Monaco royalty to visit Ireland28/03/2011 - 19:17:32
Prince Albert II of Monaco will make a two-day State visit to Ireland next week.
The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Prince Albert and his fiancée Charlene Wittstock will attend a series of events in Dublin and Galway from Monday April 4.
His trip takes place 50 years after his late father and mother, Prince Rainier III and Hollywood actress Princess Grace, visited Ireland in 1961.
Officials said the programme for the visit will reflect the long-standing ties between Ireland and Monaco and will underline the potential for future co-operation in the areas of business, the environment, research, education, tourism and culture.
President Mary McAleese and her husband Dr Martin McAleese will formally welcome Prince Albert to Ireland and will host a State Dinner in his honour.
He will also have meetings with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Environment Minister Phil Hogan, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Gerry Breen.
During his time in Ireland, the Prince will visit Trinity College in Dublin, tour the redeveloped Docklands area in the city, and the Irish Marine Institute in Oranmore, Co Galway.
He will also inaugurate an exhibition in honour of the late Princess Grace at Farmleigh House, where he will host a reception to highlight Irish literature and art.
Prince Albert will be accompanied by a delegation from the Monaco Chamber of Economic Development during certain events.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said there is considerable potential to develop Ireland’s business and research links with Monaco, particularly in the areas of sustainable development, green energy, biodiversity and the marine environment.
“Monaco forms part of the EU Customs Territory and the euro area. It is a major banking centre and has successfully diversified into financial services,” it added.
“It is a promising market for high value Irish goods, notably food and drink.”
Meanwhile, plans are also well under way for a trip by the Queen, the first by a British monarch since the creation of the Irish State, and a separate visit by US President Barack Obama in May.
Mr Obama has revealed he is planning to visit the village of his ancestors in Moneygall, Co Offaly, when he travels to Ireland.
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