Prince William accepting Irish title a hostile move for many Irish
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 at 06:05 PM
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There was a clear Irish subtext to the royal wedding from Prince William dressed in an Irish Guards uniform to shamrocks on Kate Middleton's wedding dress as well as the news that the dress was manufactured using old Irish lace traditions.
But the most significant announcement was the one that Prince William has become Baron Carrickfergus among many other titles.
That tips the balance for me between a benign interpretation on the Irish subtext to something more in your face.
On the one hand people can argue that the upcoming Queen's visit to Ireland ensures a new era and the Irish subtext to the royal wedding helped reinforce that.
On the other hand was it all a deliberate effort to state categorically that a part of Ireland was still under British rule and that the Irish could like it or lump it?
Baron Carrickfergus certainly lays claim to disputed land between the Irish and the British, one settled by Protestant planters in the 16th century when the native Irish were driven off.
It was also the landing point for King William of Orange when he arrived in Ireland to enforce Protestant domination.
It will provide valuable fodder for those republican dissidents who claim nothing has really changed in Northern Ireland.
The British decision to revive the title and clearly make sure that nationalists who live in the town are under His Royal Highness is a curious one.
None of these decisions are made by accident. The exclusion of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown from the wedding was payback for what was seen as them having transgressed the royal family.
The royals have long memories, which is one of the reasons they have endured.
Staking their continuing claim to Northern Ireland is another manifestation of that.
Read more: The royal history behind Prince William’s new Irish title
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