Historic Trip to Ireland: The Queen in Her Coat of Emerald Green

The Queen at the Rock of Cashel – one of Ireland’s ancient sites and most visited by tourists.

The Queen’s historic four-day visit was the first to the Republic of Ireland by a reigning British monarch. Of particular note were these comments from the Queen during her speech at the State Dinner:

To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy,” she said.

“With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.”

From the BBC stories on Queen Elizabeth II’s historic vist to Ireland – at the invitation of Irish President Mary McAlesse – two views – one from the Republic and one from Northern Ireland:

Former Taoiseach [prime minister] John Bruton told BBC Radio 4 Today’s programme that Ireland had been “waiting a very long time for what should be normal between two neighbouring states” and the Queen’s visit was very “symbolic”.

“The fact the Queen herself has come, that she has put so much effort into it, displayed so much stamina and has been so warmly welcomed by people here, that is going to make a difference to the tone of the relationship,” he said.

“It is going to make life much easier for the many Irish people living in Britain who now can find that their allegiance to the UK and their allegiance to Ireland are more easy to reconcile.”

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said the relationship would not be fully normalised while Ireland remained partitioned. He said the visit was “another page in the book”.

But he added: “I was particularly taken by Queen Elizabeth’s sincere expression of sympathy to all those who had suffered in the course of the conflict and I think that was very genuine.”