The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Ireland today and spent their first day meeting people in County Waterford.
Their Royal Highnesses enjoyed blue skies and bright sunshine as they were greeted at the start of their visit with a Viking re-enactment – a nod to the past of Ireland’s oldest city.
While Waterford’s official foundation as a permanent settlement dates back to 914 AD, historians say there are a number of references to Viking encampments as early as 860 AD.
They were given a tour of the city’s medieval museum, met members of the local community on a walkabout, as well as first responders who have helped throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
During a speech at Waterford City Council buildings, The Prince of Wales said:
It is in places such as Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, where we are reminded so vividly of our ancient connections, and how they have evolved over time toward a modern friendship. From a Viking town, to a city with a royal charter, to the place where the first Irish tricolour was flown, to the home of a new university and acclaimed as the best place to live in Ireland, Waterford is a city of promise and hope for the future.
The Prince also met members of the local Ukrainian community, something he said was “most moving” as he heard about Ireland’s efforts to support them.
His Royal Highness then visited local social enterprise Grow It Yourself (GIY), where he got stuck in by helping some schoolchildren with a potato-sowing demonstration.
The Prince was accompanied on the visit by Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, and toured the site’s cafe as well as meeting community groups in the vegetable patch and frontline staff from the neighbouring hospital.
The Duchess of Cornwall meanwhile visited Henry de Bromhead Stables to see Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle winner Honeysuckle and Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle-winning jockey Rachael Blackmore.
Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the stables, spoke with staff and observed a lesson.
Their Royal Highnesses also toured Waterford Crystal together, which was first established in 1783.
On Friday, Their Royal Highnesses continued their visit to Ireland in County Tipperary and began the day by meeting food producers and community groups at Cahir Farmers’ Market.
Representatives of the Tipperary Food Producers’ Network spoke to Their Royal Highnesses - the network was launched in 2008 to bring together a cohort of producers with the aim of highlighting Tipperary products, and their economic and employment potential.
Next, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Rock of Cashel, one of Tipperary’s and Ireland’s most iconic historic sites. At Cormac’s Chapel, The Prince heard about the conservation work that has taken place.
At Brú Ború Cultural Centre, Their Royal Highnesses attended a celebration of Irish Art and Culture and learnt of the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music.