My visit to Britain will be very significant, says President Higgins
PRESIDENT Michael D. Higgins has described his state visit to the Britain next year as "very significant".
He said, "I think it is very significant now at this time in both an international and a European context".
The President will become the first Irish head of State to make an official visit to Britain next year. He and his wife Sabina will stay at Windsor Castle from April 8 to 10, and Queen Elizabeth will host a state banquet for the President where both of them will deliver speeches. He will also hold a formal meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The programme for the visit has yet to be finalised, but the President gave some hint of what elements it may contain.
"The connections between our peoples are ones that are multi-layered, not just politics and obviously trade, there are connections in sport, theatre, the arts and culture, and I'm sure the structure of the visit will be looking at some of these different dimensions," he said.
The visit comes almost three years after the British monarch's historic visit to the Republic in May 2011, and since that event, President Higgins has met several members of the royal family, including the Duke of Edinburgh.
President Higgins was speaking before her delivered an address on 'The Worthiness of the Arts in the 21st Century' to the Trinity College Historical Society, where he was presented with a gold medal by the Society.