Queen Elizabeth II has formally announced her first state visit to the Republic of Ireland later this year.
She will be the first British monarch to visit Ireland in a century.
The 84-year-old queen will be accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, during the symbolic visit. No specific date has been given for the visit.
King George V was the last British monarch to visit Ireland, when he spent six days in Dublin in 1911, when Britain and Ireland were still united under a single crown.
Speaking about the Royal visit, Julian King, the British Ambassador said the invitation “symbolizes how far the relationship has come in recent years; the strength of our economic and political ties; and the progress that has been made in Northern Ireland.”
“The visit will provide an excellent opportunity to celebrate this, and build on the rich and varied links that exist across these islands,” he said Friday.
First Minister Peter Robinson also welcomed the announcement.
He said:"The news of a visit by Her Majesty to the Irish Republic will be welcomed by all right-thinking people throughout the United Kingdom and that country as a positive development.
"It is a sign of the normalization of relations between our two countries that such a visit by our Head of State will be taking place.
"I would urge Republicans to afford Her Majesty the same degree of respect shown by people in the United Kingdom to Mary McAleese".
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams described the visit as premature but claimed it was an indication of how time is changing.
"As Republicans Sinn Fein is very aware of the symbolism of a state visit by Queen Elizabeth of England and of the offence it will cause to many Irish citizens, particularly victims of British rule and those with legacy issues in this state and in the North," he said.
Prince Charles, the eldest son of the queen has visited Ireland on several occasions including a visit to Dublin in 1995 and another in 2002. While Prince Phillip made an official visit to Dublin in 1998 and 2006.
Ireland’s presidency confirmed the announcement and added that full details will be released later.
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