By staff reporter
Queen Elizabeth, who was wearing diamond and emerald jewels, has said in her address during this evening’s State banquet at Windsor Castle that Ireland and Britain are “finally shedding our inhibitions about seeing the best in each other”.
She added that “We, the Irish and British, are becoming good and dependable neighbours and better friends”.
Joking about her unorthodox appearance at the Olympics, she said it took someone of Irish descent, Danny Boyle, to convince her to jump out of a helicopter.
She said that Seamus Heaney’s poetry reflected “changing circumstances of Northern Ireland”.
President Higgins in his reply opened with a saying in Irish: Ar scáth a chéile a mhairimíd.
He explained: “Because scáth literally means shadow, this phrase is sometimes translated as – ‘we live in the shadow of each other’. However, there is a more open and more accommodating meaning. Scáth also means shelter.
“The word embodies the simple truth that physical proximity brings with it an inevitability of both mutual influence and interaction. But more importantly, I believe, it implies reciprocal hospitality and generosity; the kind of generosity reflected in your words this evening that encourages us to embrace the best version of each other.”