April 08, 2014
Historic Visit: Queen Welcomes Irish President
Irish President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina have met the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle.
The two heads of state have already met informally but President Higgins’ official welcome includes all the traditional pomp and circumstance.
He took part in a ceremonial carriage procession through the streets of Windsor which were decked out in Union flags and Irish tricolours.
After the guests were honoured with two separate gun salutes, the Queen and president entered the castle in the Australian State Coach, before Mr Higgins and Prince Philip inspected troops.
Major Andrew Seddon, captain of the Queen’s Company Grenadier Guards, invited Mr Higgins to inspect the guard of honour, speaking to him in Irish.
The Irish Guards was represented by the regimental band as the troops are currently on peacekeeping duties in Cyprus.
Mr Higgins presented a new ceremonial red coat to its regimental mascot, an Irish wolfhound called Domhnall of Shantamon.
Later today he is due to address members of both Houses of Parliament and attend a state banquet.
The guest list includes the British and Irish Prime Ministers and the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland.