Monegasque State Visit to Ireland
This week in Dublin, the red carpet was rolled out and the guard of honour stood at Present Arms, or marched at Right Shoulder Arms, for the three-day visit of His Serene Highness the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, Albert II. The Prince was accompanied by his bride-to-be, South African Charlene Wittstock.
The couple were greeted by President Mary and Mr. McAleese and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Gerry Breen. Some pains were made in the local press coverage to reiterate Miss Wittstock’s relinquishment of her native Protestantism and her rebirth as a Catholic, as if the local population had to be assured that the princely descendent of the Kellys of County Mayo was not marrying a heretic! Much fanfare and excitement was showered on the couple where ever they went. School children serenaded them and waved Monegasque flags. 21 shots were fired from the cannons at the McKee Barracks. The Prince planted a tree to mark his visit exactly 50 years after his parents’ visit to the region, and he and Charlene toured the National Museum of Dublin. He unveilled, via podcast, a new scholarship at Trinity College for Monegasque students.
The President and Mr. McAleese were the couple’s hosts at a State Dinner at the official presidential residence in Aras an Uachtarain. The Prince, ever keen to highlight environmental issues, met the Irish Minister for the Environment, Community, and Local Government, Phil Hogan, to view the IBM presentation of “Smarter Cities.”
Tuesday, which was Day 2 of the visit, ended with a formal reception at Farmleigh House to inaugurate the exhibition there honoring Princess Grace. The last day, Wednesday, began with a morning visit to the Marine Institute in Oranmore. Finally, the princely couple paid a private visit to the old Kelly homestead in Newport, County Mayo.Filed under Monaco
Tagged Albert II of Monaco, Children, Environment, Exhibition, Ireland, President McAleese of Ireland, Princess Charlène of Monaco, Religion, State Visit.