Queen Elizabeth “still alive”

Queen Elizabeth "still alive"
Photo Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Queen Elizabeth joked that she was “still alive” when asked about her health during an official state visit to Northern Ireland.

Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, she met with the Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness at Hillsborough Castle near Belfast.

The two-day visit presents her first round of public engagements since Britain’s shock decision to leave the European Union.

Upon meeting Mr McGuinness, she explained how she and Prince Philip have been “quite busy” since “a lot has been going on”.

The royal couple also met with First Minister Arlene Foster as well as Northern Ireland’s Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, who campaigned for Brexit.

The visit incorporates a tour of the six counties’ north coast landmarks, including Giant’s Causeway and the village of Bushmills in Co. Antrim.

Mirroring their journey from 1953, the pair will travel along the historic Coleraine to Londonderry line – this time to recognise the newly-opened Bellarena station.

Earlier in the day, they plan to unveil a statue to Robert Quigg, a Bushmills native who fought at the Battle of the Somme and received a Victoria Cross for bravery.

They will then move to a reception at Portrush Golf Club as guests of the mayor for the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, now aged 90 and 95 respectively, last visited Northern Ireland in 2014.

Their trip marks the third high-profile royal visit in recent weeks, following appearances from the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and then the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


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