After attending the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force yesterday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle flew to Dublin in what is their first official overseas visit since getting married in May.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina at Áras an Uachtaráin this morning.
— Irish Foreign Ministry (@dfatirl) July 10, 2018
Earlier this morning, they were greeted by Art O’Leary, secretary general to the President and given a tour of the Aras comprising of morning tea and signing the visitors book, as is custom for all state visitors.
President Higgins has met Harry on a number of occasions through the years, most recently in 2016; but it marks the first occasion he has met the Duchess of Sussex.
Today’s agenda includes visits to the Book of Kells at Trinity College, Croke Park and the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, where they have requested to meet as many members of the public as possible, including young coders from Dogpatch Labs, after Meghan said one of her biggest passions is encouraging young women to take part in STEM (Science, Technology, Economics and Mathematics) subjects.
While the purpose of this trip might be part of a, rather effective, post-Brexit charm strategy to neighbouring countries on behalf of the UK, the couple are using Ireland as their destination of choice to showcase their intentions going forward as a couple.
Prince Harry stressed the importance of the relationship between the rest of the UK and Republic of Ireland saying that:
“This is a very special relationship between two proud, sovereign countries. We share common values; culture, business links, family ties, and possibly a similar sense of humour…Our relationship is of course informed by our history, but it is also one which is now dynamic and forward looking.”