KING Charles is set to visit Ireland this summer on what is expected to be the monarch’s first official state visit after his coronation.
Officials and security services on both sides of the border are reported to be readying themselves for the royal visit, which is scheduled a matter of weeks after King Charles III’s coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on May 6.
The planned visit comes as preparations are already underway for a likely visit of US President Joe Biden to mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
A decision on the president’s visit is expected to made in the coming days.
According to reports in the Irish Mail on Sunday, senior Dublin government sources said the coalition hoped for a year of reconciliation similar to 2011, when the late Queen Elizabeth and former US President Barack Obama both made trips to Ireland.
A senior security source who was involved in the arrangements for the visits of Queen Elizabeth and several former US presidents, told the paper that the “usual protocols for preparing security” have begun.
“We have been informed quietly by government officials that we should start making the personnel and logistical preparations for a state visit by the British monarch this summer,” the source said.
“It is actually helpful for us that the US president is already visiting in spring as it will create something of a template for us. Already there has been some speculation within the force about Co Louth being on the schedule of both Biden and Charles.
“Louth is foremost in President Biden’s plans as he has forebears from there and that border county is also one of those 11 [counties] that King Charles has not yet visited. Having been on the frontline, so to speak, of the Troubles, the county has deep significance.”
The paper cited political sources in Dublin, London and Belfast saying they were hopeful a visit by the newly crowned British monarch to the north would reassure unionists that the region’s ties to the UK remain strong.
According to one minister, such a visit would be seen by the Dublin and London governments as being “part of the continuing choreography to get the Northern Ireland Assembly up and running again”.
Source: Irish News