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A very public return to the limelight as Iris Robinson meets Queen

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Iris Robinson pictured  talking to  Bertie Ahern at the State Dinner in honour of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, at Dublin Castle.

Iris Robinson pictured talking to Bertie Ahern at the State Dinner in honour of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, at Dublin Castle.

John Stillwell

Iris Robinson talking to Bertie Ahern at the State Dinner in honour of the Queen at Dublin Castle

Iris Robinson talking to Bertie Ahern at the State Dinner in honour of the Queen at Dublin Castle

Peter and Iris Robinson wait to greet Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and  Irish President Mary McAleese at a State dinner in  Dublin Castle

Peter and Iris Robinson wait to greet Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Irish President Mary McAleese at a State dinner in Dublin Castle

Arthur Edwards

Queen Elizabeth II (R) greets Iris Robinson, the wife of Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson with Irish President Mary McAleese (C) at the State Banquet in Dublin Castle on May 18, 2011 i

Queen Elizabeth II (R) greets Iris Robinson, the wife of Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson with Irish President Mary McAleese (C) at the State Banquet in Dublin Castle on May 18, 2011 i

Pool

The British Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Dublin Castle for a State dinner

The British Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Dublin Castle for a State dinner

Irish Taoiseach  Enda Kenny talks with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at Government buildings where the two held talks prior to attending the state dinner in honour of Queen Elizabeth II

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny talks with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at Government buildings where the two held talks prior to attending the state dinner in honour of Queen Elizabeth II

Pool

Protestors march as the Garda form a protective ring around Dublin Castle as the Queen attends a state dinner on May 18, 2011 in Dublin

Protestors march as the Garda form a protective ring around Dublin Castle as the Queen attends a state dinner on May 18, 2011 in Dublin

Chris Jackson

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive to attend a State Banquet in Dublin Castle on May 18, 2011 in Dublin

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive to attend a State Banquet in Dublin Castle on May 18, 2011 in Dublin

Oli Scarff

A protester near Dublin Castle ahead of the state dinner in honour of Queen Elizabeth II on the second day of her State Visit to Ireland

A protester near Dublin Castle ahead of the state dinner in honour of Queen Elizabeth II on the second day of her State Visit to Ireland

Niall Carson

Protestors outside Dublin Castle ahead of the state dinner in honour of Queen Elizabeth II on the second day of her State Visit to Ireland

Protestors outside Dublin Castle ahead of the state dinner in honour of Queen Elizabeth II on the second day of her State Visit to Ireland

Niall Carson

Irish Taoiseach  Enda Kenny pictured with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at Government buildings where the two held talks prior to attending the state dinner in honour of Queen Elizabeth II

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at Government buildings where the two held talks prior to attending the state dinner in honour of Queen Elizabeth II

Niall Carson

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh pictured with Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband Dr Martin McAleese  at Dublin Castle

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh pictured with Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband Dr Martin McAleese at Dublin Castle

Julien Behal

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive to attend a State Banquet in Dublin Castle on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive to attend a State Banquet in Dublin Castle on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland

Oli Scarff

President of the Irish Republic Mary McAleese, Queen Elizabeth II and GAA President Christy Cooney at Croke Park, Dublin, during the second day of her State Visit to Ireland.

President of the Irish Republic Mary McAleese, Queen Elizabeth II and GAA President Christy Cooney at Croke Park, Dublin, during the second day of her State Visit to Ireland.

Julien Behal

Queen Elizabeth II at the Irish War memorial Garden in Dublin.

Queen Elizabeth II at the Irish War memorial Garden in Dublin.

Eamonn Farrell

Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by President Mary McAleese visit the Garden of Remembrance on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by President Mary McAleese visit the Garden of Remembrance on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Pool

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 17: Queen Elizabeth II and President Mary McAleese lay a wreaths at the Garden of Remembrance on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Queen's visit is the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings.  (Photo by Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 17: Queen Elizabeth II and President Mary McAleese lay a wreaths at the Garden of Remembrance on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Queen's visit is the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings. (Photo by Irish Government - Pool/Getty Images)

Pool

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh offered a pint of Guinness  at the Guinness Storehouse

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh offered a pint of Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse

