Charles and Camilla Head to Northern Ireland

  May 21, 2015 at 6:21 pm by

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have begun their visit to Northern Ireland, arriving in the country this morning.

The couple attended a service at St Patrick’s Church in Belfast, which has been the scene of a number of local disputes regarding band parades in recent years. They were greeted by Father Michael Sheehan, and also met with the Irish First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, a former member of the IRA. Charles and Camilla were given a quick tour of the church and were shown the Church’s Madonna of the Lakes artwork.

Prince Charles then went on to the East Belfast Network Centre, which received a grant from The Prince’s Regeneration Trust to help with its refurbishment. “I am thrilled that I have had a chance to see this building restored back to life and being used in such an incredible, valuable and worthwhile way,” the Prince said during his visit. The centre provides a number of community organisations with space to bring the community together, including childcare, bereavement counselling, and art therapy.

Meanwhile, the Duchess – as patron of The Big Lunch – was present at a reception for supporters of the initiative at the Skainos Centre, where she helped prepare food and cupcakes. Her cupcake icing skills were a little questionable however, the Duchess commenting that “the real culinary skills lay with her son.” She also visited the Ballyhackamore Credit Union.

In the evening, Charles and Camilla attended a reception at Hillsborough Castle where the entertainment was a concert performance by Northern Ireland dancers. The Prince and the Duchess, looking lovely in a navy blue lace cocktail dress paired with a pearl chocker, happily chatted to the performers who were all dressed in traditional costume.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall pose with performers during a reception at Hillsborough Castle, May 21.

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