Charles and Camilla arrive in NI for two day visit

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were told about the rich and varied history of Belfast at the beginning of a two-day visit to Northern Ireland.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 3:59 pm

The royal couple visited Belfast City Hall where they were welcomed by Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey.

Charles then met local historians and discussed the centenary of Northern Ireland.

Camilla heard about Belfast’s ambition to become a Unesco City of Music, and was introduced to the women’s steering group behind the bid.

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The royal couple then together met with staff from City Hall to hear about the past, present and future of Belfast and learn of new visions for the city.

On their second engagement of the day, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall met with a number of youth workers.

The visit to the headquarters of the Education Authority in Belfast city centre focused on how youth services are helping children and young people across Northern Ireland.

Charles and Camilla heard reflections from young people on how youth workers had impacted their lives.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Education Authority Headquarters in Belfast.

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the “inspiring” efforts of youth workers to bring about reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

In the second engagement of their visit, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall met with a number of youth workers at the headquarters of the Education Authority in Belfast city centre.

Charles and Camilla heard reflections from young people living in deprived areas on how youth workers had impacted their lives.

In a speech, Charles hailed the “tireless work” being done to bring about reconciliation.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall signing the visitor's book during a visit to Belfast City Hall in Donegall Square, Belfast

“I cannot tell you how really inspiring it has been to hear of the tireless work being carried out by youth workers on all sides of the community, and I just wanted to take this opportunity, if I may, to pay special tribute to your dedication and commitment to the cause of peaceful co-existence,” he said.

“We must never underestimate the risk, and of course the cost, of holding to peaceful ways, and how much determination and courage is necessary.

“All of you whom I have met here today and many more of your colleagues in your communities have shown those qualities in the most challenging circumstances.

“We owe you a deep debt of gratitude and above all of admiration.”

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to Belfast City Hall in Donegall Square, Belfast. Picture date: Tuesday May 18, 2021.

Among the work discussed at the engagement were schemes to stop bonfire builders from engaging in anti-social behaviour.

He added: “Whenever I visit I never cease to be profoundly moved by the work that is being done to heal the pain of the past, to bring understanding and reconciliation in the present and to build hope for the future.

“All who love this very special part of the world can only wish you renewed strength of spirit and resolve as you take forward this work of such vital importance to these islands.”

Earlier, in their first engagement of the day the royal couple were told about the rich and varied history of Belfast at the beginning of a two-day visit to Northern Ireland.

They visited Belfast City Hall on Tuesday where they were welcomed by Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey.

Upon arrival, the royal couple viewed a mural by Belfast artist John Like which was painted for the Festival of Britain in 1950 before viewing a copy of a John Conor painting which showed the State Opening of Stormont in 1921.

The Prince of Wales during a visit to Belfast City Hall in Donegall Square, Belfas

Charles then met and discussed the centenary of Northern Ireland with local historians.

The duchess, meanwhile, heard about Belfast’s ambition to become a Unesco City of Music and was introduced to the women’s steering group behind the bid.

Camilla, wearing an emerald green Rifle’s coat dress and matching face mask, designed by Fiona Claire, discussed issues around domestic violence with the women.

Before leaving, they met with council staff who had worked in the community in Northern Ireland throughout the pandemic.

The Prince of Wales has met workers at the historic Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

Charles commented on the size of the towering yellow cranes which famously dominate the Belfast skyline as well as meeting a number of workers who represent the third and fourth generations of their families to work at the shipyard.

Looking towards the future of the business, the royal visitor was also shown automatic welding machinery.

He unveiled a plaque for the 160th anniversary of Harland and Wolff and was presented with a photograph of his father visiting the shipyard in 1977.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive for a visit to Belfast City Hall in Donegall Square, Belfast
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Education Authority Headquarters in Belfast. Picture date: Tuesday May 18, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the Education Authority Headquarters in Belfast. Picture date: Tuesday May 18, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Charles. Photo credit should read: Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA Wire