Irish Republican News · October 24, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Secrecy surrounds royal visit

A surprise visit by the 'Queen of England' Elizabeth Windsor to the Six Counties last week has been criticised by republicans.

Windsor arrived unannounced in the Six Counties on Thursday and flew out the following day. All her arrangements had been kept secret until after the event.

Accompanied by 'Duke of Edinburgh' Philip Sonderburg-Glucksburg, the queen landed at George Best Belfast City Airport yesterday where she was greeted by British Secretary of State Owen Paterson and Belfast 'Lord Lieutenant' Mary Peters.

She then began a series of engagements in Belfast and Hillsborough, County Down.

Security for the visit was especially tight and, with arrangements kept secret, no one appeared on the streets to watch the motorcade as it made its way through the streets of south Belfast.

Windsor and Sonderburg-Glucksburg also held private meetings with Mr Paterson and DUP leader Peter Robinson.

éirígí condemned the presence of queen, who is the commander-in-chief of Britain’s armed forces in the Six Counties. The group also pointed up controversial plans to bring Windsor on an official State visit to the 26 Counties, a move likely to spark intense protests.

In March 2008, when a Windsor visit to the Six Counties was made public in advance, large protests took place against her presence in Armagh City, despite a large security operation by the Crown Forces.

Mr Mac Cionnaith said: “The tight secrecy that has surrounded Windsor’s latest visit to occupied Ireland is obviously to prevent the prospect of public protests against her presence.

“As commander-in-chief of Britain’s armed forces, Elizabeth Windsor is the figurehead for the occupation of the Six Counties.

"Elizabeth Windsor is not welcome in any part of Ireland, whether that be Belfast, Dublin or elsewhere."

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