Details of President Higgins state visit to Britain released

President’s visit follows the successful visit of Queen Elizabeth to Ireland in 2011

Mr Higgins will be honoured at a state banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. Photograph:L Andrew Winning/Reuters

Mr Higgins will be honoured at a state banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. Photograph:L Andrew Winning/Reuters

Wed, Mar 26, 2014, 16:21

Áras an Uachtaráin has released details of the upcoming state visit by President Michael D Higgins to Britain.

The visit follows the successful visit of Queen Elizabeth to Ireland in 2011.

The official delegation will depart Dublin on the afternoon of Monday the 7th April and will return on the evening of Friday 11th April.

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The four-day visit will be the first state visit by an Irish head of state to Britain. President Higgins will be accompanied by his wife Sabina Higgins and by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

During the course of the State visit the President and his wife will be guests of Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.

Highlights of the visit will include an address by President Higgins and the queen to the House of Commons and the House of Lords and a state banquet hosted by the queen at Windsor Castle.

President Higgins will also be guest of honour at a banquet hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf, and the City of London Corporation at the Guildhall.

Programme:

Monday 7 April

President Higgins and Mrs Higgins will be met at Heathrow airport by the Ambassador of Ireland, Mr Dan Mulhall and the Viscount Hood, Lord-in-Waiting to the queen.

Tuesday 8th April

President Higgins will be met by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Irish Embassy in London, after which they will depart together for Windsor.

Queen Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, will formally greet Mr Higgins and his wife at the Royal Dais, Datchet Road, Windsor after which they will travel together by horse-drawn carriage for a ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle.

In the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle, President Higgins, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will inspect a guard of honour. As part of the formal welcome, the guard of honour will give the royal salute, and the band will play the Irish and British national anthems.

Following a private lunch hosted by the queen at Windsor Castle, she will invite Mr Higgins and his wife to view Irish related items from the royal collection.

Afterwards they will depart for London and visit Westminster Abbey, where they will be received by Dr John Hall, the Dean of Westminster. Prior to commencing a tour of the Abbey, President Higgins will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

Later in the afternoon, Mr Higgins will visit the Palace of Westminster, where he will be met by Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow and Lord Speaker, the Baroness D’Souza.