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Kate Middleton shaking hands with the woman during a visit to Belfast today. PA
Northern Ireland

Woman tells Kate Middleton ‘Ireland belongs to the Irish’ during visit to Belfast

The woman also told Kate: “Nice to meet you but it would be better if it was when you were in your own country.”

KATE MIDDLETON HAS been challenged by a woman in Northern Ireland who told her “Ireland belongs to the Irish”. 

The exchange unfolded when Kate and Prince William were undertaking an impromptu meet and greet with people in north Belfast.

The British royal couple, who were on a one day visit to Northern Ireland, were shaking hands with the public on the city’s Antrim Road after visiting a suicide prevention charity.

The woman reached out and shook Kate’s hand and while doing so said: “Nice to meet you but it would be better if it was when you were in your own country.”

The woman, who appeared to be videoing the exchange on a mobile phone, added: “Ireland belongs to the Irish”.

Kate smiled at the woman before moving on to shake hands with a well-wisher.

The encounter happened in what is a predominantly nationalist area of Belfast.

William and Kate received an otherwise warm reception as they were greeted by other members of the public who gathered outside the Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide and Self Harm (PIPS) charity.

The encounter also jarred with the welcome the royal couple were afforded on the rest of their trip to Northern Ireland.

The PIPS charity was their first stop of the day, with Lord mayor of Belfast Tina Black and Sinn Féin MP for the constituency John Finucane among those who welcomed the couple on arrival.

PIPS was founded in 2003 following the loss of 14 young people to suicide in Belfast over a short period of time the previous year.

During their visit, William and Kate spoke with staff about their work helping people at risk of suicide and self-harm.

The charity also arranged for them to take part in an art therapy session, painting pumpkins, with some vulnerable children who have been supported by PIPS.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation has seen a significant rise in those reaching out for help, including an increase of more than 500% among young people.

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