Prince William says Queen Elizabeth saw Ireland as a ‘fantastic experience’
Describes it as a ‘very big deal’ for monarchy in a new interview
Prince William reveals that Queen Elizabeth’s recent visit to Ireland was “a very big deal” for the family and he described it as “a fantastic experience” for his grandmother.
He also revealed that it was his grandmother who insisted he get married in the Irish Guards uniform.
He said: "I wanted to decide what to wear for the wedding."
But the Queen decided it was to be the Irish Guards uniform. "I was given a categorical: 'No, you’ll wear this!'" he says.
He was speaking to author Robert Hardman for a new book entitled ‘Our Queen’ which was serialized in the Daily Mail.
William stated that he followed the royal visit to Ireland closely from The Seychelles, where he was on honeymoon.
"We all wanted it to go smoothly because it was such a big deal," says Prince William. "I was keeping a careful watch on the Internet, hearing the odd snippet and seeing photographs. I know a lot of Irish people, and so many of them were excited about the visit that I knew it would go well."
"Normally," he continues, "with a lot of tours, there’s a certain amount of apprehension, but also 'I’ve done this before.' But this was like a big door opening up to her that had been locked for so long."
Reminded that the Queen’s cousin Lord Mountbatten was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979, William said it was time to put the past behind.
"It’s 'personal' v 'duty.' There’s a big difference," says Prince William.
"As far as she was concerned, in terms of the relationship between Britain and Ireland and the Troubles, it was time to move on from that.
"What’s happened has happened, and no one wants to cover it up. We must make sure all the right things are done and that the right people are said sorry to, or vice versa.
"But it was not about her losing Lord Mountbatten when she was younger. It was about the bigger picture. And the bigger picture is close relations between the state of Ireland and the UK. It was a great time to say: 'Let’s move on. Some horrendous things have been done over the years, but let’s look to the future.'
"The massive deal was the Queen going and cementing the fact that everyone should look for better things."
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