Maxwells

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Maxwells

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 17:  Queen Elizabeth II arrives to lay a wreath at Dublin Memorial Garden on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Queen's visit is the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 17: Queen Elizabeth II arrives to lay a wreath at Dublin Memorial Garden on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Queen's visit is the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Chris Jackson

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Pool

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Pool

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Pool

Protesters throw missiles at Irish police in the streets adjacent to the Garden on Remembrance where Queen Elizabeth II laid a wreath on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Protesters throw missiles at Irish police in the streets adjacent to the Garden on Remembrance where Queen Elizabeth II laid a wreath on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Oli Scarff

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 17:  Police and protesters clash in the streets adjacent to the Garden on Remembrance where Queen Elizabeth II laid a wreath on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Queen's visit is the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 17: Police and protesters clash in the streets adjacent to the Garden on Remembrance where Queen Elizabeth II laid a wreath on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Queen's visit is the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Oli Scarff

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Queen Elizabeth's state visit to the Republic of Ireland. May 2011

Pool

  Protesters throw missiles at Irish police in the streets adjacent to the Garden on Remembrance where Queen Elizabeth II laid a wreath on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Protesters throw missiles at Irish police in the streets adjacent to the Garden on Remembrance where Queen Elizabeth II laid a wreath on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Oli Scarff

Queen Elizabeth II  and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are shown the Book of Kells during a visit to Trinity College Dublin on May 17

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are shown the Book of Kells during a visit to Trinity College Dublin on May 17

Pool

The Queen at the Aras an Uachtarain.

The Queen at the Aras an Uachtarain.

The Queen  shakes hands with Irish President Mary McAleese after arriving at Aras an Uachtarain (The Irish President's official residence) in Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland.

The Queen shakes hands with Irish President Mary McAleese after arriving at Aras an Uachtarain (The Irish President's official residence) in Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland.

John Stillwell

Protestors make their way down a street in Dublin after the Queen arrived in the country for a four day state visit.

Protestors make their way down a street in Dublin after the Queen arrived in the country for a four day state visit.

Niall Carson

Protestors make their way down a street in Dublin after the Queen arrived in the country for a four day state visit.

Protestors make their way down a street in Dublin after the Queen arrived in the country for a four day state visit.

Niall Carson

Protestors make their way down a street in Dublin after the Queen arrived in the country for a four day state visit.

Protestors make their way down a street in Dublin after the Queen arrived in the country for a four day state visit.

Niall Carson

The signatures of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh are seen in the visitors book at Aras An Uachtarain in Phoenix Park, Dublin

The signatures of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh are seen in the visitors book at Aras An Uachtarain in Phoenix Park, Dublin

Tony Maxwell

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speaks to the media in front of the Dublin Monaghan Bombings memorial in Dublin city centre, in response to the royal visit by Queen Elizabeth

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speaks to the media in front of the Dublin Monaghan Bombings memorial in Dublin city centre, in response to the royal visit by Queen Elizabeth

Julien Behal

Queen Elizabeth II holds a posy of flowers given to her by eight-year-old Rachel Fox after she was greeted by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore upon arrival at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel

Queen Elizabeth II holds a posy of flowers given to her by eight-year-old Rachel Fox after she was greeted by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore upon arrival at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel

Bryan O'Brien

Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Baldonnel Airport on the Royal Flight on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Baldonnel Airport on the Royal Flight on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Chris Jackson

Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Baldonnel Airport on the Royal Flight on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Baldonnel Airport on the Royal Flight on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Chris Jackson

Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Baldonnel Airport on the Royal Flight on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Baldonnel Airport on the Royal Flight on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Chris Jackson

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are greeted by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore (front) upon arrival at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, ahead of a four day state visit.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are greeted by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore (front) upon arrival at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, ahead of a four day state visit.

Niall Carson

Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore upon arrival at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel

Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore upon arrival at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel

Niall Carson

Irish Army Rangers are seen at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel,  ahead of the arrival of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

Irish Army Rangers are seen at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, ahead of the arrival of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

Niall Carson

A sticker on a lamppost critical of the state visit to Ireland by the Queen.

A sticker on a lamppost critical of the state visit to Ireland by the Queen.

