Duke and Duchess of Cambridge lay wreath at Garden of Remembrance

‘May we never forget the lessons of history as we forge a brighter future,’ inscription reads

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge invoked the historic and sometime painful relationship between Ireland and Britain on Tuesday when they laid a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.

The inscription on the wreath read: “May we never forget the lessons of history as we continue to forge a brighter future together.”

The inscription echoed sentiments from Queen Elizabeth II on her state visit to Ireland in 2011 when she spoke at Dublin Castle saying both countries should be "able to bow to the past, but not be bound by it".

It was also in keeping with the stated purpose of the couple’s visit in which they hoped to “build on the theme of remembrance and reconciliation” following on from Queen Elizabeth II.

They anticipate that their first visit to Ireland will be one of many especially as the Duke is expected to be become king some day.

The wreath bearers were corporals Anthony Reid and Ciaran McCormick. The Duke and Duchess paused for a minute's silence at the foot of the Children of Lír sculpture which dominates the garden.

The Garden of Remembrance remembers those who fought for Irish freedom and against the British crown in Ireland.

The Duke of Cambridge, who is second-in-line to the throne, previously paid tribute to the Irishmen who served in British uniform when he attended the commemorations in Belgium to remember the Battle of Messines Ridge in 1917. There he visited the grave of nationalist Major Willie Redmond MP who was rescued from the battlefield by a loyalist stretch bearer Private John Meekes. Redmond later died of his wounds.

The Duke and Duchess were warmly greeted by crowds who gathered outside the garden in Parnell Square. They stopped to acknowledge the crowd before entering the garden.

Some had come directly to see the couple; others were just passers-by. The 15-minute ceremony began with the playing of the UK national anthem followed by the wreath-laying service.

A minute’s silence was observed followed by the pipers’ lament and the Last Post. The ceremony concluded with the raising of the tricolour, reveille and the national anthem.

The honour guard was provided by the Cadet School at the military college and the Army No1 band, conducted by Captain John Carpenter, provided the music.

Spectators were able to choose the best vantage points as the timing of the event was not publicised in advance and the crowds were not huge.

Hilary Graham from Monaghan did make the trip in anticipation that they would be there.

"It was a very dignified service. I think they will make a perfect future king and queen of England, " she said.

Helena Duffy said: "I really wanted to see them. Luckily I got out of work. They are just lovely people. They are very involved in the community. We should make them feel as welcome as possible."

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times