By staff reporter
Well-known names in politics, entertainment and the arts have gathered for this evening’s State banquet in honour of President Higgins at Windsor Castle.
Attending are former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as well as Taoiseach Enda Kenny, his wife Fionnuala and the British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha.
Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the Leader of the British Labour Party Ed Milliband are also at the table, as are Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte will also be present.
The 160 guests gathered include rugby star Brian O’Driscoll and his wife actress Amy Huberman, Garry Hynes founder of the Druid Theatre, and actors Fiona Shaw, Daniel Day Lewis and Dame Judi Dench.
Irish fashion designer Louise Kennedy and milliner Philip Treacy will attend, as well as broadcaster John Bowman, Terry Wogan and Director General of RTÉ Noel Curran.