Belfast Telegraph

Charles joins bereaved relatives of police officers at new Belfast memorial

The Prince of Wales paid tribute to fallen police officers as he joined bereaved relatives at the opening of a memorial in Belfast.

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall bowed their heads for a minute's silence before laying wreaths at the striking stone roll of honour for the 13 Police Service of Northern Ireland officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty since the organisation was founded in 2001.

A piper played a lament after family members watched the royal couple unveil a plaque to commemorate their visit to the memorial garden, which is tucked in a secluded area of PSNI headquarters.

In a particularly poignant moment, seven-year-old Victoria Grieves, whose officer father Gary was killed in a road crash in 2010, presented a bouquet of flowers to the Duchess.

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said: "This is a very special, but also sad day, for the families and PSNI as we remember those who have died."

There is already an adjoining memorial garden to the 300 officers from the PSNI's predecessor, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, who were killed during the Troubles.

The solemn event, during which the couple also viewed a new book of remembrance, started the couple's second day of their four-day trip to Ireland.

From there it was on to the Co Down market town of Dromore, where there was a carnival atmosphere as the Prince and Duchess took a stroll through the square.

They chatted with local traders and even stopped for a quick ice cream.

The town was brought to a standstill as hundreds of well-wishers flooded on to the streets.

The Prince and Duchess spent time chatting and laughing with school children and members of the community before heading off to the primary school.

They royals will travel across the border to the Irish Republic on Wednesday afternoon.

The Prince has officially visited the Republic of Ireland four times before, most recently in May 2016.

In 2015, he and the Duchess travelled to Mullaghmore in Co Sligo where the Prince's great-uncle and mentor Lord Mountbatten and three others were killed by the IRA in 1979.

Highlights of the couple's latest visit to Ireland will include an engagement at Kilkenny Castle, where they will hear some traditional music and watch a hurling demonstration by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

Charles will tour the United Nations Training School Ireland at the Curragh Camp, while Camilla will visit the Irish National Stud.

Both will attend ceremonies at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin to commemorate those who lost their lives in the First World War and during the Easter Rising.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins will meet the Royal couple in Dublin later on Wednesday.

While in the city, the Prince will also meet Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and he and the Duchess will conclude their visit on Friday by attending a reception at the British ambassador's residence.

The Duchess visited the new 700-pupil Dromore Primary School in Co Down, which opened its doors to pupils in September last year.

She was met by principal Linda Allen and greeted by pupils, some carrying out engineering-type activities, others programming robots using tablets.

She was presented with a painting created by one of the teachers as a keepsake and said she had never seen such well-behaved children.

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