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'It's not often I find myself following the Queen to a pub' - Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Guinness Storehouse

  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent the morning at Áras an Uachtaráin
  • Visited Garden of Remembrance after meeting with President Higgins
  • Royal couple spent time with Taoiseach and partner Matt at Government Buildings
  • Ended evening with pints at Guinness Storehouse party

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge drinks a pint of Guinness during a reception with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett, at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar during day one of their visit to Ireland on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by James Whatling - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge drinks a pint of Guinness during a reception with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett, at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar during day one of their visit to Ireland on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by James Whatling - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a reception at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland, March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a reception at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland, March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett at the Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett at the Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton meet with President Michael D. Higgins, his wife Sabina and their dog at Aras an Uachtarain
REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton meet with President Michael D. Higgins, his wife Sabina and their dog at Aras an Uachtarain REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

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Sabina Higgins, President Michael D Higgins and The Duke of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cambridge Áras an Uachtaráin. Photo: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE

Sabina Higgins, President Michael D Higgins and The Duke of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cambridge Áras an Uachtaráin. Photo: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE

The Duchess of Cambridge with Sabina Coyne, wife of President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, at Aras an Uachtarain, Dublin, during her three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Phil Noble/PA Wire

The Duchess of Cambridge with Sabina Coyne, wife of President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, at Aras an Uachtarain, Dublin, during her three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Phil Noble/PA Wire

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Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

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Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pets the President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina's dog, during a meeting at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pets the President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina's dog, during a meeting at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

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Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a commemorative wreath laying ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance during their visit to Dublin, Ireland March 03, 2020. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a commemorative wreath laying ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance during their visit to Dublin, Ireland March 03, 2020. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge drinks a pint of Guinness during a reception with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett, at the Guinness Storehouses Gravity Bar during day one of their visit to Ireland on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by James Whatling - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

THE DUKE and Duchess of Cambridge visited Áras an Uachtaráin and government buildings as part of their duties on the first day of their Irish visit.

Later in the evening, the royal couple made their way to a party at the Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland, Robin Barnett.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland at the Gravity Bar, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, during their three day visit to the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

They were greeted by John Kennedy, President of Diageo Europe, Turkey and India, and Paul Carty, Managing Director of the Guinness Storehouse.

The Duchess changed her outfit for the occasion, opting for an emerald green dress by designer The Vampire’s Wife. The designer brand is the brainchild of English model Susie cave, wife of musician Nick Cave.

Inside the party, Kate and Will were poured a pint of Guinness Beer Specialist Padraig McLaughlin, and the drinks were served by the captain of the Irish women’s rugby team, Sene Naoupu, who is Guinness’ brand ambassador for the Six Nations.

Speaking at the event, Prince William addressing the crowds as ‘daoine uaisle,’ or ‘gentlefolk’.

During a speech to the guests, the Duke said that Ireland and the UK’s friendship is very important.

"Catherine and I are delighted to be here tonight and are both very grateful to Robin for his generous words,’ he said.

"Ireland is a country that we have both heard so much about, so we are really excited to be here with you to see it first-hand for ourselves.

"In coming to the Guinness Storehouse, we are retracing the footsteps of my grandmother, who was shown how to pour the perfect pint here in 2011.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk down the steps of the plane as they arrive at Dublin International Airport ahead of their three day visit to Ireland. Photo: Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk down the steps of the plane as they arrive at Dublin International Airport ahead of their three day visit to Ireland. Photo: Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA Wire

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk down the steps of the plane as they arrive at Dublin International Airport ahead of their three day visit to Ireland. Photo: Ian Vogler/Daily Mirror/PA Wire

"Ladies and gentlemen let me tell you it is not often that I find myself following the Queen to a pub. But I am looking forward to testing for myself the theory that Guinness tastes even better in Ireland than overseas.

"On a slightly more serious note I just wanted to thank all of you in the room for coming here this evening.

