At the request of the British Government, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will undertake their first official joint visit to Ireland, from 19th21st May 2015. Their Royal Highnesses will then make a two-day visit to Northern Ireland from 21st - 22nd May.
Both visits will recognize the warm friendship and close cooperation that exists between the UK and Ireland, with Peace and Reconciliation being one of the main themes of Their Royal Highnesses' programme; alongside heritage, community, conservation and innovation. Following the State Visits of Her Majesty The Queen to Ireland in May 2011 and of The President of Ireland to the UK in April 2014, Their Royal Highnesses will continue to promote the UK's relationship with Ireland through a broad range of engagements featuring representatives from government, local authorities, charity, business, education, faith, community organizations, environmental groups and the arts.
In Ireland, Their Royal Highnesses will begin the visit by attending a reception at the National University of Ireland Galway, where they will meet local people from all walks of life and celebrate Irish crafts, dancing and music, as well as Galway’s and the University’s links to the UK. The Prince of Wales will then highlight environment and conservation projects through two engagements. The first is a visit to the Marine Institute, Ireland's national agency responsible for marine research, technology, development and innovation. The second is a visit to the Burren in County Clare, which has been farmed for near to 6,000 years and is famous for its wild and rocky terrain, rare plant life, biodiversity and archaeology. The Duchess of Cornwall will also undertake a series of solo engagements before Their Royal Highnesses jointly attend a private dinner with President Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Mrs Sabina Higgins.
On day two, The Prince and The Duchess will be welcomed to Sligo at a civic reception featuring performances of poetry and music. Their Royal Highnesses will then attend a service of Peace and Reconciliation at St Columba's Church, in Drumcliffe. Here they will also see the final resting place of the Irish Nobel Prize winning poet, William Butler Yeats, in the year which marks the 150th anniversary of his birth. Their Royal Highnesses will also visit nearby Mullaghmore to meet members of the local community. Later in the day, Their Royal Highnesses will attend Sligo Races, which draws the Ireland programme to a close.
On May 21st, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will arrive in Northern Ireland and carry out a number of engagements in Belfast. This will include a reception and concert featuring performers from Northern Ireland at Hillsborough Castle. The following day, The Prince of Wales, President of the National Trust, and The Duchess of Cornwall, will visit Mount Stewart house and gardens. Their Royal Highnesses' visit will mark the completion of a three-year restoration programme supported by local volunteers. They will also visit Corrymeela, Northern Ireland's oldest Peace and Reconciliation centre, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The Prince visited Corrymeela during an official visit to Northern Ireland in 1998.
Notes for Editors
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall welcomed Irish President, Michael D. Higgins and his wife Mrs. Sabina Higgins, to the U.K. in April 2014 as part of the Irish State Visit.
Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh made a State Visit to Ireland from 17th-20th May 2011, at the invitation of the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.
The Prince has officially visited Ireland twice before, in May/June 1995 and February 2002. Both Their Royal Highnesses have visited Ireland privately.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall most recently visited Northern Ireland together on official visits in April 2014 and in June 2013.
Click on the following link to read a speech given by The Prince of Wales at the Irish Embassy in London, on the 9th November 2010: http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/media/speeches/speech-hrh-the-prince-of-wales-during-the-visit-the-irish-embassy