Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has welcomed Prince Charles' visit as "the next essential step in the peace process - that of reconciliation."
Speaking outside St Patrick's Catholic Church in Belfast, Mr McGuinness admitted that peace-making was difficult.
"But if we're serious about reconciliation we all have to recognise that there is a need to rise above old enmities. That is absolutely essential.
"There is a lot of focus on this visit on the past, but I think this visit also focuses everybody on the need to move forward.
"Prince Charles has personally suffered as a result of our past…….as have the families of those who had people murdered on the streets of Derry on Bloody Sunday.
"But if we are to move forward to build a better future for our children - who are the most important people in all of this - then we do have to rise above all enmities," he said.