Wednesday 20 November 2019

Date of royal arrival kept under wraps

Patricia McDonagh and Majella O'Sullivan

ARAS an Uachtarain yesterday refused to reveal the date for Queen Elizabeth II's historic visit to Ireland.

Speculation is mounting that the highly anticipated three-day trip by the British monarch, who is 84, and her husband, Prince Philip (91), will start on May 17.

However, both the President's office and Buckingham Palace yesterday refused to confirm or deny this -- or supply information on what the queen's itinerary will be. It is understood announcements will take place in the coming weeks outlining the date and details of the visit.

Queen Elizabeth II will be the first British monarch to visit Ireland since the foundation of the State.

She will be following in the footsteps of her grandfather George V, who travelled here in 1911.

The visit comes on foot of an invitation by President Mary McAleese. It is believed the Queen will land at Baldonnel airbase -- which will be patrolled by armed Air Corps PC-9 planes -- in south Co Dublin, while a no-fly zone will be in effect over Farmleigh House.

London's Metropolitan Police will provide a royal-protection squad.

The royal couple will most likely stay at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park.

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Irish Independent

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