It wasn’t too long ago that Queen Elizabeth II became the first monarch to visit Ireland in over 100 years. In 2011, the Queen embarked on a four-day trip to the Republic of Ireland, and today this display of peace marks its seventh anniversary.
At the invitation of the Irish President Mary Mcleese, The Queen arrived in Ireland on May 17th, 2011, which celebrated how far relations between these two countries had come. King George V toured Ireland in 1911 when the country was still apart of the United Kingdom, making him the last monarch to undertake a visit to this nation. Since then, the 1916 Easter rising, Irish Civil War, War for Independence and both World War’s, showed to the world how relations between these two country’s had deteriorated.
There were many that protested against the official state visit, which demonstrated the generations that had experienced unrest. For most, the arrival of the British monarch was a sign of change and was heralded as a success. The Irish lined the streets to welcome her.
During her four-day visit, Her Majesty laid a wreath at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance, a gesture that marked the honour of those who had lost their lives for Ireland’s freedom. While in Ireland, The Queen gave a speech, even using a few Irish words before expressing “her sincere thoughts and deep sympathy” for the tragedies and violence between the two nations.
Then Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I think this visit will set the seal on what is already a very strong relationship between our two countries, but a relationship I believe that can get even stronger still.”
Her Majesty was met with a standing ovation during a reception as she met with Irish celebrities. The overwhelming support of her visit was clear during her engagements at the English Market in Cork City, the Rock of Cashel and the viewing of Riverdance. This official state visit bridged the gap between these two country’s and was a great achievement for Queen Elizabeth II.