Third official visit in less than two years will include Glasnevin Cemetery, Kildare and Kilkenny
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will next week return to Ireland for a visit that will take in Dublin, Kildare and Kilkenny. It will be their third official visit in less than two years and their second in under a year.
In Dublin the heir to the British throne and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, will visit Glasnevin Cemetery and and its Cross of Sacrifice which commemorates those who gave their lives in the First World War. The cemetery also hosts the graves of many of Ireland’s Republican heroes.
For Kilkenny it will be the first Royal visit in more than 100 years. King Edward and Queen Alexandra stayed at Kilkenny Castle in 1904 during a private visit to Ireland and were entertained by the Butler family, who hosted a dinner for 400 guests in the Long Gallery of the castle.
The royal party also visited St Canice’s Cathedral. This time the Royals are expected to stop at Butler House and for dinner at Kilkenny Castle where they will be hosted by the heir to the Smithwick’s brewing fortune Paul Smithwick who received an OBE earlier this year in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours and is, reportedly, the person who issued the invitation to Kilkenny.
Kilkenny Lord Mayor Patrick O’Neill said: “When you see pictures of the 1904 visit of King Edward in Kilkenny, the place was so excited and the streets were thronged with people.
“The minute this was announced, so many people were excited and wanting to find out more about it. Kilkenny is a tourism town and it’s a great boost for us to have a visit such as this.”
Councillor Andrew McGuinness said: “Any kind of celebrity or political visit of this scale has to be welcomed”.
Two years ago Prince Charles visited Mullaghmore in Co Sligo, where his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten, 79, and three others including one of the earl’s twin grandsons, Nicholas, 14, and local boy Paul Maxwell, 15, were murdered by the IRA in 1979.
The Dowager Lady Brabourne, mother-in-law to Mountbatten’s elder daughter, died of her injuries the next day. Charles and Camilla, who personally welcomed President Michael D Higgins during his State Visit here in 2014, are expected to meet the President this time and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, whose party expects him to announce he is stepping down as Taoiseach some time in the near future.