Belfast Telegraph

Royal Wedding: Carrickfergus celebrates its new connection to future King

By Sarah Rainey

As millions of Royal fans across the world marked the big wedding, one Co Antrim seaside town had a special reason to celebrate.

Delighted locals in Carrickfergus took to the streets yesterday to enjoy their new Royal connection as Prince William was given the title Baron Carrickfergus.

The honorary role, bestowed upon him by the Queen, makes the groom the first holder of the title since 1883.

It links Prince William to Northern Ireland’s oldest town and one which has had links with British royalty for almost 1,000 years.

Revellers in Carrickfergus said they were “overjoyed” at the news, which many said would put the small community on the map.

Lorna Dunn (36) was celebrating the big day at a colourful street party in the Windmill estate, where families enjoyed live music and children’s entertainment.

“This is a day that I will never forget, it’s been great fun for everyone,” she said.

“And to have your town |associated with the future

King and Queen, who seem like really down-to-earth people, is really exciting.”

The name means ‘Rock of Fergus’, in honour of Fergus Mac Eirc, a sixth-century king of Dalriada, an area spread between Ulster and Scotland.

Legend has it that Fergus’s coronation stone was taken from Scotland to Westminster Abbey, the iconic scene of yesterday’s Royal ceremony.

The first and only Baron Carrickfergus was given his title in 1841, when George Chichester, third Marquess of Donegall, was made Baron Ennishowen and Carrickfergus.

When he died in 1883 the name became extinct, leaving the baronies of Carrickfergus and Ennishowen to fall into disuse — until now.

The seaside town, located on the shores of Belfast Lough, was the epicentre of English power in Ulster until the early 1700s.

It is known in local history as the landing place of King William of Orange before his victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Prince William joins several other members of the Royal family with titles linked to Northern Ireland, including the Earl of Ulster and the Earl of Carrick.

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