"Thank you for all that you do to support the very special relationship between our two countries. It has been a pleasure to meet so many of you this evening who demonstrate the breadth of our connections across the arts, sports, uniformed services, education and research, and charity sectors.

"We value it as we do your friendship and are committed to strengthening it further.

"We are very much looking forward to our next two days in Ireland, where I have no doubt we will continue to be impressed by the creativity, warmth and hospitality the Irish people have to offer.’

He ended the speech by raising his pint of Guinness and saying ‘Slainte’.

Food on the evening was served by Chef Mark Moriarty of the two Michelin started restaurant The Greenhouse, Dublin.

Guests on the night included actors Liam Cunningham, Deirdre O’Kane and Robert Sheehan.

Activist Sinead Burke was also in attendance alongside rugby player Garry Ringrose and TV presenter Ryan Tubridy

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Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, as they stand next to President's dog, at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, as they stand next to President's dog, at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

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Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, meet with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, as they stand next to President's dog, at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

They were entertained by Irish musician, Sierra Leonean, also known as Loan.

They also chatted to members of the fire and rescue service, coast guard and ambulance service, as well as Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

A number of charities, such as the Iveagh Trust, Alice Leahy Trust, Open Doors, Shannon’s Hopeline, were also in attendance.

The Duke and Duchess are not the first royal visitors the Storehouse has hosted, as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the St. James' Gate brewery in 2011 during an official State visit, the first by a reigning monarch for 100 years.

William and Kate were said to be looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people during their first official visit to the country.

The royal couple landed at approximately 2pm on Tuesday and straight from the airport, they headed to Áras an Uachtaráin, where they met President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina Higgins.

The couple flew to Dublin Airport on a commercial Aer Lingus flight with other passengers, including business travellers and tourists.

In brilliant winter sunshine they walked down the aircraft's steps and were greeted by a small group of dignitaries led by Britain's ambassador to Ireland, Robin Barnett.

The duchess looked stylish in an emerald green Catherine Walker coat and an Alessandra Rich dress, while the duke wore a suit.

Nearby was a large police presence and a motorcade waiting to take the couple to the city centre.

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Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, ring "the peace bell" during a meeting with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, ring "the peace bell" during a meeting with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

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Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, ring "the peace bell" during a meeting with Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, at the official presidential residence Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, Ireland March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

After heading to Áras an Uachtaráin, William and Kate were greeted at the front door by Mr Art O'Leary, the Secretary General to the President.

This is Kate's first time meeting Mr Higgins, while Prince William has met Mr Higgins before at Belgium in June 2014 and more recently in July 2016.

The royal couple were then welcomed into the State Reception Room by the Aide-de-Camp to President Michael D Higgins.

President Higgins invited the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to sign the Distinguished Visitors' Book.

The royal couple also spent some time with Mr Higgins in the President's Study before the bilateral meeting in the Drawing Room.

Mr Higgins and his wife Sabina then accompanied Kate and Will to the Peace Bell.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after they laid a wreath during a visit to the Garden of Remembrance. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after they laid a wreath during a visit to the Garden of Remembrance. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after they laid a wreath during a visit to the Garden of Remembrance. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The president explained to the couple that the bell was unveiled in 2008 by then president Mary McAleese to mark the tenth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The bell, dating back to the 19th century, is supported by two oak trunks which came from Shane's Castle Demesne in Co Antrim and from the Glencairn area in Co Dublin. The couple then rang the Bell.

Mr Higgins also pointed out the sculpture The People's Acorn by artist Rachel Joynt, which was unveiled as part of the State 1916 centenary commemorations.

The royal couple also met dog Bród, however Síoda, the President’s second much-beloved four legged friend, was not able to attend proceedings as she recently underwent surgery on her paw.

After the engagement at the Aras, a spokesman for Mr Higgins confirmed that Brexit was among the topics discussed.

"The couples discussed the close ties between the people of Ireland and Britain and the importance of continuing and deepening close relations between all of the peoples of these Islands," he said.

"President Higgins, Sabina and Their Royal Highnesses spoke of the challenges ahead, including the implications of the UK's departure from the European Union and the importance of continuing to build on the foundations of the Good Friday Agreement.

