The King and Queen visit Northern Ireland: Day 1

Published 24 May 2023

The King and Queen have arrived in Belfast this afternoon, where Their Majesties will begin a series of engagements marking the first visit to Northern Ireland following the Coronation.

At Hazelbank Park in Newtownabbey, The King and Queen will open the new Coronation Garden, which has been established to commemorate Their Majesties’ Coronation, as well as to mark the start of a new green initiative for the local community. Their Majesties will open the gates to the garden, before meeting those involved in the design, which has been curated using, and inspired by, the same sustainable gardening principles used by The King and Queen. 

The King and Queen will view the new Garden from the balcony of an ornate pavilion, which is surrounded by a meadow of Irish wildflowers, and view a musical performance of dancing topiary and spinning conical trees.

Their Majesties will meet school children who have been taking part in Coronation-themed projects, as well as members of the community who volunteered for local charities during the Big Help Out over the Coronation Weekend, and recipients of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, The King’s Award for Enterprise and The Duke of Edinburgh Bursary. The King and Queen will cut a cake before departing.

The King and The Queen will be Guests of Honour at a Garden Party at Hillsborough Castle today, Wednesday 24th May, where Their Majesties will meet guests from across Northern Ireland’s voluntary and charitable sectors who have made positive impacts in their communities.

On arrival at Hillsborough Castle, Their Majesties will congratulate children from Blythefield Primary School, who have been selected as one of the winners of Historic Royal Palaces’ national Coronation Benches competition. The competition invited schools across the UK to submit designs for benches that will be installed across Historic Royal Palaces’ sites, as a lasting reminder of Their Majesties’ Coronation.

The King will receive the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in audience, before Their Majesties proceed to the Garden Party. As President of the Royal Voluntary Service, The Queen will meet some of the exceptional volunteers who were selected as Coronation Champions. Together, The King and Queen will plant a magnolia tree in the Garden of Hillsborough Castle, to mark Their Majesties’ Coronation, as Queen Elizabeth II did in 1953.

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