King and Queen’s coronation celebrated on visit to Northern Ireland


The King and Queen’s coronation has been celebrated in Northern Ireland on their first visit to the region since they were crowned earlier this month.

Charles and Camilla arrived at Hazelbank Park in Co Antrim to cheers from waiting members of the public on Tuesday afternoon.

The King and Queen were welcomed by the Lord-Lieutenant of Co Antrim David McCorkell, mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Stephen Ross and North Belfast MP John Finucane (Sinn Fein).

The King and Queen
The King and Queen open a new Coronation Garden in Newtownabbey (Mark Marlow/PA)

Garden designer Diarmuid Gavin accompanied Charles and Camilla, introducing them to those who have spent recent months working to realise his “whimsical” design, which includes music, moving plants and bubbles.

He said his team had been working around the clock in recent months to prepare the garden, and described his inspiration as “whimsy” to mark the coronation as well as engaging with people of all ages.

Charles in Hillsborough Castle
The King views a commemorative bench at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down (Brian Lawless/PA)

Charles and Camilla were told the special garden in honour of their coronation marks the beginning of a new green initiative for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

The King smiled as Bring Me Sunshine played, while Camilla described the garden as not what she had expected, but complimented it as “absolutely lovely”.

The royal couple with the garden's designer
The King and Queen with garden designer Diarmuid Gavin (Mark Marlow/PA)

They met with pupils from a local primary school who have taken part in a competition to design coronation benches.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris hosted a brief private audience with the King and Queen, before they attended a garden party and planted a tree within the grounds of the castle to mark the coronation.

Camilla in the garden
The Coronation Garden in Newtownabbey marks the beginning of a new green initiative for the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council (Mark Marlow/PA)

Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill did not attend the event.

However she said representatives from the party will be present at events during the two-day visit.

“Yes, I think there’s a whole raft of engagements and some of our MPs will be at local events in their constituencies,” she told reporters after a meeting with the secretary of state at Hillsborough castle earlier on Wednesday.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here