Royal visit: William and Kate to meet Higgins during Ireland trip

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will also meet Varadkar and travel to four counties

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who are ‘looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people’ during their first official visit to Ireland, Kensington Palace has said. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who are ‘looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people’ during their first official visit to Ireland, Kensington Palace has said. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are “looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people” during their first official visit to Ireland, Kensington Palace has said.

During the three-day visit the couple will meet President Michael D Higgins, political leaders and spend time in Dublin, and counties Meath, Kildare and Galway.

The visit, from March 3rd-5th, will highlight the strong links between the UK and Ireland, and the couple’s programme will take in Ireland’s rich culture, community initiatives and spectacular scenery, said the palace in a statement.

The statement added: “Following Her Majesty the Queen’s historic visit in 2011, the visit will also focus on the relationship between the two countries, and build on the theme of remembrance and reconciliation.”

It also said: “The UK’s links with Ireland are extensive, and the duke and duchess are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people.”

William and Kate are also due to meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The Cambridges’ trip, which unusually was announced in advance, is likely to be seen as a diplomacy visit in the wake of Brexit.

The queen’s visit to the Republic was made amid unprecedented security, and she became the first British monarch to make the trip in 100 years.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have made five visits to Ireland over the past five years.

The statement said: “During the three-day tour, the duke and duchess will learn about local organisations working to support and empower young people and projects which provide opportunities to help them develop important life skills.

“Their Royal Highnesses will also hear more about Ireland’s conservation initiatives and efforts to protect its environment, with a particular focus on sustainable farming and marine conservation.

“2020 will see Galway host the European Capital of Culture on behalf of Ireland, a showcase of events highlighting the richness and diversity of Irish culture, art and sport.

“During their time in Galway, the duke and duchess will have the opportunity to experience a taste of modern and traditional Irish culture for themselves.”–PA