Eight hundred years after Prince John insulted Irish chieftains in Waterford by pulling their long beards in mockery, prince charles (73) will today attempt a charm offensive to repair the damage caused to Anglo-Irish relations by Brexit and its ongoing fall-out.
he heir to the British throne began a three-day visit to Ireland yesterday with his wife, Camilla (74), Duchess of Cornwall.
Arriving in the Republic from a similar goodwill visit to Northern Ireland, Charles met State and Government officials privately, with his first public engagements scheduled at Waterford today.
Further public visits are planned for Tipperary tomorrow before the couple fly back to the UK.
This latest visit represents the fifth time Charles and Camilla have visited Ireland over recent years.
Most famously, they traveled to Lismore in west Waterford in 2004 while still dating – and asked to climb the Mountain beauty spot of The Vee.
During that visit 18 years ago, the couple stayed at Lismore Castle, owned by Charles’s good friend, the Duke of Devonshire.
The visit by the couple to Waterford and Tipperary – which is taking place amid tight security – is set to deliver a multi-million euro tourism bonanza for the southeast.
A massive security operation is 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 the royal family.
Gardaí warned that the public and motorists may experience traffic disruption in Waterford and Tipperary today and tomorrow as part of the royal visit.
Gardaí said: “On March 24 the visit will be concentrated in Waterford city center and locations in Co Waterford. On March 25 the visit will be concentrated in south Tipperary.
“Traffic restrictions for the visit will be kept to the minimum required.
“(But) the public can expect temporary rolling road closures, to facilitate security escorts over the course of March 23-25.
“Any impact on the public will be localized and minimal.”
Specific details of their Waterford and Tipperary visits are being kept a closely guarded secret for security reasons.
However, the visits will reflect the personal interests and passions of Charles and Camilla 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 Charles’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in 2011.
Such was the tourism generated by the queen’s visit to Cork’s English Market that special arrangements had to be put in place to cope with future visitor numbers.
Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and boasts strong historic links to previous British monarchs.
King Edward VII visited it during his 1904 tour but the Déise hosted monarchs as far back as King John in 1185 and 1210.
King John visited Waterford in 1185 while a prince – but insulted Irish chieftains, trying to offer their lands to his supporters and then publicly pulling their beards, a move that undermined the young royal’s image in Britain.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/prince-charles-and-camilla-are-on-a-charm-offensive-to-repair-anglo-irish-tensions-in-the-wake-of-brexit-41480982.html Prince Charles and Camilla are on a charm offensive to repair Anglo-Irish tensions in the wake of Brexit