PRINCE Charles said his thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine who continue to face “brutal aggression” by Russian forces.
Speaking at Waterford Town Hall, the heir to the British throne focused on the trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic and the turmoil caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Our thoughts – and I’m sure your thoughts and prayers, insufficient as we find them – are with the people of Ukraine who continue to face such insecurity and brutal aggression,” he said.
The prince received a Viking welcome to Ireland’s oldest city as he began two days of public engagements in Waterford and Tipperary.
The heir to the British throne began a three-day visit to Ireland with his wife Camilla, 74, Duchess of Cornwall, and appeared very relaxed and happy as the couple went on a sightseeing tour of Waterford.
The Prince and Duchess of Cornwall were greeted by local dignitaries in front of Reginald’s Tower – one of Waterford’s oldest buildings – as actors dressed as Vikings staged a ceremonial welcome complete with mini Viking longship ‘Vadrarfjordr’.
He opened his speech in Irish, Prince Charles said he was lucky in the world to be in Ireland’s oldest town.
And he said the planet needs solidarity like the friendship between old neighbors Ireland and Britain.
Waterford was founded by the Vikings and is believed to be Ireland’s oldest city.
After arriving in the Republic from a similar goodwill visit to Northern Ireland, Prince Charles met privately with state and government officials yesterday before beginning public engagements in Waterford City and County today.
Palace officials said Prince Charles and Camilla are “big fans of Ireland” and were keen to visit the country again once the Covid-19 pandemic began to ease.
Prince Charles also has a private ambition to visit every county in Ireland.
He said he was “delighted” to be in Waterford and listened intently as the city’s connection to famous British monarchs was outlined.
Both the prince and his wife were warmly applauded by locals outside the tight security chain in the city center.
The royal couple enjoyed a public tour of Waterford city center where they were entertained to local traditional music before being treated to a civic reception at Waterford Town Hall.
Both were then given a tour of the House of Waterford and the city’s famous history of crystal production.
Prince Charles will later tour Waterford’s award-winning Grow It Yourself (GIY) to demonstrate his support for green farming and the promotion of self-sufficiency in food production.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall is given a tour of Henry de Bromhead’s stables and meets Irish history rich jockey Rachael Blackmore.
The couple will also tour a local farm and look at climate change mitigation and sustainable farming efforts.
Both will enjoy a private dinner with friends and Irish guests tonight.
The three-day visit is the fifth time Prince Charles and Camilla have visited Ireland in recent years.
Most famously, in 2004, when they were still dating, they traveled to Lismore, west of Waterford – and asked to climb the famous beauty spot, The Vee.
During that visit 18 years ago, the couple stayed at Lismore Castle, which belonged to a good friend of Prince Charles, the Duke of Devonshire
The couple’s current visit to Waterford and Tipperary – which is taking place under tight security – will provide the South East with a multi-million euro tourism bonanza.
A massive security operation is already underway for the visit, with British Royal Guards working closely with officers from the Gardaí and Diplomatic Protection Corps.
Special security checks were carried out in three counties for the visit, which is part of the annual spring tour by members of the royal family.
Gardaí warned the public and motorists could experience traffic disruption in Waterford and Tipperary today and tomorrow as part of the royal visit.
It states: “On 24 March the visit will focus on Waterford city center and locations in County Waterford. On March 25, the visit focuses on South Tipperary. Traffic restrictions for the visit will be kept to the minimum necessary. (But) the public can expect temporary closures of Rolling Road to facilitate security escorts over the course of the March 23-25 period. Any impact on the public will be localized and minimal.”
During his visit to Waterford, Prince Charles also met with Ukrainian nationals living in Ireland.
The meeting was an expression of his concern about what the Ukrainian people are going through after the Russian invasion.
Prince Charles also stressed the importance of the friendship between Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Waterford – which will host the bulk of the royal itinerary – hopes the visit will match the tourism boom Cashel and Cork have seen following Prince Charles’ mother’s high-profile state visit. queen elizabeth II, 2011.
The Queen’s visit to the English Market in Cork city center was so touristy that special arrangements had to be made to handle visitor numbers for years to come.
Cork has also seen a massive surge in tourist numbers from the UK.
Waterford has strong historical ties to previous British monarchs. King Edward VII visited Waterford during his state visit in 1904, but the Déise has hosted monarchs since King John in 1210.
King John also visited Waterford earlier as a prince. He offended Irish chiefs with his behavior, attempting to offer his followers their lands and then publicly pulling their beards. It was a move that sparked controversy in Ireland and undermined the young king’s image in Britain.
Prince Charles will seek to boost Anglo-Irish relations in the wake of Brexit challenges.
Waterford has transformed its city center over the past 25 years to sensitively focus on its Viking and maritime heritage.
Last month Queen Elizabeth II said she would like Camilla to be made Queen Consort when her son takes the throne – a move seen as a huge sign of support for Prince Charles and the role Camilla has played in recent years years within the royal family.
Queen Elizabeth II visited Dublin, Kildare, Tipperary and Cork as part of a historic royal visit in May 2011. In recent weeks parts of central Waterford, Cashel and Cahir have been the subject of full-scale security inspections by the Garda Special Protection Team and members of the British Royal security unit.
The Viking Triangle – a sensitively developed part of Waterford city center dating back to when the Vikings founded Waterford as Ireland’s first town – is also expected to be part of the royal tour.
The area offers a range of museums and is also close to Waterford Town Hall, the Cathedral of Waterford’s Church of Ireland and the new Waterford Crystal headquarters.
https://www.independent.ie/news/prince-charles-condemns-brutal-aggression-of-russian-invasion-as-he-arrives-in-waterford-41482656.html Prince Charles condemns the ‘brutal aggression’ of the Russian invasion as he arrives in Waterford