Charles and Camilla arrive for private visit to Republic

Prince meets Higgins in Co Wicklow during trip aimed at boosting Anglo-Irish relations

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are visiting Co Wicklow on Monday in a trip aimed at further strengthening Anglo-Irish relations.

They met President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at the Glencree Centre for Reconciliation.

The two-day visit is the fifth annual trip to Ireland by the couple since 2015.

Prince Charles unveiled a specially commissioned engraving of a poem, written by the late founding member of Glencree Una O’Higgins O’Malley, etched in Wicklow Granite. The poem written to honour the prince’s 2002 visit was read to a gathering of civic leaders at the centre.


The prince and his wife Camilla also visited Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, where he planted a Giant Redwood tree, which should live to be 1,100 years old. It is the first in a new line of Redwoods at Powerscourt since the Duke of Wellington gifted 100 trees to Lord Powerscourt for helping secure victory at the battle of Waterloo in 1815.


Staff at Powerscourt recalled a potentially unfortunate anecdote involving the prince’s ancestor King George IV who visited the estate in 1821. The king missed going to view the famous Powerscourt waterfall, which was just as well as the viewing platform was washed away by a planned spectacular torrent of water, which would have almost certainly killed him.

Perhaps not surprisingly the prince and the duchess also avoided the waterfall, visiting instead the estate’s climate change attraction, Planet Cool. They watched a children’s workshop and met local schoolchildren who were learning about climate change. Electrifi, an Irish car manufacturing company based at Powerscourt House which specialises in electrifying high-end cars, showcased an electrified 1983 Range Rover for the prince.

The duchess also travelled to Bray to visit a women’s refuge to learn about the services offered to women and children in crisis.

A statement from British royal residence Clarence House said: "Their Royal Highnesses' visit is made at the request of the British government and will celebrate the links between the two nations and their people.

“Themes of their Royal Highnesses’ programme will include a focus on environmental sustainability and community involvement, as well as highlighting Irish culture and the country’s natural beauty.”

The couple visited Ireland last June for four days.

They went to a number of locations across Co Cork and Co Kerry, including Derrynane House and the English Market. – Additional reporting: PA

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist