By staff reporter
The Queen met Irish celebrities and community leaders at a special Irish community in Buckingham Palace yesterday evening, marking the contribution made by Irish people in Britain.
Over 300 representatives from the Irish community in Britain attended the event, which was hosted by Queen Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
A spokesman from Buckingham Palace said: “It was a really fun evening – great company and extremely relaxed. Her Majesty seemed to enjoy the craic.”
The event comes as President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina prepare to visit Britain on a State visit next month – the first of its kind by an Irish president.
Last night’s event welcomed people from the worlds of community, the arts, sport and culture, and included One Direction’s Niall Horan, rockabilly singer Imelda May, music mogul Louis Walsh, Irish designer Orla Kiely and Cork fishmonger Pat O’Connell, who famously made the Queen laugh during her Irish visit in 2011..
The Princess Royal, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and the Duke of Kent were also at the Palace, as was Irish ambassador to Britain Dan Mullhall and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Teresa Villiers.
The evening’s invitees also included well-known members of Britain’s Irish community, like Tom Burke of the South London Irish Association and Alice Kennedy of the London Irish Pensioners Choir.
Guests upon arrival were greeted to music by a group of UK-based Comhaltas musicians.
For the full story and lots of photos from this special event, don’t miss next week’s Irish World, out Wed 2 April!