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Prince Charles and wife Camilla to begin three-day royal visit to Ireland tomorrow

A key aim of the royal couple’s sojourn with is to repair Anglo-Irish relations left strained by the fallout from Brexit

Charles and Camilla (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Ralph Riegel

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will begin a three-day visit to Ireland tomorrow.

A key aim of the royal couple’s sojourn with is to repair Anglo-Irish relations left strained by the fallout from Brexit.

Their visit to Waterford and Tipperary is expected to deliver a multi-million-euro tourism bonanza for the south-east.

The royal couple will arrive in Ireland tomorrow but will not have any public engagements until Thursday and Friday when they will tour various sites across Waterford and Tipperary.

A massive security operation is already in place for the visit, with British royal protection officers liaising closely with gardaí and diplomatic protection corps officials.

Special security screening has been conducted across three counties for the visit which is part of the annual spring tour by members of Britain’s Royal family.

Specific details of their Waterford and Tipperary visits are being kept a closely guarded secret for security reasons.

However, it is understood that the visits will involve the interests and passions of the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall – ranging from heritage, farming, gardens, architecture, equestrian sport, arts, crafts and community development.

Waterford – which will host the bulk of the royal itinerary – is hopeful the visit will match the tourism boom that Cashel and Cork enjoyed following the high-profile state visit by Prince Charles's mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in 2011.

Such was the tourism generated by the queen's visit to the English Market in Cork city centre that special arrangements had to be put in place to cope with visitor numbers over future years.

Cork also experienced a massive increase in tourist numbers from the UK.

Waterford ranks as Ireland's oldest city and boasts strong historic links to previous British monarchs.

King Edward VII visited Waterford during his 1904 State visit but the Déise hosted monarchs as far back as King John in 1210.

Waterford has transformed its city centre over the past 25 years to sensitively focus on its Viking and maritime heritage.

Charles, the heir to the British throne, last visited Ireland in 2019 when he met with President Michael D Higgins in Wicklow.

Britain's Prince Charles pours a pint of Guinness as he visits the Irish Cultural Centre with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to celebrate the centre's 25th anniversary in the run-up to St Patrick's Day, in London on March 15, 2022. Photo: Arthur Edwards/Pool

That visit was the fifth by the Prince of Wales to Ireland in the space of five years – with the Republic assuming major importance on recent royal itineraries.

Famously, Prince Charles is a close friend of the Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine Cavendish, and travelled to stay with him at Lismore Castle in west Waterford in March 2004 for the 60th birthday of the duke who was then known as Lord Hartington.

Lismore and its estate remains one of the key properties owned by the duke and the Cavendish family.

The prince was accompanied on that 2004 trip by Camilla Parker-Bowles and the couple went hillwalking near The Vee amid tight security.

Prince Charles and Camilla married the following year in a civil ceremony at Windsor.

Last month, Queen Elizabeth II said she wants Camilla to be styled queen consort when her son assumes the throne – a move taken as a major show of support for Prince Charles and the role Camilla has played over recent years within the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Dublin, Kildare, Tipperary and Cork in a historic royal visit in May 2011.

Ahead of the latest royal visit, major security inspections have taken place around parts of Waterford city centre, Cashel and Cahir over recent weeks by the Garda special protection team and members of the British royal security unit.

Prince Charles and Camilla have a go at the bodhrán during St Patrick’s Day celebrations in London last week. Photo: Arthur Edwards/Pool

The Viking Triangle – a sensitively developed part of Waterford city centre that dates back to when the Vikings founded Waterford as Ireland's first city – is expected to form part of the royal tour.

The area features a number of museums and is also close to both Waterford City Hall, Waterford's Church of Ireland cathedral and the new headquarters of Waterford Crystal.

It is unclear whether Prince Charles will again include Lismore on his Irish itinerary.

Lismore Castle has famous connections to royalty and celebrities with Prince John, Walter Raleigh, Fred Astaire, John F Kennedy, Lucian Freud, John Betjeman and Cecil Beaton all having stayed at the keep overlooking the River Blackwater.

Other members of the royal family will also be undertaking a series of worldwide tours this spring though Queen Elizabeth II – who was treated for Covid-19 last month – will remain in the UK.

Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, are currently on a tour of Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas.

This year marks the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, with a series of special events to mark her role as Britain's longest reigning monarch.

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