In 1849, during the Great Famine, Queen Victoria traveled to Ireland for an 11-day visit to Ireland and received a surprisingly warm welcome by the Irish people.
Although an estimated one million people died from disease and starvation and over a million more had fled to America on coffin ships, Queen Victoria was met with enthusiasm and cheering crowds when she visited.
Many banners at the time even read, “Hail Victoria, Ireland's hope and England's glory.”
Today marks 169 years since her visit on August 2, 1849 when she visited citizens of Cork, Dublin and Belfast.
In tribute to the Queen's visit to Cobh, which at the time was named Cove, the Cork town was renamed 'Queenstown', though it was changed again to 'Cobh' after Irish independence.
Paul Lynch who wrote about Queen Victoria for the Irish Times, called it “one of the inconvenient ironies of the Famine period".
He reported that Queen Victoria “gave the royal party a rapturous welcome".
In her diary, the young queen at the time wrote about her travels:
“Cork is not all like an English town… the crowd is a noisy, excitable but a very good-natured one, running and pushing about, and laughing, talking and shrieking. The beauty of the women is very remarkable… such beautiful dark eyes and hair, and such fine teeth…”
Jump 169 years forward and people are remembering the historic day.
This day 169 years ago – 2 August 1849 – Queen Victoria arrived in Cove, Co. Cork, for a ten-day visit.— This Day in Irish History (@ThisDayIrish) August 2, 2018
In tribute, Cove was renamed 'Queenstown', though it was changed to 'Cobh' after Irish independence.
Many banners read, “Hail Victoria, Ireland's hope and England's glory.” pic.twitter.com/98ghFBrTGy
On this day 2 August in 1849 Queen Victoria first visited Cobh. She briefly disembarked and renamed it Queenstown to honour it as the spot where she first set foot on Irish soil. #Irishhistory #royalfamily #QueenVictoria #Cobh #Cork #Ireland pic.twitter.com/mTrZnWgKeR— SpikeIslandCork (@SpikeIslandCork) August 2, 2018
@ClarenceHouse receiving a copy of a sketch of #spikeisland drawn by his GGG grandmother Queen Victoria during her visit to #Cobh in 1849. Presented by then Mayor County #Cork @DeclanHurley— SpikeIslandCork (@SpikeIslandCork) July 26, 2018
He was delighted to receive it having never seen it. A result for team Spike! @pure_cork pic.twitter.com/7T8Qimkn8b
Throwback to Harbour Row, Cobh before the turn of the century. Cobh was known as "Queenstown" from 1894 until 1920, to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria. pic.twitter.com/35NLzjtvG7— Leading Edge Group (@LEGLean) June 14, 2018