Visit grips imagination of world press


History cannot be made without making headlines, so it’s hardly surprising the Queen’s arrival in Ireland has dominated today’s national and international news.

From the 85-year-old English monarch’s first few steps to her choice of outfit, the world’s media appear to have found significance in each trivial detail of the royal visit.

For many papers, the morning headlines focused on Queen Elizabeth’s first official step into the Republic.

“One small step…and a giant stride into history,” said the Daily Telegraph.

"One's small step for ma'am," said the headline in the Sun.

“One small step for a monarch,” read the London Independent.

Other reports focused on the symbolism of the day, paying particular attention to the colour of the Queen’s outfit.

“There was the Queen in green. There was yellow for the fluorescent jackets of the police lining the streets and black, the colour of the balloons released by some protesters,” said the London Times. "Reconciliation, security and protest the three big themes of the visit in three big brush strokes - a new Irish tricolour for the week."

“The Emerald Queen,” wrote the Daily Mirror.

“Royal charm offensive has Irish smiling eyes,” said a headline in Der Spiegel.

Columnists and commentators from across the world described the event as it unfolded in front of them.

News Letter columnist Alex Kane called it the "Casablanca moment” and “the beginning of a beautiful friendship".

“The warm welcome accorded to the head of state is both a symbol of reconciliation that has since taken place, and a step that will strengthen Anglo-Irish ties," the Financial Times said.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt described the event as "the once unimaginable becoming the norm".

The Queen’s arrival even caused BBC political correspondent Mark Davenport to become lost for words. “‘Hugely symbolic’. Probably the two most over used words to describe the Queen's visit to the Irish Republic. I confess I myself have used the 's' word, and am struggling to find an alternative.”

Other newspapers commend the “ring of steel” surrounding the city.

In the Belfast Telegraph, commentator Liam Clarke turned his attention to the protesters. He said they are "in denial and can't accept that the conflict is over, despite the evidence of their eyes".

The international press seems to have left no area uncovered.

The Guardian even enlisted the expertise of author and body language expert Peter Collett, to dissect each move. He noted that when President McAleese greeted the Queen "there was no bending of the knee or dipping of the head, nothing that might suggest an unequal relationship between the two countries".

This theme was echoed by a New York Times commentator who noted the monarch laid a wreath "and, unusually, bowed her head" at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.