The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh began the final day of their historic trip to Ireland today at one of the country’s top historical sites – the Rock of Cashel.
The Queen arrived by helicopter at the Co Tipperary site to tour the ruins of medieval churches and the ancient seat of power held by kings as far back as the fourth or fifth centuries.
The royal couple’s helicopter landed in a field by Hore Abbey, a 13th Century former Benedictine monastery and they travelled by motorcade to nearby St Patrick’s Rock.
Amid blustery but bright conditions, the monarch rounded the State visit off in the same fashion it began by wearing bright green, and pulled up at the entrance to St Patrick's in a green-coloured Bentley.
She was met by Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and Dr Eugene Keane, of the Historical Properties Division at the Office of Public Works.
The royal couple were twice applauded by onlookers, and were shown a replica of the 12th Century St Patrick’s Cross before visiting the cathedral.
The Queen and Duke were told of the conservation work inside the nave of the ancient cathedral by senior conservation architect Aighleann O'Shaughnessy.
The ancient building, which sits imposingly on a hill, has no roof.
The couple were given a description of the significance of the wall paintings while the children of Cashel Community School choir sang the Gaelic blessing, 'May The Road Rise To Meet You'.
As the music echoed around the ruins, the Queen was escorted to the 15th century Hall of the Vicars Choral.
Cashel Community school music teacher John Murray said the children were delighted.
“The students are absolutely thrilled to perform for the Queen,” he said.
“They never expected to get this honour. Everybody in Cashel and the school are honoured to have the Queen here.
“The piece we chose is a religious one, which is fitting for the setting we’re in.”