Queen responds to student’s request to ‘give back six counties’

Queen responds to student’s request to ‘give back six counties’
Photo: Queen Elizabeth II. Photo Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Queen Elizabeth responded to a letter from a 12-year-old Dublin boy who asked her to “give Northern Ireland back to the Republic”.

Reese Kilbride, of Portmarnock, wrote to the monarch after learning about 1916 at school.

“We were learning about the Easter Rising and how much trouble it brought to Ireland and that they kept the six counties – they didn’t give back all of Ireland, so I thought they should give it back,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

He decided to write a letter, which he sent in February enclosed with a series of drawings, including one of the Queen in front of Buckingham Palace.

His mother, Fiona Dowling, told him to “be nice to her, don’t say anything mean and address her as Your Majesty”.

Reese received a reply from the Deputy Correspondence Coordinator to the Palace, Jennie Vine, in which she forwarded the Queen’s gratitude for the letter.


“The Queen has asked me to thank you for your recent letter in which you wished to tell Her Majesty that you have been learning about the history of the Easter Rising in 1916,” she said.

Ms Vine continued to note that although the Queen was appreciative of Reese’s views, it was a matter over which, as a constitutional sovereign, she has no control.

She added: “I must explain that this is not a matter in which Her Majesty would intervene. The Queen acts on the advice of her ministers and remains strictly non-political at all times.”

Elizabeth apparently displayed particular affection for the pictures Reese had drawn, before sending her best wishes to him and his family.

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