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National Archives files shed light on the Royals and Northern Ireland

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A 1993 report from the Irish ambassador, held in the National Archives, describes how the late princess told the Irish ambassador that she had visited his country – that she had visited It was in Northern Ireland.

The exchange was noted ahead of the historic visit of then Irish President Mary Robinson to Buckingham Palace in May of the same year, making it the first time a sitting Irish president visited the UK and visited Queen Elizabeth II. .

A folder containing briefing materials to the President of Ireland ahead of the visit includes a memo by the Irish Ambassador in London, Joseph Small, stating that the Princess Royal visited Ireland in a private capacity for an equestrian event. said.

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A press note dated May 21, 1993 states: “Whenever I meet Prince Charles, he always says he would like to visit Ireland.”

“Of course he visits Northern Ireland regularly (sic). Princess Diana has also come.

“Early last year, she said to me, ‘I was in your country yesterday!’ in apparent disregard or disregard for constitutional niceties.”

Mr Robinson’s visit to London is scheduled from 26th to 28th May, where he will receive a Doctor of Civil Law degree from the Oxford University Diploma, become an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford, and receive the Irish Post Award. was scheduled to be awarded. Irish people in England.

At 5 p.m. on the second day of her trip, she was to pay a “courtesy call” to Queen Elizabeth II in response to the monarch’s invitation.

Potential topics for discussion between Mr Robinson and the Queen include Northern Ireland, bombing atrocities in the region and the UK, cross-border issues and general relations between Ireland and the UK. Ta.

Meanwhile, Irish President Patrick Hillary’s decision (below) to decline an invitation to Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding has raised concerns among Irish government officials.

National:

Invitations were sent to Mr and Mrs Hilary for the wedding to be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on 29 July 1981, and they were asked to respond by 26 June 1981.

Among the national documents released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the National Archives this year is a document explaining how to respond to invitations.

He questioned whether a reply should be sent after the Irish general election or whether it would be “rude”, but also pointed out that it could also be “rude” to send a reply immediately after an invitation.

The memo also said that since this is a “negative” response that could be “misconstrued both domestically and internationally” if a good reason is not provided, it “offers a diplomatic excuse.” I think it would be desirable to do so.”

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“The press will definitely ask you the reason for your absence.”

The document also weighs the pros and cons of attending weddings, noting that invitations to “such” events from “friendly” countries should be accepted, but if He added that if Ireland’s president attended, it would invite “adverse” comments. I attended.

The wedding invitation was issued a month after IRA prisoner Bobby Sands died after a 66-day hunger strike as part of a campaign to have him treated as a political prisoner.

“Given the current state of relations between the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the very general dissatisfaction in both North and South with the British government’s policies, particularly regarding the prison situation in Northern Ireland, it would be extremely difficult for the President to: “Attending a royal wedding is certain to result in adverse comments,” the document said.

It added that the Irish president’s refusal to attend would not “undermine political dialogue with London”, provided there were “appropriate diplomatic excuses”.

On June 26, 1981, the last day for attendance, the Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom expressed his gratitude to the President of Ireland for the invitation to the wedding, but said, “I regret that I will not be able to attend due to prior commitments.” ‘. .

“They have directed that their ambassador represent them on this occasion,” it added.





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