Prince Harry visits Northern Ireland

Published 06 September 2017

Prince Harry has spent the day in Northern Ireland, meeting people from across the region, with a focus on the emergency services and young people.

Prince Harry started his first visit to Northern Ireland in Ballymena, where he opened the new Northern Ireland Ambulance Service station and North Division Headquarters.

The design team behind the new £5.6 million facility briefed Prince Harry on the facility and delivered a demonstration of the station's resources. These include the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) capability, Emergency Resilience, and Training Team.

His Royal Highness also received a demonstration of paramedic skills and was able to see the vehicles and ambulances that operate out of the station.

Before leaving the station Prince Harry had the opportunity to meet some of the staff and crews, to learn about their work in the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Prince Harry then travelled to Belfast to visit Co-operation Ireland, a peacebuilding organisation working to encourage and promote interaction, dialogue and practical collaboration between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

His Royal Highness was able to hear how different youth organisations are promoting cross-community links, bringing young people together who would not otherwise meet, and encourage young leaders to positively engage with their communities.

The event concluded with young people from schools in Northern Ireland sharing their school's Peace Pledge and Prince Harry launched Year 2 of the youth-led Amazing the Space programme.

The event was hosted at The MAC in Belfast's vibrant new Cathedral Quarter, where Prince Harry was also able to meet many members of the public.

The day in Northern Ireland was completed at Hillsborough Castle, where Prince Harry attended a Garden Party. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has hosted this event annually since 1984.

Every year around 2,000 guests are invited, drawn from a wide cross-section of Northern Irish society, including the voluntary and community sectors, local charities, youth organisations and wider civil society.

Hillsborough Castle is the official residence of The Royal Family when they are in Northern Ireland, and the home of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland since the early 1970s.

A Royal Guest of Honour attends each year and in recent years this event has been attended by The Duke of York in 2012, The Earl of Wessex in 2013, HM The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh during their visit to Northern Ireland in 2014, The Earl and Countess of Wessex in 2015 and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2016.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend a Garden Party at Hillsborough Castle