Just a few hours after paying tribute to fallen police officers at the opening of a memorial in Belfast, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla visited Áras an Uachtaráin where they saw the Peace Bell which was designed in 2008 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
On the second of their four-day visit to Ireland, the royal couple laid wreaths at a stone roll of honour for the 13 Police Service of Northern Ireland officers who have died in the line of duty since the organisation was founded in 2001, among them Constables Stephen Carroll and Ronan Kerr.
In a particularly poignant moment, seven-year-old Victoria Grieves, whose officer father Gary was killed in a road crash in 2010, presented a bouquet of flowers to the duchess.
PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said: “This is a very special, but also sad day, for the families and PSNI as we remember those who have died.”
After a brief visit to the Co Down town of Dromore where there was a carnival atmosphere as the prince and duchess took a stroll through the square, they headed across the border into the Republic to the Áras, where they signed a visitors’ book in the State reception room at a table specially commissioned for the visit of Queen Elizabeth in 2011.
Prince Charles and President Michael D Higgins then held a private meeting while the duchess had a tour of the surrounding lands.
After attending the ringing of the Peace Bell by students from counties Louth and Down, they also met with young people who have excelled in art, music, science, agriculture and advocacy.
Among those in attendance were Irish Olympic sailing medal winner Annalise Murphy and Irish rugby captain Niamh Briggs.
Last night, the President and his wife Sabina hosted a private dinner for the royal couple.
Further highlights of the visit will include today’s engagement at Kilkenny Castle, where they will hear some traditional music and watch a hurling demonstration by the GAA.
Charles will tour the United Nations Training School Ireland at the Curragh Camp, while Camilla will visit the Irish National Stud.
Both will attend ceremonies at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin on Friday to commemorate those who died in the First World War and during the Easter Rising.
The prince will also meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny and he and the duchess will conclude their visit on Friday by attending a reception at the British ambassador’s residence.
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