Friday 17 November 2017

Taoiseach Enda Kenny congratulates royal couple on new baby

New mum Kate Middleton has given birth
New mum Kate Middleton has given birth
William and Kate had a little boy
The birth of Prince William in 1982 caused confusion in Anglo Irish relations.

What a difference 30 years makes in protocol for royal birth congratulatory messages.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has offered his congratulations to Kate Middleton and Prince William  following the birth of their baby boy yesterday afternoon.

However state papers released last year from 1982 reveal a very different scenario and confusion over protocol in Anglo Irish relations.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and the then Taoiseach Charles Haughey’s office got involved in a row over whether or not the Taosieach or President should send a message of congratulations to the Royal family following the birth of Prince William.

State papers show a memo to Charlie Haughey said it would not be appropriate to send a message, as the royal couple “were not heads of state”. 

However the papers reveal that foreign affairs diplomats were given a dressing down for their decision as it caused a media storm over the perceived “snub”. 

On June 22 1982 the Evening Herald ran a story claiming a government U-turn after first refusing to send a message of congratulations to the royals.

The bad publicity sparked a flurry of questions and inquiries to the official residence of the President of Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Taoiseach on protocol for good wishes.

"It might be no harm to point out to the department of foreign affairs that they were in error when they said that their files suggest that a message should not be sent," said a Mr HJ Dowd in the Taoiseach's office.

He pointed to two precedents: November 15 1948 when Sean T O Ceallaigh sent a note to King George VI on the birth of Prince Charles and again on August 16 1950 on the birth of Princess Anne.

 

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