Queen and Prince Philip arrive in Ulster

Queen Elizabeth arrives at George Best Belfast City Airport
Queen Elizabeth arrives at George Best Belfast City Airport

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have arrived in Northern Ireland.

The Royal couple touched down in Belfast on Monday evening before heading to Hillsborough Castle where DUP leader and First Minister Peter Robinson and Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will enjoy a private audience with the Queen. Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers will also be in attendance.

The encounter will be the third time the Queen and former IRA commander Mr McGuinness have met.

On Tuesday, Mr McGuinness will accompany the Royal couple on a tour of the old Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast - a facility the politician was detained in himself during the Troubles.

Other engagements include a visit to the set of hit US fantasy drama Game Of Thrones in east Belfast.

The Royal couple will also tour the bustling St George’s Market in Belfast city centre, be guests at a reception and lunch at Belfast City Hall and attend a garden party at Hillsborough Castle.

The castle is also playing host to experts and crew from the Antiques Roadshow this week and the Queen and Duke will stop by to visit them during their stay.

During her time across the Irish Sea, Her Majesty will also attend a Royal British Legion reception in Coleraine where she will launch a programme of activities commemorating the First World War.

The Queen and Duke last visited Northern Ireland in 2012 as part of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

That occasion proved highly symbolic in terms of the peace process as it marked the first occasion the Queen met Mr McGuinness.