In pictures: Irish state visit in Windsor

In pictures: Irish state visit in Windsor

Francis Batt

In pictures: Irish state visit in Windsor

Crowds thronged the streets of Windsor on Tuesday to see the Queen welcome the first Irish president to visit the United Kingdom.

People started gathering before 10am and within an hour the route of the ceremonial procession from Datchet Road, along Thames Street, High Street and Park Street was packed with hundreds of excited royal watchers and visitors.

The Queen's car passed at 11.50am on the way to the specially set up pavilion in Datchet Road, where she and the Duke of Edinburgh greeted the president.

As the President and his wife Sabina stepped into the pavilion a 21 gun salute was fired from the Home Park.

The president was driven in a ceremonial carriage through streets bedecked with the Irish Tricolour and Union flags to Windsor Castle, where the Grenadier Guards provided a Guard of Honour.

He rode in the carriage with the Queen while his wife Sabina followed in a second carriage with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall followed in an open topped carriage. They had greeted the president earlier at the Irish Embassy in London.

The Queen was accompanied by members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, resplendent in their plumed helmets and silver breastplates, riding chargers born and bred in Ireland.

When the procession reached the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle the president joined the Duke inspecting the Guard of Honour while the Band of the Irish Guards played. Significantly the band contains members from both Northern and Southern Ireland.

After the inspection the president presented a new coat to the 1st Battalion Irish Guard's mascot the Irish wolfhound Domhnall of Shantamon. It had been specially made by Irish tailors.

Meanwhile Windsor returned to normal, as the barricades were removed and crowds drifted away - bringing a brisk trade to the town's cafes and bars.

See a photo gallery of the procession below.



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