As the royal couple wrap-up their quick Irish visit, new details about Meghan Markle’s ancestor from the mid-19th century who married a British military man came to light.
According to The Daily Express, Mary Smith, Markle’s third-time great-grandmother, married a British soldier, Thomas Bird, which was seen at this time of emerging Irish Nationalism as disgraceful.
Smith, born in 1829 in Ballinasloe, was subsequently disowned by her family and had to move to England since she was effectively banished from Ireland. Soon after this, Bird and Smith moved to Malta because of a regiment transfer.
In Malta, they had two daughters, Mary and Hattie, who traveled to Canada and eventually went further on to Pennsylvania.
Meghan’s ‘homecoming’ to Ireland really began today as she and Prince Harry visited Aras an Uachtarain, the residence of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. There, the two met with the Irish President and his wife, Sabina.
They signed the guest book in the state reception room and shared greetings with one another, with Harry mentioning to Higgins that it is ‘most definitely’ coming home when asked about England possibly winning the World Cup. The Duke, however, is keen on not ‘jinxing’ the match tonight.
After this, the Royals paid a visit to Croke Park, where they met with the GAA president John Horan and went on a tour of the stadium’s museum. They also went onto the pitch and met with young Gaelic football players, even getting to hold some hurleys and sliotars!
Greeted by Uachtarán John Horan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived to @CrokePark for a very special visit to the GAA Museum and a demonstration of our Games #RoyalVisitIreland pic.twitter.com/rq40yIq5q7— The GAA (@officialgaa) July 11, 2018
They went to Trinity College Dublin, where they greeted the public outside and then proceeded on a tour of the Book of Kells exhibit, as well as a stroll around Front Square.
The couple then paid their respects at the Irish Famine Memorial, which recognizes not only the immense loss of life that took place but also the mass emigration that many were forced to take part in.
ICYMI: Meghan and Harry paid their respects at Dublin’s #FamineMemorial, which recognises the horrific famine that killed a people and see a million more forced to emigrate Ireland 170 years ago. pic.twitter.com/4TqyPthxN5— Omid Scobie (@scobie) July 11, 2018
They visited EPIC, the Irish emigration museum, soon after, where Meghan had the chance to look into her Irish roots. When outside the museum, the royals were treated with a concert by Moon Looks On, Leila Jane & The Healers and Liber8 Music Project while greeting the public there.
As they were at the Famine Memorial, however, they were heckled by some in the crowd with IRA-related comments, who shouted “Up the RA” and “Tiocfaidh ar la” as the two were speaking with the sculptor of the memorial, Rowan Gillespie.
On a much lighter note, there were some fun moments, such as when a 3-year-old boy tried to grab Meghan’s hair and another kid touched Harry’s beard. The Duchess even had to calm down an overly-excited fan of the royals outside Trinity College!