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The Duke of Cambridge meets with Leo Varadkar. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

The Duke of Cambridge meets with Leo Varadkar. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

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The Duke of Cambridge meets with Leo Varadkar. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

"They also discussed the global challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss and the urgent need to revisit the fundamentals of how we organise our economies and societies if we are to tackle these existential threats in a meaningful way.

"The importance of removing obstacles that inhibit young people from building their skills and realising their aspirations for a truly fair and sustainable world, and the particular importance of responding to the vulnerabilities of young people was among the other topics discussed."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then received a round of applause as they entered the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.

When they arrived they walked along the edge of the open space's large pool, created in the shape of a non-denominational cross designed to be inclusive of all religions and creeds.

Crowds had gathered along the perimeter fence and a cheer came up when the couple were spotted by the spectators who had been waiting patiently for more than an hour.

The garden was designed by Daithi Hanly and the section where the wreath laying took place featured a large sculpture by Oisin Kelly, based on the theme of the Children of Lir, the Irish story about four children turned into swans by their stepmother jealous of their father's love.

The floral tribute was laid at the base of the towering artwork by two servicemen and the couple stood in contemplative silence for a minute, eyes fixed on the wreath.

When the Queen made her historic visit to Ireland in 2011 - the first by a British monarch since Ireland gained independence from Britain - she bowed her head during a visit to the garden as a mark of respect for those who died.

The duke and duchess left a message on the wreath which read: "May we never forget the lessons of history as we continue to build a brighter future together."

The royal couple later arrived at the Government Buildings in Dublin city centre for their third engagement of the day.

A ten-car fleet, as well as several Garda motorcycles and two media buses escorted the royal couple to Government Buildings.

Kate and Will were greeted on the steps of the Upper Merrion Street building by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt Barrett before heading inside to have a meeting with the Taoiseach.

They received a brief tour of the building and signed the visitor’s book.

Mr Varadkar invited the couple to sign the book, translating it from Irish explaining that it asked for one's name and address, to which William asked, "Would you like an address?"

The Taoiseach quipped back: "What's the postcode for Kensington Palace?"

When Mr Varadkar then lightheartedly asked Mr Barrett if he would like to sign the guest book, he laughed "no".

The four then sat down for a 25 minute private discussion.

The Taoiseach then tweeted: "It was a pleasure to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Government Buildings this afternoon as part of their visit to Ireland."

Speaking to Independent.ie outside Government Buildings, Marino residents and royal fans Holly Forbes and Ciara O’Donoghue were buzzing with excitement to see the royal car pass by.

“I’m extremely excited, can’t wait to see them,” said Ms Forbes.

“I think they’re very authentic royals, I connect with them and they’re good for the UK as they’re helping to build the relationship,” she said.

“I saw the Queen when she came to Stormont. I do like the royal family a lot.”

There were less than two dozen people waiting at the gates.

“We could have had a bit more support for them, there’s not too much support, I would have liked more walkabouts,” said Ms O’Donoghue.

“I’ve followed them for years, I watched their wedding on the telly - I cried my eyes when [Kate] came out,” laughed Ms Forbes.

Offaly residents Mary Horan and John O’Callaghan were in Dublin for the day and stopped by to see the royal visitors on their way to the train station.

While Mr O’Callaghan said they weren’t big fans of the royals, they decided to stop by and catch a glimpse.

“We’re not particularly big fans, we’ve been waiting about five minutes. We just happened to be passing by as we’re in Dublin for the day,” said Ms Horan.

“I would have expected there to be more people around to see them,” she said.

“We’re hoping to catch a glimpse as they pass by in the car, we saw all the guards and we knew they were coming so we decided to stop by,” she added.

During their three-day visit William and Kate will also visit counties Meath, Kildare and Galway.

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The Duke of Cambridge meets with Leo Varadkar. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

The Duke of Cambridge meets with Leo Varadkar. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

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The Duke of Cambridge meets with Leo Varadkar. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

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