The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina have welcomed Prince Charles and his wife Camilla to Áras an Uachtaráin.
It is Prince Charles’s third visit to Áras an Uachtaráin. He has previously been a guest of President Higgins’s two predecessors, President Mary Robinson in June 1995, and President Mary McAleese in February 2002.
It is the heir to the British throne’s third official visit to Ireland in two years.
Prince Charles and Camilla also welcomed President Higgins and Sabina to the UK for the Irish State visit in April 2014.
This latest visit began with a number of engagements in Northern Ireland and will include a visit to Kilkenny – the first to the city by a member of Royalty since 1904 when King Edward paid a private visit – and will include Glasnevin Cemetery and Kildare.
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) May 10, 2017
In Glasnevin, the burial place of some of Ireland’s best-known patriots, the Prince will be shown the monument to the British and Irish who died in 1916 and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Cross of Sacrifice.
This was followed by a meeting between President Higgins and Prince Charles after which the President and Mrs Higgins accompanied their guests to the Peace Bell in the grounds of the Áras.
Unveiled in 2008, the Peace Bell was designed to mark the 10th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.
This week marked the tenth anniversary of Ian Paisley’s DUP and Martin McGuinness’s Sinn Fein entering government together in Stormont.
They went on to meet a small group of invited young people chosen because they have excelled in the fields of sport, art, music, science, agriculture and advocacy.
A spokesperson for Prince Charles said:
“This visit will showcase the strength and vitality of the connections between the United Kingdom and Ireland; and the friendship and partnership that has defined our relationship over recent years. The Prince and Duchess’s programme will allow them to honour those men and women whose sacrifice in times of conflict shaped our two countries’ shared history; and to celebrate all that we do together to cement peace and secure a prosperous future.”
The Prince and The Duchess have arrived in Kilkenny and are meeting residents and stallholders at the local Farmers Market.
pic.twitter.com/Z3qkVH6NIh— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) May 11, 2017
Next we’ll be telling you Prince Charles has signed for Kilkenny hurlers!
— Sean Defoe (@SeanDefoe) May 11, 2017
You can follow the royal visit on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/hashtag/RoyalVisitIreland