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It’s been 100 years since a British royal set foot upon the Republic of Ireland — in 1911 King George V spent 6 days in Dublin — but the Queen of England is taking that leap because the longstanding bad blood between the two countries has started to seem a bit silly, and what were they fighting about anyway, really? All that land-grabbing seems to be water under the bridge thanks in part to the 1998 Good Friday peace accord, which put some measure of self-government back in the hands of Northern Ireland. So, Queen Elizabeth II will be making her first state visit to Ireland later this year. The Duke of Edinburgh will join, because he always lightens the mood.
Via the Wall Street Journal,
British Ambassador Julian King said the invitation “symbolizes how far the relationship has come in recent years; the strength of our economic and political ties; and the progress that has been made in Northern Ireland.”
“The visit will provide an excellent opportunity to celebrate this, and build on the rich and varied links that exist across these islands,” he said Friday.
What have we learned in the meantime? England, don’t try to “own” Ireland. Ireland, ply England with Guinness if she gets pushy. And, everyone: When investing in friendship bracelets, think quality over quantity. Good luck!