Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland politicians send best wishes to Prince Harry and Meghan

By Mark Edwards

Unionist politicians have rushed to congratulate Prince Harry after his engagement to actress Meghan Markle was announced yesterday.

Their long-anticipated engagement was announced by the Prince of Wales yesterday morning with a statement saying the couple, who have been dating for 16 months, will marry next spring.

There did not appear to be any goodwill expressed to the couple from senior nationalist politicians.

It stood in contrast to the late Martin McGuinness, when he wished Prince William and Kate Middleton “a long and happy marriage, as I would any young couple”, in 2011, ahead of the Queen’s visit here.

However, DUP leader Arlene Foster was left red-faced after she congratulated Prince William in a tweet instead.

The message was soon deleted and replaced with one sending good tidings to the correct prince.

She later said: “Today’s announcement is wonderful news and I want to congratulate the Royal couple, HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on this joyous occasion.

“As a nation we look forward to their Royal wedding expected in spring 2018. From Northern Ireland we send our best wishes.”

Blame for the gaffe was laid at the door of a DUP worker by Mrs Foster. “I stopped tweeting personally a long time ago. Genuine typo by a member of staff. Guilty of tweeting too fast. There goes any chance of an invite!! :-) AF”

TUV  leader Jim Allister joked: “I suppose it could have been worse, she could have said Prince William and Mrs Merkel (German Chancellor). But I express my congratulations to Prince Harry and Ms Markle.

“A wedding is always a cheerful occasion for the nation, it’s good for Prince Harry and the Royal family.”

UUP councillor Diana Armstrong said: “In my role as chairperson of the local NSPCC Charity Committee I had the honour of being recently presented to Prince Harry.

“He took a great interest in our work and how it was part of the local community.

“The news this morning of his engagement to Meghan Markle is great news for society in general.”

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds tweeted: “Wonderful news! Sending the best wishes of north Belfast on this great occasion.”

Carla Lockhart, DUP MLA, said: “Very many congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I wish them very many happy years together.”

And Alliance Party MLA Stewart Dickson congratulated the happy couple, adding: “This is a time for celebration.”

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