Meghan dazzles in emerald green as royal couple begin Dublin trip
Harry told leading figures the UK and Ireland had a ‘very special relationship between two proud, sovereign countries’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began their historic visit to Ireland by paying tribute to their hosts – Meghan by wearing an emerald green outfit and Harry praising England’s relationship with its closest neighbour.
While the former Suits actress looked stylish in the Givenchy creation in a colour that flattered the Irish, Harry told leading figures from the nation the UK and Ireland had a “very special relationship between two proud, sovereign countries”.
But the duke also acknowledged the problematic history between the two states, something the royals will learn more about when they visit Dublin’s Croke Park stadium on Wednesday, the scene of the Bloody Sunday atrocity committed by British troops against civilians in 1920.
"I have the greatest confidence that the friendship, collaboration and mutual understanding that our two countries have built up over the years will endure and it will grow." — The Duke of Sussex #RoyalVisitIreland 🇮🇪: https://t.co/YnfzAFW5Ea pic.twitter.com/cuNIlxvKQF— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) July 10, 2018
At a reception at Glencairn, the official Dublin residence of Britain’s ambassador to Ireland, Harry told guests including leading figures from Ireland’s political and creative worlds: “We’re so pleased to be here, for our first official international visit together as a married couple, and we hope it will be the first of many!
“As each other’s closest neighbours, the UK and Ireland’s relationship is unique; our shared history is long and complex. There have of course been challenging, and at times tragic, periods of that relationship.
“Tomorrow we hope to have the opportunity to reflect on some of those difficult passages in our history when we visit Croke Park and the Famine Memorial.
“On this visit we will also celebrate just how much unites us.
“This is a very special relationship between two proud, sovereign countries. We share common values; culture, business links, family ties, and possibly a similar sense of humour.
“Our relationship is of course informed by our history, but it is also one which is now dynamic and forward looking.”
Harry also joked about how he was pleased the recent trip by his father, the Prince of Wales, to Ireland had not bored them “senseless”.
Meghan and Harry started a two-day tour of Dublin by celebrating their hosts as the duchess stepped from their private chartered plane in the green dress by Givenchy, the second of three outfits the duchess would wear throughout the day.
She began her journey in London where the duchess, wearing a Dior outfit, and Harry joined the Queen and other senior royals at a major event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the RAF.
After arriving in the emerald green outfit she ended the day at Glencairn wearing an Emilia Wickstead dress.
Before the reception the couple were officially welcomed by Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who rolled out the red carpet for the duke and duchess at Dublin’s Government Buildings.
Ahead of the couple’s arrival Mr Varadkar said: “It is the first visit they will have made overseas since they got married and even though they haven’t officially visited Ireland before, I think they are going to be extremely welcome and I look forward to welcoming them.”
Pleasure to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Government Buildings at the start of their visit to Ireland. pic.twitter.com/PX96x4A38C— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) July 10, 2018
The unseasonably warm weather appeared to be an immediate topic of conversation between the trio, with Mr Varadkar pointing out a nearby patch of parched brown grass around a fountain.
When it was time to sign the visitors’ book Harry wrote his name and joked “I never sign big enough”, then when Meghan signed her name with a flourish, he added: “Yours is much nicer than mine.”
They then sat down for private talks with Mr Varadkar.
Sources said that during the private meeting, the Taoiseach and Harry discussed the possibility of the Irish Defence Forces participating in the Invictus Games.