The Queen of England is set to become the first British monarch to visit the Irish Republic.

In Dublin, the outgoing British ambassador has said that he is "very hopeful" that the visit will take place soon.

David Reddaway said he expected the trip to happen "before too long," and added; "I hope it'll happen soon."

Reddaway said the political atmosphere had been "transformed."

"We are no longer defined by what divides us," he said, instead "we are defined by the advantages of working together and what we have in common."

Informed sources say the visit will take place once the devolution of policing and justice institutions has been completed.