Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are less than two months away from their royal wedding and the couple is on a whirlwind visit to Northern Ireland. On Friday, the Prince and his fiancée visited Belfast and it’s their first official visit to the region together.
The people of Belfast were pretty surprised as the pair arrived unannounced in the city. The couple, who will tie the knot in St George's Chapel on May 19, attended an event celebrating a youth-led peace-building initiative launched by Prince Harry last year.
Today Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle visited Belfast for their first official joint visit to Northern Ireland. During their visit, the couple spoke to the young leaders of a peace-building initiative, Amazing the Space, and some of Northern Ireland’s brightest young entrepreneurs at Catalyst Inc HQ. The couple also learnt about the history of Belfast, visiting @NationalTrust’s The Crown Liquor Saloon and the iconic @TitanicBelfast, seen here, which tells the story of the Titanic.
The visit wasn’t all work and no play as Harry and Meghan also indulged themselves. They didn’t miss the opportunity to visit a historic liquor saloon and a local science park. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met local residents during a walkabout after lunch before they concluded their day trip with a tour of Belfast's Titanic exhibition. There they were presented with a replica of the iconic Titanic.
The couple announced their engagement in November last year. Since then, they have appeared together at an awards ceremonies, a charity event and for a Christmas Day service, as well as visits to London, Cardiff, and Edinburgh.
Royal trips to Northern Ireland are significant as the nationalist community there sees the British as occupiers. Besides Queen Elizabeth's cousin, Louis Mountbatten was assassinated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in 1979, using a bomb planted in his fishing boat. When the Queen visited Northern Ireland in 2012 and shook hands with former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, it was seen as a symbolic gesture towards peace and harmony.
The couple is inviting more than 2,600 people to watch the arrival of the bride and groom and their guests at their wedding. England is set to have a steady rise of tourists even as the country gets ready for another Royal wedding.