York Times

  • The Queen's visit: Press TV, Iran

  • The Queen's visit: Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

  • The Queen's visit: Der Spiegel, Germany

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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