Main | Thursday, July 01, 2010

Queen Elizabeth To Become First British Monarch To Visit Ireland In 90 Years

Queen Elizabeth II will visit Ireland next year, making her the first British monarch to step foot on the island since it became independent in 1921.
Confirmation that the event, long discussed between London and Dublin, will take place next year has come from Ireland’s prime minister, Brian Cowen. It is time for “normal courtesies” to be observed between friendly states, explained Cowen, after discussions with his British counterpart David Cameron in London on June 23. Queen Elizabeth’s visit will mark a normalization of relations between the two countries after a century of strife and discord. The last British monarch to come to this part of the Emerald Isle was King George V, who arrived as part of his coronation celebrations in 1911. A decade later the War of Independence forced the departure of British Crown forces. The bitterness of that conflict, plus the forced partition of the island, Ireland’s neutrality during World War II and the use of the British army in the Troubles in Northern Ireland, strained relations for most of the 20th century.
Sinn Fein plans to protest the visit over Britain's continued "occupation" of Northern Ireland.

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