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The Queen

The Queen’s visit to Cork commemorated

Queen Elizabeth II
Stephen Lock/ i-Images

In 2011, The Queen and Prince Philip completed a historic state visit to the Republic of Ireland. It was the first visit of a reigning monarch to the Republic of Ireland, as the last visit was in 1911 by her grandfather, King George V, before Ireland fought for independence. While in Ireland, their last stop was in Cork, where they visited the popular English Market. In honour of the visit, the English Market and Cork City Council have commissioned a photographic exhibition. 

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The Queen and Prince Philip visited the market on 20 May 2011, and while they were there, she unveiled a plaque that commemorated her visit. She spoke with several different traders at the market and was shown many samples of what can be found at the market. The Lord Mayor of Cork and the Lord Mayoress of Cork also presented her with a specially commissioned silver brooch to mark the occasion. The couple were also given a hamper full of Irish-made, artisanal food to celebrate the English Market. 

As reported in Echo Live, the Market and City Council have commissioned a curated photographic exhibition with several archival photos from the visit to remember the historic visit 10 years on. The Lord Mayor of Cork, the Lord Mayoress of Cork, and several traders opened the exhibition on 20 May 2021. It can be found at the Grand Parade entrance to the English Market. 

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Because many people will not be able to visit the English Market in Cork due to travel restrictions, the Cork City Council has also commissioned a commemorative video. It features An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, Simon Coveney, TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Paul Johnston, British Ambassador to Ireland, and more, sharing their memories of the historic 2011 visit. It can be viewed here.

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com