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Nervous coverage gives way to light relief over a pint

THE nervousness that surrounded the British media's coverage of the first day of the Royal visit gave way to a considered reflection on the historic importance of the occasion yesterday -- lightened with a little bar-room humour that arrived courtesy of Prince Philip's encounter with a pint of Guinness.

Ahead of the queen's much-anticipated speech at last night's state dinner, coverage focused on her visit to Croke Park, scene of the 1920 massacre of 14 civilians by British soldiers.

As #Croke Park became a trend on Twitter in the UK, Scotland's 'Daily Record' described the queen's visit as a "historic new act of Anglo-Irish reconciliation" and said "generations of hurt and mistrust created by those deaths were set aside this afternoon".

The visit to the Guinness Storehouse also provided an opportunity for a warmer tone.

"The queen and Prince Philip were shown how to pour a pint of Guinness, but declined a taste of Ireland's most famous export," commented the BBC website, alongside a photograph of the Duke of Edinburgh looking like he was just itching to get hold of a glass of the black stuff.

The 'Daily Mail' website explained the queen's reticence by noting that her "favourite tipple is gin and Dubonnet with ice and slice of lemon".

Irish Independent