Prince Harry insists football is ‘coming home’ during Áras visit

Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Sussex on second day of Ireland visit

Conor Pope joins Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Dublin on their first trip abroad as a married couple. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

Britain’s Prince Harry has said football is “most definitely” coming home as he and his wife Meghan Markle met President Michael D Higgins.

As England geared up for its biggest night of football in decades against Croatia, Prince Harry, who is visiting Dublin with his wife, was asked by a reporter if “football was coming home”.

As Harry and Meghan posed for a picture with President Higgins and his wife Sabina, the Duke of Sussex replied, laughing, “most definitely”.

Harry and Meghan leaving Áras an Úachtaráin after meeting President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Harry and Meghan leaving Áras an Úachtaráin after meeting President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Britain’s Duchess of Sussex meets President Michael Higgins and his wife Sabina. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/ Pool/Getty
Britain’s Duchess of Sussex meets President Michael Higgins and his wife Sabina. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/ Pool/Getty

His tone was more positive than at a garden party at the British ambassador’s residence in Dublin on Tuesday night when he told Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll he was not as confident as everyone else and wanted to avoid jinxing the result.

The duke and duchess met the President and his wife at the his official residence Áras an Úachtaráin in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

They rang a Peace Bell erected in the garden of the grand 18th century house in 2008 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement and toured the grounds with the presidential couple and their two Bernese mountain dogs, Brod and Sioda.

It was their first engagement on the second and final day of their pre-Brexit charm offensive in Ireland, which comes less than a month after Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Ireland.

Harry and Meghan, who was wearing a Roland Mouret dress, were greeted on the portico of the north entrance to the Áras by Art O’Leary, secretary general of the Office of the President.

Mr O’Leary escorted the visitors to the State Reception Room, via the Francini Corridor, which contains busts of Ireland’s past presidents, mounted on marble columns. - PA