Thursday 19 October 2017

Lise Hand: Martin's 'hello, goodbye and God bless’ to queen

Queen Elizabeth waves to members of the public as she and her husband Prince Philip drive through the Stormont estate during a Diamond Jubilee event in Belfast. Photo: Reuters
Queen Elizabeth waves to members of the public as she and her husband Prince Philip drive through the Stormont estate during a Diamond Jubilee event in Belfast. Photo: Reuters

The principal dancer in this meticulously choreographed ballet made her entrance as the lone TV camera rolled.

She glided towards the short chorus line awaiting her arrival, shook one hand, moved on and then paused before the second member in the line. Smiling, she extended a white-gloved hand and gently clasped the outstretched hand of Martin McGuinness, who spoke briefly as their handshake lingered -- but nobody could hear his words, for this was a silent production.

Queen Elizabeth smiled, inclined her head, made no reply and moved on. (In any case, she wouldn't have understood the dialogue, as he had said, "Slan agus beannacht", or "goodbye and God bless".)

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