Oli Scarff

Princess Elizabeth of York in 1927

Princess Elizabeth of York in 1927

The Royal Collection / PA

George V with Queen Mary visiting Ireland in 1911, the last reigning monarchs to visit.Queen Victoria visiting Dublin in 1900

George V with Queen Mary visiting Ireland in 1911, the last reigning monarchs to visit.Queen Victoria visiting Dublin in 1900

A poster is seen on a lamp post in advance of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's visit on May 16, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

A poster is seen on a lamp post in advance of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's visit on May 16, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Chris Jackson

PRESIDENT MARY ROBINSON AND QUEEN ELIZABETH

PRESIDENT MARY ROBINSON AND QUEEN ELIZABETH

George V with Queen Mary visiting Ireland in 1911, the last reigning monarchs to visit.Queen Victoria visiting Dublin in 1900

George V with Queen Mary visiting Ireland in 1911, the last reigning monarchs to visit.Queen Victoria visiting Dublin in 1900

The Royal Standard flag flies from an Irish pub ahead of the state visit to Ireland by the Queen on May 16, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

The Royal Standard flag flies from an Irish pub ahead of the state visit to Ireland by the Queen on May 16, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

Oli Scarff

Members of the public walk past phone boxes taped shut by police ahead of the state visit to Ireland by the Queen

Members of the public walk past phone boxes taped shut by police ahead of the state visit to Ireland by the Queen

Oli Scarff

Picture dated 1935 showing Princess Elizabeth sitting in the studio of Hungarian sculptor Sigismund de Strobl (background).

Picture dated 1935 showing Princess Elizabeth sitting in the studio of Hungarian sculptor Sigismund de Strobl (background).

THE ROYAL COLLECTION

NI visit 1949.  The young Princess Elizabeth visits Northern Ireland.

NI visit 1949. The young Princess Elizabeth visits Northern Ireland.

Gardai and security outside the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin city centre, ahead of the royal Visit by Britain's Queen of Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh this week.

Gardai and security outside the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin city centre, ahead of the royal Visit by Britain's Queen of Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh this week.

Julien Behal

People walk past graffiti in Dublin city centre, ahead of the royal visit by  Queen Elizabeth II

People walk past graffiti in Dublin city centre, ahead of the royal visit by Queen Elizabeth II

Niall Carson

Queen Elizabeth II meets Dame Helen Mirren at a reception to celebrate young people in the performing arts, at Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth II meets Dame Helen Mirren at a reception to celebrate young people in the performing arts, at Buckingham Palace

Dominic Lipinski

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel,  for a four day state visit.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, for a four day state visit.

Niall Carson

The 8th Royal Hussars lead the procession for King George V and Queen Mary down Grafton Street,Dublin during the Royal Visit in 1911

The 8th Royal Hussars lead the procession for King George V and Queen Mary down Grafton Street,Dublin during the Royal Visit in 1911

WINSTON CHURCHILL MEETS QUEEN ELIZABETH II

WINSTON CHURCHILL MEETS QUEEN ELIZABETH II

KING GEORGE V1865-1936

KING GEORGE V1865-1936

King George V, arriving at Belfast City Hall accompanied by Queen Mary to the opening of the first Ulster Parliament. 22/6/1921.

King George V, arriving at Belfast City Hall accompanied by Queen Mary to the opening of the first Ulster Parliament. 22/6/1921.

King George V1 (VI) : Coronation on May 12th 1937. The Royal family robed and crowned on the balacony of Buckingham Palace after the coronation, with the princesses.

King George V1 (VI) : Coronation on May 12th 1937. The Royal family robed and crowned on the balacony of Buckingham Palace after the coronation, with the princesses.

Princess Elizabeth with her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary; and Snip the King's Cairn terrier, 1928.

Princess Elizabeth with her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary; and Snip the King's Cairn terrier, 1928.

The Royal Collection 2007 Her

Princess Elizabeth of York in 1927

Princess Elizabeth of York in 1927

The Royal Collection / PA

20/11/1947 Princess Elizabeth, now Queen, and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, now the Duke of Edinburgh with their eight bridesmaids in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, on their wedding day.

20/11/1947 Princess Elizabeth, now Queen, and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, now the Duke of Edinburgh with their eight bridesmaids in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, on their wedding day.

PA Wire

King George V, at Belfast City Hall accompanied by Queen Mary to the opening of the first Ulster Parliament. 22/6/1921.

King George V, at Belfast City Hall accompanied by Queen Mary to the opening of the first Ulster Parliament. 22/6/1921.

