Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle begin a two-day trip to Ireland – their first official overseas visit as a married couple.
Harry and Meghan will visit Dublin at the request of the Government, the latest in a series of foreign trips the royal family have made to EU member states in the wake of Brexit.
The so called “soft diplomacy” the monarchy employs is used to renew and strengthen relationships with countries even as Britain breaks away from the EU.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will formally welcome the couple later before they enjoy a summer garden party at Glencairn, the official residence of Britain’s Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett, where the duke will give a speech.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will visit Dublin, Ireland on 10th & 11th July 🇮🇪 The visit is at the request of Her Majesty’s Government. pic.twitter.com/sb8I3iJAOI— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 19, 2018
Guests at the event will include people from across Ireland’s arts, sports, military and social enterprise sectors.
The trip to Dublin is not the first time the duke and duchess have been away since their May 19 wedding, which fused tradition with modernity and diversity.
Harry and Meghan slipped away unnoticed for their honeymoon and the destination for the traditional break has remained under wraps for now.
Over the coming days the couple will meet the people of Dublin and will visit organisations which are central to Irish life.
They will attend a GAA festival at Croke Park to watch youngsters taking part in sporting activities.
Meghan and Harry will also learn about Ireland’s culture and heritage, including a visit to Trinity College where they will see the Book of Kells, one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures.
The couple will also have a moment for reflection at the Famine Memorial, before visiting EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum, telling the story of the 10 million Irish people who have emigrated across the world.
The royal couple will also learn more about the bright future of Ireland during their time in Dublin, with a visit to DogPatch Labs, a co-working space for technology start-ups.
Here, the pair will meet children and young people taking part in free coding workshops, and will also have the opportunity to talk to female tech entrepreneurs.
- Press Association