NEWS — 26 March 2014

President Michael D Higgins, accompanied by his wife Sabina, will stay at the Queen’s home, Windsor Castle, and will address the combined Houses of a, the Commons and the Lords, during next month’s historic, first ever, Irish State visit to the UK.

On the first day of his trip he will lay a wreath to fallen British soldiers and military personnel at Westminster Abbey.

During the trip he will, in the company of Andrew, Duke of York, review the colours, memorabilia and souvenirs of what is left of the Crown’s Irish regiments disbanded in 1922.

The visit – which follows on from Queen Elizabeth’s ground-breaking trip to Ireland in May 2011 – will begin with the Presidential delegation being met and welcomed by Charles, the Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall at the Embassy of Ireland in Belgravia.

They will then travel in the Royal Bentley to be met by the Queen and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Dais in Datchet Road, Windsor, whereupon they will travel by horse-drawn carriage together to a ceremonial welcome at the Castle.

There will be a State banquet at the Castle that evening at which the President and the Queen will make keynote speeches.

The following day he will have lunch with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, visit University College London Hospital on Euston Road to meet patients and Irish staff members, past and present and visit the Royal Society where he will view an exhibition of items related to Ireland and make an address on the importance of scientific and technological co-operation between Ireland and Britain.

On Wednesday he will be guest of the Lord Mayor of the City of London, alderman Fiona Woolf, and the City of London Corporation at the Guildhall where the President will address 700 invited guests.

On Thursday evening the Queen will host a Northern Ireland-themed reception in Windsor Castle before the President and Ms Higgins leave to attend an Irish-themed concert at the Royal Albert Hall. On Friday the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will bid them farewell and they will visit the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-Upon-Avon where they will meet Irish members before heading on to Coventry for an Irish community reception at St. Mary’s Guildhall.

 

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