\"Queen

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth will visit Ireland before Mary McAleese steps down

\"Queen

Queen Elizabeth II

The long-rumored first state visit to the Republic of Ireland by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is finally set to become reality in 2011, according to Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin.

"I think the way has been cleared for a visit, that is how I would look at it, and I would expect something to happen in 2011," Martin is quoted as saying in “The Belfast Telegraph.”

It is expected that the highly anticipated – and controversial – trip will take place prior to the end of Irish President Mary McAleese’s term at the end of 2011.

McAleese has met the Queen on a number of occasions and is known to be an ardent supporter of a royal trip to Ireland.  McAleese has visited the Queen in London, and the two also met in 2005 at Hillsborough in Co. Down.

"It was a very special day for Anglo-Irish relationships. I think things are developing. Things are going in the right direction,” McAleese said after that first meeting on Irish soil.

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen is also supportive of Queen Elizabeth visiting the Irish Republic, but if the occasion comes to pass it will happen after Cowen leaves office, as an Irish general election will take place in March at the latest.

Martin says that, given the success of the Irish peace process and the ongoing close relationship between the U.K. and the Irish Republic, an Irish state visit by Britain’s senior royal makes sense.

"To me the natural, I think, end point of all of that would be the Queen coming to Ireland as a formal head of state meeting our head of state,” said Martin.

"Our head of state has received heads of state from all over the world and at this juncture, in this era, it seems odd to me that the head of state of our nearest neighbor hasn't been here yet.”

The Queen has visited Northern Ireland on several occasions. Her eldest son, Prince Charles, made a state visit to the Irish Republic in 1995, and has since returned in a private capacity with his wife Camilla.
 

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

For Newsletter Subscribers – Draw for 1 Prize on December 31st.

Prize: Your Piece of Ireland – a Square of Land in the heart of the Glens of Antrim, Ireland

More details here (or you can buy a little piece of Ireland directly): http://bit.ly/1zew9ox

Terms & Conditions

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: