State visit to Britain - A welcome closeness

It will come as no surprise to the stall-holders of Cork’s English Market that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth enjoys the company of decent, ordinary people.

Following her relaxed welcome for 300 members of the emigrant community, she is genuinely looking forward to hosting President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina as her intimate guests at home in Windsor Castle.

Seldom has the reaction of the British media been so enthusiastic.

The public will be treated to a spectacle of pomp and ceremony when the Queen and President parade the streets of London in a carriage before attending a state banquet.

A night of craic agus ceoil will put a made-in-Ireland stamp on next month’s four-day state visit. It is a welcome measure of the new closeness of Anglo-Irish relations at the highest level.

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