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The Queen marks St Patrick's Day with special message

The monarch carried out a historic visit in 2011

Danielle Stacey

The Queen has spoken of fond memories as she sent a message to the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, ahead of St Patrick's Day on 17 March.

The monarch, 94, wrote: "On the occasion of your National Day, I would like to convey to Your Excellency my congratulations, together with my best wishes to the people of Ireland.

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 "This year marks ten years since my visit to Ireland, which I remember fondly, and it marks a significant centenary across these islands.

 "We share ties of family, friendship and affection – the foundation of our partnership that remains as important today as ten years ago.

"Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh go léir [Happy St Patrick's Day to you all]. Elizabeth R."

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The Queen delivering her speech in Ireland in 2011

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made a historic visit to Ireland in 2011, which came 100 years after the last visit by a British monarch, when her grandfather King George V visited as part of his 1911 accession tour.

During their official trip, Her Majesty visited the National War Memorial Gardens, Croke Park stadium, the Guinness storehouse and she received widespread praise for delivering a speech on relations between Ireland and the UK, by speaking Irish.

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The Cambridges with President Michael D. Higgins and wife Sabina

In April 2014, President Michael D. Higgins reciprocated the Queen's visit when he became the Irish president to make a state visit to the UK.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also carried out a three-day visit to Ireland last March.

And shortly after their wedding in 2018, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex embarked on a two-day official trip to Ireland.

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