• Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will visit Ireland in May in what will be the first ever state visit to the Republic of Ireland.
• Accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, this will be the first visit to Ireland by a reigning monarch in 100 years.
• The last royal visit to Ireland was by Her Majesty’s grandfather, King George V in 1911.
• This historical visit signifies the growing importance of the ties between Great Britain and Ireland.
1 THE ITINERARY:
Áras an Uachtaráin
Official residence of the President of Ireland since 1938. Built 1751 in the Phoenix Park by ranger and amateur architect Nathaniel Clements; bought for £25,000 in the 1780s as summer residence for the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the British monarch’s representative. Later known as the Vice regal Lodge, “out of season” residence of Lord Lieutenants from 1820s until 1922. The East wing was added in 1849 for the visit of Queen Victoria; the West wing was extended in 1911 for the visit of George V.
For more information visit: www.president.ie
Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, who gave a charter to a small group of Dublin citizens. In the first half of the 17th century, endowments, including considerable landed estates, allowed for fellowships and the acquisition of volumes starting the beginning of the great library (the collection includes the Book of Kells).
For more information visit: www.tcd.ie
Garden of Remembrance
At Parnell Square, Dublin, it is the site of the foundation of the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and overnight holding place of several 1916 rising leaders before their transfer to Kilmainham Gaol and execution. Opened in 1966 by President Eamon de Valera.
For more information visit: www.heritageireland.ie
National War Memorial Gardens
At Islandbridge, Dublin, is a memorial to the memory of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who gave their lives in the Great War,1914-1918.
For more information visit: www.heritageireland.ie
Headquarters of the Gaelic AthleticAssociation, the 82,300-capacity sports stadium is the largest on the island and home to the unique Irish sports of Gaelic football and hurling, the fastest ball game in the world. It was named in honour of the GAA’s first patron, Archbishop Thomas Croke.
For more information visit: www.crokepark.ie
T: 00 35318192300
Conceived as the Royal College of Science on Merrion Street, Dublin, it was the last major public building built under British rule. It was designed by Sir Aston Webb, the British architect wholater re-designed the facade of Buckingham Palace. The foundation stone was laid in 1904 by King Edward VII and the building was opened in 1911 by King George V. The only statue of an English royal stands outside Leinster House which houses the Oireachtas, the national parliament of Ireland. A statue of Prince Albert commemorates the Great Exhibition he held on Leinster Lawn.
For more information visit: www.oireachtas.ie
Note: all the images used here are available, copyright free, from the Discover Ireland Media Room www.discoverirelandmedia.com.
The Dublin city centre fortified seat of British rule until 1922; currently home to Revenue Commissioners, Office of Public Works, Garda Síochána (Irishpolice), Assay Office (hall marking of precious metals) and Chester Beatty Library. It was first built in 1204 by King John of England, following the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169.
For more information visit: www.dublincastle.ie
T: 00 35316458827
Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, and an exciting interactive celebration of Guinness stout. The brewery’s founder, Arthur Guinness brewed ales from 1759 at St James’s Gate.The historical building is central to Dublin’s and Ireland’s heritage, and mixes fascinating industrial tradition with a contemporary edge. The seven floors bring to life the rich heritage of Guinness, telling the story from its origins through to its growth as a global brand.The Gravity Bar on the top floor has a breath-taking panoramic 360° view of the city.
For more information visit: www.guinness-storehouse.com
T: 00 35314084800
Irish National Stud, Co. Kildare
Established in1946, the Irish National Stud combines an active role in the development and promotion of Irish bloodstock with its role as one of the country’s major tourist attractions.The area has been associated with horse breeding since about 1300.
For more information visit: www.irish-national-stud.ie
T: 00 353 45 521251
Rock of Cashel, Co.Tipperary
Aspectacular group of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale including the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral,15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral.
For more information visit: www.heritageireland.ie
T: 00 353 62 61437
The English Market - Cork City
A simply delicious spot, Cork’s English Market on Princes Street dates from 1788 when Cork Corporation provided a covered food market at the centre of the city, following the lead of English cities. A notable stopoff is the Farmgate Café, which specialises in serving fresh local produce.
For more information visit: www.corkenglishmarket.ie
The Tyndall National Institute – University College Cork
Tyndall was set up in 2004 by the department of enterprise, trade and employment and University College Cork. It seeks to bring together complementary activities in photonics, electronics and networking researchto create a research institute to support the ‘knowledge economy’. For more information visit: www.tyndall.ie/www.ucc.ie
T: 00 353 21 4904177
2 SOME PREVIOUS ROYAL VISITS:
1911: George V
• George V was the last ruling British monarch to visit Dublin. He and Queen Mary came in July 1911 and were very well received by both the public and the Castle administration.
• It was an almost unbearably hot July – temperatures reached over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and people were still encased
in “correct dress”!
