13 Sep 2022

Queen Elizabeth II’s complicated history with the island of Ireland

Political Editor

Northern Ireland’s political problems meant there was no First Minister to greet the new King on his visit to Belfast. But it wasn’t so long ago that the Northern Ireland “Troubles” would have meant the visit itself was nearly unthinkable.

In the 1970s and 80s the Queen managed just one, heavily-guarded, visit. The peace and reconciliation that came about later in her reign culminated in her historic visit to the Republic of Ireland  – described by her son and heir as her greatest achievement.