Queen Elizabeth to publicly thank Irish people for their warm welcome
The Queen of England is to publicly thank the people of Ireland for the Cead Mile Failte welcome they accorded her last May.
The British monarch will acknowledge the warm of her reception on a first ever visit to the country in her annual Christmas speech.
The Sunday Independent newspaper reports that tens of thousands of Irish viewers are expected to tune into the traditional Queen’s Speech, televised on British stations on Christmas day.
The paper also quotes senior aides of the Queen who have confirmed that she will make extensive references to her Irish tour, the first by any British monarch in over a century.
Queen Elizabeth will recount her four day visit which included stops in Dublin, Kildare, Tipperary and Cork.
She has already written to the Lord Mayor of Cork and thanked him for a reception she described as "deeply moving" according to the paper.
According to the Independent, the Queen has privately stated that her Ireland trip was "one of the highlights" of her long reign.
Now, in her 59th annual address to the British nation, the Queen will formally thank the Irish people for her welcome according to informed sources.
“The Queen always plays a central role in picking the broadcast’s themes and viewers can expect the most upbeat speech in decades, in which she would fondly look back at her visit to Ireland,” said the source.
“It’s been the best year in living memory for the royal family, with two royal weddings, Prince Philip’s 90th birthday and not least, the historic visit to Ireland.
“It’s no secret that the visit to Ireland meant a huge deal to her and she wants to use the speech to reflect on it publicly.”
Irish tourist industry bosses expect the Queen’s endorsement will boost visitor numbers from Britain significantly next year.
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