• Despite Kingstown having been called after his ancestor, George IV, King George V never learned to spell it correctly and refers to it in his diary as “Kingston”. Kingston was later re-named Dun Laoghaire.
1903-1907: Edward VII
• Edward VII, familiar with Ireland already, notably with the Curragh and its social charms, visited Ireland as a King in 1903. He visited again in 1904 (accompanied by Queen Alexandra), and in 1907 (to open the Dublin Exhibition held in Herbert Park).
• Flags and symbols are often sensitive emblems in Ireland, so when Edward VII visited the ecclesiastical college of Maynooth in 1903 – then regarded as the centre of Catholic Ireland – rather than flying the Union Jack, which had strong political overtones even then, the authorities flew the King’s racing colours of purple, scarlet and gold.
• Alexandra College in Dublin, one of the best schools for girls in Ireland, was named after Queen Alexandra, Edward’s (somewhat long-suffering) Danish wife.
• Women in Ireland were keen to see Queen Alexandra, who was very pretty, even in her 60s; but also because she was the first royal lady known to wear make-up – until then, only “actresses” or “painted ladies” publicly did so.
1849-1900: Queen Victoria
• Queen Victoria visited Ireland four times, in 1849, 1853, 1861 and 1900.
• Her view of Ireland was generally positive, if at times patronising, and she dismissed Irish nationalism as ‘irrational’, believing that rebelliousness was not innate in Ireland.
• The myth of the ‘famine queen’, contributing only £5.00 to famine relief in the 1840’s was wrong, as she had contributed the then considerable sum of £2,500.00.
• On Victoria’s 1849 visit she and Prince Albert entered Ireland via Cobh (called Queenstown in her honour from 1849 till 1922) and subsequently sailed up the coast to land at Kingstown (now called Dun Laoghaire). The visit was deliberately low key, to avoid any celebratory presence in a famine situation. However, on Victoria’s 1853 visit she opened the International Exhibition held at Leinster Lawn and there was a lot of pomp on that occasion. She visited again in 1861.
• Queen Victoria stayed in Killarney visiting Killarney House, Ross Castle and Muckross House, all of which now form the Killarney National Park.
• Another point of interest is Ladies View, located 12 miles from Killarney Town where one can see the three Lakes of Killarney. Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting visited here during the Royal visit in 1861 and they were so enraptured with the view that it was named after them.
• The royal visits were an opportunity to show Britain’s position in the world, and a great number of people turned out for the pageantry.
1821: George IV
• George V was well disposed towards, and even ‘loved’ Ireland. He approved of Catholic emancipation and was on good terms with Catholics and with the leading campaigner for Catholic emancipation, Daniel O’Connell.
• In general, George had a very positive experience of Ireland and even refused to attend the funeral of his much unloved wife, Queen Caroline, when she died in England during his visit.
• King’s Bridge in Dublin (now renamed Heuston Bridge after the executed 1916 leader) was built in his honour by public subscription.
• The port by which he entered and departed Ireland was named Kingstown in memory of his visit and subsequently became Dun Laoghaire. His mistress, Lady Conyngham, had also been brought over to Ireland to join him.
3 OTHER ROYAL STORIES:
• Wartime conditions from 1914, and a rebellious situation in the country from 1916 onwards, precluded any further Irish visits until George V went to Belfast in June 1921 to open the new Northern Ireland parliament at City Hall.
• The ‘South’ remained in a conflict situation until the Anglo-Irish truce (July 1921) and subsequent treaty (December 1921) ended military hostilities until the civic war of 1922-23, but there was no further visit south of the Irish border. Individual royal heirs and others visited Ireland over the years, mainly for private reasons, but official invitations to a British monarch by the independent State awaited ‘a suitable occasion’.
• In 1937, in the run-up to the Coronation of King George VI, Eamon de Valera, then Taoiseach of the Irish Free State tried to get the Dominions Minister Malcolm MacDonald to remove the harp quarter from the Royal Standard, saying that the Irish people had not given their consent to the Irish emblem being included. MacDonald generally got on well with De Valera, but he said that this was a point of heraldry and not a political issue, and heraldry went back to the mists of feudal times. The harp symbol remains in the Royal Standard to this day.
• The first member of the British royal family to visit the Republic of Ireland was Princess Margaret, who was brought to Birr, Co Offaly, in 1965 by her husband, the Earl of Snowdon. Lord Snowdon is the half-brother of the Earl of Rosse, the present occupant of Birr Castle (which is famous for its astronomical telescope). Tony Snowdon – formerly Armstrong-Jones - spent many school holidays in Birr and first developed his interest in photography there.
