Two weeks ago (I'm a little behind, forgive me) Queen Elizabeth II came to visit Ireland. As she does her fair share of international outings, this might seem quite ordinary, but it was anything but. Given Anglo-Irish history, it really was quite something to see our President McAleese and Queen Elizabeth meeting together as, in the words of her majesty, "firm friends and equal partners". It was moving and, I think, much needed to see the Queen and Prince Phillip paying their respects to those who died fighting for Irish freedom in The Garden of Remembrance and the Irish War Memorial, and at Croke Park to pay respects to the victims of Bloody Sunday. It was a visit that I'm sure many of our older generation never thought they'd see. The first visit of a British Monarch to the Irish Republic, and so soon - when you think about it - after all the trouble and hate and violence of past decades. There are still very raw wounds but it's my hope that this has helped heal them. She even made a very well received cúpla focal as Gaeilge to open her speech at the state dinner. It was quite something to watch.
I'm sure you must have seen some coverage of this visit wherever you are in the world, but in case you missed it, I'll let you enjoy some photos of her visit (and I might even comment on her outfits as we go along...would you expect anything else?!):
Preparations for the visit were "mighty" (as they'd say in the 'Wesht')....
|Garda, garda everywhere....|
|There were the expected protests..|
They were all preparing for this moment:
|The Royal couple with the Presidential couple (can't stand anything about the President's outfit).|
|Our cobblestone streets were no problem for the Royal-ified Range Rover (complete with flag)|
|At the Garden of Remembrance|
|In the Old Library at Trinity College, which I highly recommend you visit for a Harry Potter-esque experience ;) |
|Beautiful, isn't it?|
|At the Irish War Memorial in Islandbridge, Dublin|
|Checking out the view from the Guinness Storehouse|
|Prince Phillip longing for that pint....|
(not mad about the Queen's colourful ensemble here..in person it might be better, though)
|The Queen with President McAleese and her husband entering Croke Park|
|In her favorite colour, yellow.|
|The Queen meeting Irish royalty - Brian O'Driscoll, of course.|
|Speaking at the dinner.|
"I love this clinking glass!" - QEII (guess clinking the ol' crystal doesn't usually fly at Buckingham Palace).
|Visiting the Irish National Stud in Kildare. I do think she looks nice in blue.|
|At a party/concert at the National Convention Centre|
|Arriving in Cork, on her way to the Rock of Cashel|
|Love this! The Queen visiting the English Market in Cork - what is sure to be the most famous photo of her visit.|