President Michael D Higgins arrived at London Heathrow Airport yesterday
President Michael D Higgins will officially begin his State visit to the UK today.
President Higgins and his wife Sabina arrived in London yesterday.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh will formally welcome the President and Mrs Higgins on a platform on the outskirts of Windsor at midday.
They will then travel by horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Windsor, which are decorated with large tricolours and union flags.
The Irish and British national anthems will be played during ceremonies inside what is the longest occupied castle in Europe.
President Higgins will address both houses at the Palace of Westminster later this afternoon.
Tonight, 160 guests will attend a State banquet in Windsor Castle.
Guests will include Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former president Mary McAleese, British Prime Minister David Cameron and the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.
The Queen and the President will both make speeches at the event. It will be the only address given by the Queen during the visit.
In the course of the busy four-day programme, President Higgins will attend several functions, marking the contribution made in Britain by successive generations of Irish immigrants.
President Higgins, who is the ninth President of Ireland, is making history by becoming the first holder of the office to make a State visit to the UK.
In extended coverage of the Presidential visit to the UK, RTÉ’s Morning Ireland and Today with Seán O’Rourke on Radio One are being broadcast from Windsor this morning.
An extended Morning Edition on RTÉ One television will carry pictures of the start of the visit.
There will also be special programmes on RTÉ One and News Now beginning at 11.40am this morning, 4.15pm this afternoon and 8.25pm this evening.
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