The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will visit Northern Ireland and Ireland from 23rd-25th May. The Prince of Wales will arrive in Belfast on Monday 23rd; The Duchess will join His Royal Highness in Northern Ireland on Tuesday 24th; then Their Royal Highnesses will undertake a joint official visit to Ireland on Wednesday 25th. The visit to Ireland is at the request of the British Government and follows a visit Their Royal Highnesses made to the country this time last year.
The visits will recognize the warm friendship that exists between both countries, promoting understanding of their respective heritage and celebrating the best that each has to offer.
In Northern Ireland, Their Royal Highnesses will host a musical evening at Hillsborough Castle. The eclectic programme for the night will include the DIT Harp Ensemble from the Dublin Conservatory of Music & Drama, The Belfast Opera, The 'Folk & Trad' group of The Royal Irish Regiment and a performance by comedian Tim McGarry. The evening will be compared by Radio 3 presenter Sean Rafferty. The Prince of Wales will visit The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen's University Belfast. The Institute is home to the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), which carries out pioneering work on cyber security. Earlier this year, The Prince awarded CSIT a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further education, and His Royal Highness was keen to learn more about the centre's work.
Their Royal Highnesses will also visit a number of successful local businesses, some of which work in the food and drink sector, as 2016 is the Northern Irish Year of Food and Drink. Food and drink is Northern Ireland's single biggest industry. On May 11th, The Prince of Wales attended an event at Fortnum and Mason in London to promote Northern Ireland food produce, as part of his work in supporting the food and drink sector, which is Northern Ireland's single biggest industry.
The Prince and Duchess's second official visit to Ireland follows 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. In Donegal Town, Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the area's heritage by visiting Magee's – a local company which has been producing tweed in Donegal for 150 years. At the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, The Prince will meet local entrepreneurs and learn more about the institute's cross border programmes; meanwhile Her Royal Highness will visit a local school. Finally, at Glenveagh Castle, Their Royal Highnesses will tour the gardens and meet children who have been learning about some of the conservation work which takes place in the National Park.
Notes for Editors
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited County Galway, County Clare and County Sligo in Ireland in May 2015. In April 2014, Their Royal Highnesses welcomed Irish President, Michael D. Higgins and his wife Mrs. Sabina Higgins, to the U.K. 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 three times before, in May/June 1995, February 2002 and Their Royal Highnesses visited together in May 2015.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall most recently visited Northern Ireland together on official visits in May 2015 and April 2014.