H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock Have Arrived in Ireland: Day One

On March 4, 2011, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancée, Charlene Wittstock, arrived in Ireland this afternoon and were soon greeted by the President, Mary McAleese at Aras an Uachtarain in “…Dublin’s Phoenix park.” After a 21-gun salute, national anthems played, the royal couple along with their hosts signed a welcome book.

According to the Irish newspaper, The Independent:

Government officials have said the visit will reflect the long-standing ties between Ireland and Monaco and underline the potential for future co-operation in business, environment, research, education, tourism and culture.

The prince was introduced to the Irish reception party which included Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Ireland’s ambassador to Monaco Paul Kavanagh, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Defence Forces’ Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sean McCann.

He also met the children from St Joseph’s, before attending a private meeting with President McAleese, her husband, Ms Wittstock, Mr. Kavanagh, and Monaco’s honorary counsel in Dublin Howard Kilroy.

Prince Albert then planted an Irish oak in the garden of the Aras, accompanied by President McAleese and the school children.

He left for his next engagement at the Garden of Remembrance in central Dublin with a motorcycle escort.

Security was tight around the Garden of Remembrance, a memorial garden in Dublin’s north inner city which honours the memory of all those who gave their lives for Irish freedom.

Albert was greeted by Defence Minister Alan Shatter and walked the length of the garden past the cross-shaped water feature with Lt Gen McCann. His fiancee followed, escorted by Brigadier General Dennis Murphy.

The prince stumbled slightly as he walked up the steps towards the large sculpture based on the theme of the Children of Lir. (Independent.ie,)

This state visit will last three days and the royal couple will have a packed schedule.   More information is coming through the news wire so stay tuned.

To read more about the arrival of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock, please click the links: Irish TimesIndependent.ie, and The Independent

To view the many photos from today please click the links:  Photos galorephotos, and more.

Source: The Independent Photo courtesy of: Day Life via Reuters by Cathal McNaughton