A royal boost to our confidence
She came, she saw, she conquered. In four remarkable days, Queen Elizabeth II transformed the attitudes of most Irish people towards the British monarchy and in the process helped to restore our battered national self-confidence.
Where her ancestors, most notably the first Elizabeth, had unsuccessfully sought to subdue us by military force, Elizabeth II won us over with charm and courtesy.
In what was by any yardstick a remarkable performance, particularly by an 85-year-old woman, the queen didn't put a foot wrong. From her visit to the Garden of Remembrance on the first day it was clear that this was going to be something special. That slight bow of the head in silent recognition of those who gave their lives fighting Britain in the cause of Irish independence demonstrated remarkable sensitivity and marked the beginning of what looks suspiciously like a renewed love affair between the Irish people and the House of Windsor.