Belfast Telegraph

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret riding a rocking horse at St. Paul's Waldenbury in August 1932

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret riding a rocking horse at St. Paul's Waldenbury in August 1932

The Royal Collection / PA

Princess Elizabeth of York with lilies in 1929

Princess Elizabeth of York with lilies in 1929

The Royal Collection / PA

Princess Elizabeth (who became Queen Elizabeth II). The Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth (who became Queen Elizabeth II). The Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth (who became Queen Elizabeth II) playing with Victorian glasses. The Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Elizabeth (who became Queen Elizabeth II) playing with Victorian glasses. The Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Duchess of York with Princess Elizabeth (who became Queen Elizabeth II). The Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Duchess of York with Princess Elizabeth (who became Queen Elizabeth II). The Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth:Coronation 1953/Visit to Northern Ireland. In Ballymena.

Queen Elizabeth:Coronation 1953/Visit to Northern Ireland. In Ballymena.

Queen Elizabeth:Coronation 1953/Ulster Celebrations. Coronation Book Display. 4/6/1953

Queen Elizabeth:Coronation 1953/Ulster Celebrations. Coronation Book Display. 4/6/1953

Queen Elizabeth:Coronation 1953/Ulster Celebrations. Beechill, Lisburn. 30/5/1953

Queen Elizabeth:Coronation 1953/Ulster Celebrations. Beechill, Lisburn. 30/5/1953

Queen Elizabeth:Coronation 1953/Ulster Celebrations. Loopland Drive Party.

Queen Elizabeth:Coronation 1953/Ulster Celebrations. Loopland Drive Party.

2/6/1953, of the coronation in Westminster Abbey of Britainís Queen Elizabeth II. 50 years on the anniversary will be marked later Monday June 2, 2003, with a service in the Abbey, attended by members of the Royal family, invited guests and 1,000 members of the public.

2/6/1953, of the coronation in Westminster Abbey of Britainís Queen Elizabeth II. 50 years on the anniversary will be marked later Monday June 2, 2003, with a service in the Abbey, attended by members of the Royal family, invited guests and 1,000 members of the public.

2/6/1953. Bishops pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II, at her coronation.

2/6/1953. Bishops pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II, at her coronation.

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Iris Robinson pictured talking to Bertie Ahern at the State Dinner in honour of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, at Dublin Castle.

Iris Robinson has made her first public appearance in more than a year.

The disgraced politician, who has not been seen for 17 months, accompanied her husband, First Minister Peter Robinson, to the State banquet in Dublin Castle in honour of the Queen last night.

Dressed in a figure-hugging green fishtail dress and sporting a neat shoulder-length light brown hairstyle complete with sparkling emerald earrings and her trademark heavy black eyeliner, Mrs Robinson appeared relaxed and happy when she embraced Irish President Mary McAleese before shaking hands with the Queen and Prince Philip.

The 62-year-old, who was too ill to attend last month's Royal wedding in London, curtseyed and displayed a huge, confident smile when she greeted the monarch during an official line-up.

Mr and Mrs Robinson had arrived at the historic venue before 7pm. During the event Iris, who was seated between British ambassador Julian King and Ireland's Chief Justice John L Murray, chatted freely and laughed at a number of jokes which formed part of President McAleese's speech.

She listened intently, toasted and heartily applauded Queen Elizabeth inside St Patrick's Hall.

Her appearance at the lavish banquet was widely seen as the first difficult step in her reintegration into public life.

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The former Strangford MP quit politics in 2009 amid the scandal surrounding her affair with teenager Kirk McCambley. She stepped down from the DUP and withdrew from public life to receive intensive treatment for depression at an exclusive London clinic after it was revealed that she had borrowed £50,000 from two property developers to set her young lover up in business.

Last month she made a brief, low-key appearance at her mothert’s funeral service in Co Armagh.

Meanwhile, also among the 172 guests dining on Irish beef and champ with the Queen, Prince Philip and Prime Minister David Cameron were Foreign Secretary William Hague — who is accompanying the Royal couple on their four-day visit to Ireland — PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott, poet Seamus Heaney and Cardinal Sean Brady.

Also in attendance were several senior politicians from Northern Ireland, including Ulster Unionist Party leader Tom Elliott, Alliance leader David Ford, the SDLP's Margaret Ritchie and Stormont Speaker Willie Hay.


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