Ahead of St. Patrick's Day, Queen Elizabeth II used a few cúpla focail (few words in the Irish language) to wish the people of Ireland a Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Writing to Ireland's President Michael D Higgins, Queen Elizabeth II expressed her best wishes ahead of Ireland's national holiday, March 17, St. Patrick's Day. Also with the letter, the Queen of England remembered her historic visit to Ireland ten years ago.
In her letter, the Queen wrote:
“On the occasion of your National Day, I would like to convey to Your Excellency my congratulations, together with my best wishes to the people of Ireland. This year marks 10 years since my visit to Ireland, which I remember fondly, and it marks a significant centenary across these islands.
“We share ties of family, friendship, and affection – the foundation of our partnership that remains as important today as 10 years ago.”
The Queen signed off with "Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh go léir”, meaning "Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you".
In response to her letter, President Higgins wrote: “Ar son muintir na hÉireann, on behalf of the people of Ireland, I would like to extend my warmest appreciation for your good wishes on our national day.
"Your special memory of your visit to Ireland ten years ago this year, is one that is shared and invoked regularly by all of us in Ireland, being as it was in its generosity of spirit such a moment of healing. It has done so much to deepen our shared sense of the breadth and vibrancy of the connections between our two countries at every level. It will continue to inspire the achievement of those possibilities in the future that we might share.
"We know St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated in the hearts of generations of Irish people who have made their home in Britain, and their British friends and family – as well as by the many British people who have happily made their home here. I know that the movement and circulation of our peoples is a source of continuing joy for us both.
"Guím Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona agus síochánta ort agus ar do mhuintir."
Queen Elizabeth's 2011 visit to Ireland
In 2011, Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visited the Republic of Ireland from May 17 to 20 May, at the invitation of the then president of Ireland, Mary McAleese.
Elizabeth was the first reigning British monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland since the 1911 tour by Elizabeth's grandfather King George V. At that time entire island of Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
During her visit, the Queen spoke at a state visit to Dublin Castle. In that historic address, she began by saying “A Uachtaráin agus a chairde”, meaning "President and friends".
She also spoke about the times between Ireland and Britain at the time acknowledging the countries as “firm friends and equal partners”.
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