The Queen of England is relaxing at Farmleigh House in Dublin’s Phoenix Park after an historic wreath laying ceremony in honor of Irish rebels marked the first day of her official state visit to Ireland.
Queen Elizabeth laid a wreath in memory of the men who led Ireland’s fight for freedom from English rule at the Garden of Remembrance.
The moving tribute to the leaders of the 1916 Rising has been welcomed as a hugely significant gesture by politicians and political commentators alike.
Not even small protests by Republican sympathisers within earshot of the event could detract from the moving ceremony, watched by millions on live television across Britain and Ireland.
“The Queen’s visit to the Garden of Remembrance was an important statement that speaks to the past,” said British Foreign Secretary William Hague, part of the official party.
“There will be no glossing over the past during this visit. There will be great recognition of the past which has already been seen in Dublin and will continue to be seen throughout the remainder of the Queen’s visit.”
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny paid tribute to those who ‘put together’ the jigsaw that led to the peace process and made this visit possible.
President Mary McAleese, who earlier hosted a state lunch for the Queen at her Phoenix Park residence, accompanied the English monarch to the historic wreath laying ceremony.
“For our relations between these two countries this is a very good visit,” said President McAleese.
“It would be good if she could meet larger numbers of people during her visit but security has to be taken seriously and there were sufficient indications that there might be a problem.”
The Queen landed at Casement Aerodrome at noon and was dressed in emerald green as she stood on Irish soil for the first time ever.
She planted an Irish Oak tree in honor of the peace process at the Presidential home in the Phoenix Park and later visited Trinity College for a private viewing of the Long Hall and a visit to see the Book of Kells.
Members of the public engaged briefly with the Queen at the famous Dublin college founded by her ancestor, Elizabeth the first, before the monarch retired to Farmleigh for a programme of private events on Tuesday evening.
As she rested, security remained tight all around the city in the most expensive operation ever mounted by Irish police and armed forces.
Up to 20 people, Republican protestors, were arrested near the Garden of Remembrance after clashes with police while a number of bomb warnings were issued across the republic and Northern Ireland.
Two devices were detonated under controlled explosions, one in Maynooth and one in Fairview Park.
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