King Charles III and Queen Camilla were greeted by hundreds of well-wishers as they visited Armagh City on Thursday 25 May, to the delight of local community representatives and school children.
Their Majesties had a number of engagements during their visit including a tour of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral and the Armagh Robinson Library. This was followed by The King and Queen proceeding to the Market Square where they were greeted by a Celebration of Culture, featuring traditional music, song and dance.
Performances included a collaboration of Irish and Indian dancers accompanied by Ulster-Scots snare drumming, to perform an iconic piece of music, with world class Pipes & Drums and Drum Majors, featuring alongside Chinese and Ulster Scots Highland dancers.
Speaking of his delight at welcoming Their Majesties to the City, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Paul Greenfield said:
“It was an honour to welcome King Charles and Queen Camilla to Armagh as part of Their Majesties’ first public engagements in Northern Ireland, since their Coronation. In one of my last weeks in the office of Lord Mayor, todays visit was an immense privilege, bringing to a close an amazing year.
“This visit highlights the historical and cultural significance of our wonderful city, and its reputation as a destination of choice for amazing food, unique cultural experiences, and friendly welcoming people.
“The visit recognised and celebrated the diversity and traditions of our community, something Their Majesties took a keen interest in throughout their visit. The community groups and school children involved were delighted to be part of this special event, and I know it is an experience they will always remember.”
The King also met representatives of The Prince’s Trust working in Northern Ireland, while The Queen met members of Nit and Natter, a group established during Covid by Gail Steed who began knitting headbands for charity. The group has now raised nearly £70,000 for Breast Cancer and the Southern Area Hospice.
Together, Their Majesties met characters representing legendary and historical figures associated with Armagh, sampled local delicacies and met artisan food producers representing the Food Heartland, a project delivered by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to support home grown agri-businesses to develop and expand internationally. They then proceeded to the stage to meet and greet the performers.
The King and Queen then had the opportunity to meet members of the public before departing.