The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today arrived in Dublin for the start of a three-day visit to Ireland – their first to the Emerald Isle.
The couple flew to Dublin Airport on a commercial Aer Lingus flight with dozens of residents returning home, business travellers and tourists.
In brilliant winter sunshine they walked down the aircraft’s steps and were greeted by a small group of dignitaries led by Britain’s Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett.
The duchess looked stylish in an emerald green Catherine Walker coat and an Alessandra Rich dress, while the duke wore a suit, and nearby was a large police presence and a motorcade waiting to take the couple to the city centre.
William and Kate are expected to sample a pint of Guinness later when they meet leading figures from Irish life.
At the Gravity Bar in the Guinness Storehouse – a major visitor attraction in the Irish capital telling the story of the famous drink – the couple are due to meet a range of people from the creative arts, sport, business and charity sectors.
During the first day of their tour the Cambridges will also lay a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance. The quiet open space is dedicated to those who rose up against British rule in 1916 and gave their lives for Irish independence.
They will return to the UK on Friday, meaning they will miss Prince Harry’s Endeavour Fund Awards in London, which the Duke of Sussex will be attending with Meghan Markle. William attended the inaugural ceremony in 2017 but has not been for several years.
The two couples will then be reunited for the first time since Megxit for the Commonwealth Day service in London on March 9, which will be broadcast live on BBC One and across the BBC World Service.
William and Kate flew to Dublin Airport on a commercial Aer Lingus flight with the duchess looking stylish in an emerald green Catherine Walker coat and an Alessandra Rich dress
The Duke and Duchess received a warm welcome from the assembled dignitaries, while nearby was a large police presence and a motorcade waiting to take the couple to the city centre
In brilliant winter sunshine they walked down the aircraft’s steps and were greeted by a small group of dignitaries led by Britain’s Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett
Irish eyes were smiling when the Duchess arrived in Dublin in a striking green outfit that paid tribute to the Emerald Isle
The couple are making their first visit to Ireland with the Government hoping the trip will help smooth over Brexit-related tensions
Britain’s Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett joins dignitaries greeting the royal couple as they walked onto the runway from the aircraft’s steps
First off, the couple will meet the President of Ireland Michael Higgins, before visiting the Garden of Remembrance to lay a wreath.
The quiet open space is dedicated to those who rose up against British rule in 1916 and gave their lives for Irish independence.
When the Queen made her historic visit to Ireland in 2011 – the first by a British monarch since the nation gained independence from Britain – she bowed her head during a visit to the garden as a mark of respect for those who died, a hugely symbolic moment.
The duke and duchess will also meet Ireland’s Taoiseach, or prime minister, Leo Varadkar, before a reception at the Guinness Storehouse – a major visitor attraction in the Irish capital telling the story of the famous drink.
The the couple will meet a range of people from the creative arts, sport, business and charity sectors, before having a session with Master Brewer Fergal Murray, who will take them through the process of making the stout and how to pour the perfect pint.
Following their arrival at Dublin Airport (pictured) William and Kate are expected to sample a pint of Guinness later when they meet leading figures from Irish life
William and Kate were said to be looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people during their first official visit to the country
The couple looked happy and relaxed as they were met by the welcoming party in crisp winter sunshine on the first day of their visit
The timing of the visit means William and Kate will not be able to join Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Endeavour Awards in London. William attended the first ceremony but has not been for the last two years
The duke and duchess – seen arriving at the airport – will also meet Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins and the Taoiseach, or prime minister, Leo Varadkar
They arrived on a regular Aer Lingus commercial jet, which was packed with businessmen, holidaymakers and workers returning home
The visit will highlight the strong links between the UK and Ireland, and the couple’s programme will take in community initiatives and spectacular scenery, the palace said in a statement.
The statement added: ‘Following Her Majesty the Queen’s historic visit in 2011, the visit will also focus on the relationship between the two countries, and build on the theme of remembrance and reconciliation.’
It also said: ‘The UK’s links with Ireland are extensive, and the duke and duchess are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people.’
The Queen’s historic visit to the Irish Republic was made amid unprecedented security, as she became the first British monarch to travel there in 100 years and the first since the nation gained independence from Britain.
She bowed her head in Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance to pay tribute to the rebels who rose up against British rule in 1916, spoke Irish in an address to a state banquet and visited Croke Park Stadium, where British forces shot dead 14 spectators at a Gaelic football match in 1920.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have made five visits to Ireland over the past five years, a sign of the closer Anglo-Irish relations ushered in by the Queen’s tour.
The statement added: ‘During the three-day tour, the duke and duchess will learn about local organisations working to support and empower young people and projects which provide opportunities to help them develop important life skills.
‘Their Royal Highnesses will also hear more about Ireland’s conservation initiatives and efforts to protect its environment, with a particular focus on sustainable farming and marine conservation.
‘2020 will see Galway host the European Capital of Culture on behalf of Ireland, a showcase of events highlighting the richness and diversity of Irish culture, art and sport.
‘During their time in Galway, the duke and duchess will have the opportunity to experience a taste of modern and traditional Irish culture for themselves.’