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The moment Ireland finally greeted the Queen

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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

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'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

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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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




The Queen gets a close-up look at a facsimile of the Book of Kells in Trinity College yesterday, and (right) Danny Rea and Leah Ennis prepare to ring the Peace Bell at Aras an Uachtarain as the Queen and President McAleese chat during the tree-planting ceremony in the grounds John Stillwell/Getty ImagesWhile the royal couple were inside the beautiful Old Library in Trinity College inspecting the Book of Kells, a row of barriers magically materialised along the walkway outside. And then within a couple of minutes a crowd of more than 250 people swarmed in behind them.

For after a day of travelling within the Royal Bubble — the highly secure cordon which cocoons the Queen on every step of this four-day visit — this was the first chance a group of citizens had to get within hand-shaking distance of the Royal personage.

Arrayed along the barriers were undergraduates, postgraduates, lecturers and various staff.

And they had a bit of a wait, for there was also a bit of an epic crowd inside the library too, and there was a heck of a lot of hand-shaking going on.

This was the Queen and Prince Philip's last engagement of day one, coming after lunch at Aras an Uachtarain and the solemn, symbolic laying of the wreath in Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance.

So perhaps it was a bit of a relief to play tourist for a while, and nip into Trinity for a squint at the Book of Kells. It was the first of several gigs designed to swell the hearts of Bord Failte by highlighting some of the country's must-see treasures, and chief among them is the venerable manuscript which dates back to about 800AD and which attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year .

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As the Queen's black Range Rover Vogue pulled up just a few minutes behind schedule at 3.55pm, a bit of a cheer rose from a small group of students crammed into a far corner past the cordon, and they were rewarded with a black-gloved wave from the monarch as she emerged.

Still clad in the cream frock-coat and hat that she had worn in the Garden of Remembrance, she and her husband were met at the door by the Provost of Trinity, Dr John Hegarty, and escorted into the library where they were greeted by former President Mary Robinson, who is chancellor of the university, and also Ireland’s Education Minister Ruairi Quinn.

There were photos taken with a facsimile of the Book of Kells — the original is too fragile to expose to flash photography — before they were taken to see the real McCoy, with two pages open for inspection — one from the Gospel of St Luke and another from St John's Gospel. And there was even a bit of her family history to have a look at — the Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I ‘incorporating’ Trinity College in 1592.

The library's Long Room isn't called that just for the craic — it's 195ft long. And yesterday afternoon, besides 200,000 books, it also appeared to contain half the population of the college.

But the Queen got stuck in, enthusiastically shaking hands with boffins and bright sparks from the various faculties.

Then it was out into the fresh air, and as she and Philip materialised through the door, the crowd behind the barriers broke into loud applause. There were no protesters here — as with every aspect of this visit, nothing had been left to chance. A lottery had been held to pick the gang to greet the Queen, and then the 250 chosen ones were vetted by the security chaps. Also, everyone living on campus had to vacate their digs at 9am to allow inspections.

The Queen was presented with a bouquet of flowers from Dublin’s Botanic Gardens by student Rebecca Kilkelly, a final year French and sociology student. And in a classic example of the Irish six degrees of separation, Rebecca's great-grandmother presented a bouquet of flowers to Queen Victoria when she visited Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham, in 1901.

And it was a most jolly atmosphere — the pair were applauded as they both made their way slowly along the barricade, stopping every now and then to chat to people. And they were both very relaxed — Prince Philip in particular enjoyed quite a few chats with female students. The Duke of Edinburgh was having a grand old chinwag with a striking-looking student in a floral dress. “He seemed to be quite a character, and eager to have a bit of banter,” Emma Kearney explained cheerfully. In fact, he seemed more at ease shooting the breeze with locals than touring the library.

Education officer Jen Fox had a bit of advice for the Queen when she stopped to chat. “I asked her to make sure and have an Irish cup of tea,” she said.

And in fairness, the Queen deserved to put the royal feet up with a big mug of tay last night. Day One over, and she hasn't put a foot wrong.


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