AN IRISH PIRATE CHARMS AN ENGLISH QUEEN
• In 1593 Irish leader Grace O’Malley (‘Ireland’s pirate queen’) sailed to London for an historic meeting with Queen Elizabeth I of England. Grace undertook this meeting in order to ask for the release of her youngest son who had been captured by Elizabeth’s own governor Lord Bingham (and to protest against Bingham generally). Bingham and Grace were old foes. He had attacked Grace’s land, confiscated her substantial cattle and horse herds and established an English garrison in her castle of Rockfleet on the shores of Clew Bay. Following a series of questions from Lord Burghley, Grace was given an audience with Elizabeth. They had much in common. Both had usurped what was perceived to be a male role and by sheer determination, courage and example had prevailed. Each had a lifetime of experience, were used to power and having their orders obeyed.
Grace outlined her list of grievances, then the Queen ordered the release of Grace’s son and restored him to his lands. She also gave her royal assent that Grace could continue her career, which she euphemistically described as ‘maintenance by land and sea’ without due let or hindrance.
• Mary Kenny, journalist, writer and author of Crown & Shamrock (Dublin 2009)
• Dr Christopher Prior, School of History and Archives, University College, Dublin
• E.E. O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin – fair city (Dublin 1987)
• Joseph Robbins, Champagne and silver buckles: the viceregal court at Dublin Castle 1700 – 1922 (Dublin, 2001)
• Anne Chambers, author of Granuaile – Grace O’Malley, Ireland’s Pirate Queen (Dublin 2009)
4 ROYAL BELFAST
• As part of the UK, the royal family has visited Northern Ireland many times, including the most recent visit b y The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in October 2010.
Queen’s University of Belfast
Founded in 1845, The Queen’s College, Belfast was opened by Queen Victoria in 1849 during the course of an 11 day visit to Ireland. Along with Queen’s College Galway and Queen’s College Cork, all three colleges made up the Queen’s University in Ireland. Designed and built by Charles Lanyon, the building is famous for its Gothic rival facade and Great Hall. Its central tower is based on Magdalen College, Oxford
T: 028 902405133
Albert Memorial Clock
Constructed between 1865 and 1869, the Albert Memorial Clock stands 113 feet tall and is a mixture of French and Italian gothic styles. The tower was originally built on wooden piles in marshy land which give the clock a distinctive lean. Recent restoration work has ensured the stability of the tower and the surrounding areas of Queen’s Square and Custom’s House Square now offer attractive, modern public spaces.
Belfast City Hall
Completed in 1906, Belfast City Hall was the location for the grand opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament in 1921 by King George V and Queen Mary. Grounds contain many civic statues including one of Queen Victoria.
T: 028 9032 0202
Hillsborough Castle, Co. Down
Hillsborough Castle is the official residence of HM Queen Elizabeth II in Northern Ireland. Built in the 18th century for the Hill family, the Georgian mansion was bought by the British Government in 1922. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip resided in the castle during their Golden Jubilee tour of the United Kingdom in 2002.
T: 028 9268 1309
5 WHY IRELAND FOR BRITISH HOLIDAYMAKERS IN 2011?
There has never been a better time to visit and follow in the royal footsteps.
The Queen is not the only head of state to visit this year, prompting Irish people to quip ‘You wait years for a state visit and then three come along at once!’ Prince Albert of Monaco recently visited Ireland and President Obama is also due to visit in May where he will be visiting his ancestral home of Moneygall, Co.Offaly.
• Prices have come down, and there is great value accommodation, dining and entertainment to be had. A recent survey looking at hotel prices across 44 countries has ranked Ireland as one of the most affordable tourist destinations (Based on a survey of 44 countries by Hotels.com – March 2011). Dublin has also just been voted the seventh cheapest city in Europe in a study by the Post Office (Based on a survey of 17 European cities plus New York and Boston by the Post Office – April 2011).
• It’s really easy to get to with over 70 routes by air and 14 by sea from Great Britain.
• Great Britain is the most important tourism market to the island of Ireland accounting for more than 50% of all overseas visitors.
• Dublin has recently been awarded UNESCO City of Literature status, joining just three other cities in the world.
7 IMAGERY AVAILABLE:
• Rights free images are available from the Tourism Ireland photo library, accessible via the Media Room
• The homepage has a special Royal Visit lightbox with a selection of photography from the itinerary.
Archive imagery of King George V’s visit is available via Press Association Images.
T: 0115 8447 447
B-roll is available containing footage of the areas and sites on the Queen’s itinerary plus three short interviews (answers only) with Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, on the significance of the State visit to Irish Tourism; Mary Kenny, author of ‘Crown & Shamrock’ , journalist and public speaker; Anne Chambers, author of Grainuaile – Grace O’Malley ‘the Pirate Queen’. This is available to television stations, radio stations and onlines free of charge and free of copyright. This footage can be downloaded from http://www.discoverirelandmedia.com/index.php?p=r&mr=1&i=5
8 MEDIA CONTACTS:
For more information or help with images, please contact the Tourism Ireland team at Consolidated PR:
T: 020 7781 2300
M: 07810 121 435 / 07795 081 314
There are many more royal stories on www.discoverirelandmedia.com.
For general enquiries on Ireland visit – www.discoverireland.com.