Vicky Phelan amongst guests at garden party for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Update 8.15pm: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are attending a party at the British Embassy in Dublin this evening.

The British royal couple have touched down in Ireland for a two day visit which includes trips to Trinity College, Áras an Uachtaráin and Croke Park.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a Summer Party at the British Ambassador's residence at Glencairn House attend a Summer Party at the British Ambassador's residence at Glencairn House. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA

300 people including Brian O’Driscoll, Niall Breslin and Lucy Kennedy are joining them at the party this evening.

Cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan is also there and was delighted to be asked.

"I thought I was dreaming to be honest. I said surely they got that wrong," said Ms Phelan.

"But I met the Deputy Ambassador [who] said 'no absolutely not. We really wanted to have you here'.

"I said 'wow'. It's great. Absolutely fantastic."

Update 7.20pm: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have arrived at Government Buildings in Dublin.

The royal couple were greeted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Picture: PA

They shook hands with Mr Varadkar and spoke for a few minutes before making their way inside Government Buildings for an official meeting.

Before the couple arrived Mr Varadkar said: "It is the first visit they will have made overseas since they got married and even though they haven't officially visited Ireland before, I think they are going to be extremely welcome and I look forward to welcoming them."

The unseasonably warm weather appeared to be an immediate topic of conversation between the trio, with Mr Varadkar pointing out a nearby patch of parched brown grass around a fountain.

In Mr Varadkar's private offices, the duke and duchess were introduced to a number of employees including 18-year-old intern Tabitha Owen, from London, who is on a short summer secondment before starting a degree at Oxford University in September.

"You're really busy?," asked Harry. "What time do you normally knock off? Not until very late? Ah!"

Referencing the student's connection to the UK, Mr Varadkar told the couple his "big sister" worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

When it was time to sign the visitors' book Harry wrote his name and joked "I never sign big enough," then when Meghan signed her name with a flourish, he added: "Yours is much nicer than mine."

Pic: PA

They then sat down for private talks with Mr Varadkar.

Sources said that during the private meeting, the Taoiseach and Harry discussed the possibility of the Irish Defence Forces participating in the Invictus Games.

Earlier: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have arrived in Ireland for a two-day trip.

It is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first overseas royal engagement since they got married in May.

They were greeted by a number of dignitaries including Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee and the Mayor of Fingal.

Wearing a green Givenchy dress Megan waved as the Royal couple were whisked away, amid tight security.

Harry and Meghan looked relaxed as they made their way down the steps and shook the hands of the waiting officials in turn, before being led to their car at the head of a motorcade.

Harry and Meghan meet local dignitaries (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Nearby nine Garda motorbike outriders were waiting to escort the couple to a meeting with Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who will formally welcome the couple to his country.

As their car pulled away Harry, looking smart in a suit, shirt and tie, smiled at the ranks of journalists, photographers and cameramen capturing the moment, and waved at them.

Their two-day tour has been keenly anticipated (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The trip to Dublin is not the first time the duke and duchess have been away since their May 19 wedding, which fused tradition with modernity and diversity.

Harry and Meghan slipped away unnoticed for their honeymoon and the destination for the traditional break has remained under wraps for now.

The airport greeting marked the start of the duke and duchess’s whirlwind tour that will see them celebrate Ireland and its people.

Tourism Ireland says the trip provides a huge boost for Irish tourism.

- Press Association and Digital Desk

KEYWORDS: Prince Harry

 

Join the conversation - comment here

House Rules for comments - FAQ - Important message for commenters


Most Read in Ireland