Queen tells Martin McGuinness: 'Well, I’m still alive anyway'
THE Queen has joked with Nortern Ireland's Deputy First Minister that she has been quite busy but she is "still alive."
Queen Elizabeth II met Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast yesterday as part of a two-day royal visit to the province.
When Mr McGuinness asked the monarch how she was she replied "I'm still alive anyway."
In a short video showing the beginning of a 20 minute-audience between the two, the Queen noted that she has been "quite busy," adding "there's been quite a lot going on."
The Deputy First Minister agreed that "there are a lot of things going on at the moment."
After a moment of silence the Queen added "I've had two birthdays, so we've been quite busy."
The monarch is in Northern Ireland for a two-day visit in her first round of public engagements since the UK voted to leave the European Union.
After their meetings at Hillsborough Castle, Mr McGuinness, a Sinn Fein veteran, batted away questions on whether the referendum was talked about.
"We discussed many things, none of which I will tell you."
He added: "We had a very good engagement for about 20 minutes where we did talk about many things."
In Northern Ireland, 56% of voters backed Remain in the referendum. The outcome has prompted Sinn Fein to call for a border poll on Irish unity - a demand the UK Government has rejected.
While Sinn Fein and the DUP share power in the coalition executive in Belfast, they were on different sides of the Brexit debate.