THE President of Ireland is set to make history this weekend when he attends the coronation of King Charles III.
President Michael D Higgins, who arrived in London yesterday with wife Sabina, will become the first ever Irish head of state to attend the coronation of a British monarch when they join the congregation at the royal event being held in Westminster Abbey tomorrow morning.
This evening the President and Sabina will attend a reception at Buckingham Palace where they will meet with King Charles, who personally extended their invitation to attend his coronation ceremony.
Tonight’s meeting will mark the ninth time the heads of state have met.
Their most recent engagement was in September 2022, when the President met the King at the service of reflection and thanksgiving for the life of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Here are the eight previous occasions on which the President and King Charles have met…
April 8, 2014: The pair met during the formal visit by President Higgins to the United Kingdom, which marked the first ever state visit to the UK by an Irish head of state.
April 24, 2015: The President and Sabina Higgins visited V-Beach Cemetery in the Gallipoli Pennisula in Turkey with the then Prince Charles who was accompanies by wife Camilla and son Prince Harry. The pair paid tribute to Irish and British soldiers at the event, which marked the centenary of the Battle of Gallipoli.
May 20, 2015: Prince Charles and President Higgins enjoyed a private dinner held at Lough Cutra Castle, near Gort in Co. Galway. President Higgins and wife Sabina were hosted by Prince Charles and wife Camilla at the event, which marked the end of the first day of the Prince of Wales’ official visit in Ireland.
May 10, 2017: The heads of state met at Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin at a Young People Working in Pursuit of Excellence and Ethics event, featuring young people from all over Ireland representing the worlds of sport, art, music, science, agriculture and advocacy.
September 6, 2017: President Higgins and wife Sabina attended the celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the opening up of Dumfries House in Scotland, at the invitation of then Prince Charles. The house offers upskilling for local young people from under-privileged settings as part of the Prince’s Trust project.
February 12, 2019: President Higgins and then Prince Charles both attended the University of Liverpool, where they cemented their roles as joint patrons of the University’s Institute of Irish Studies,
May 20, 2019: The President and wife Sabina welcomed Prince Charles and wife Camilla to Glencree in Co. Wicklow during the royal couple’s two-day state visit to Ireland. While there they met with representatives of Glencree’s Youth Programme and with past participants of Glencree’s Women’s Leadership Programme.
September 13, 2022: President Higgins paid his respects to King Charles during a service of reflection and thanksgiving for the life of the late Queen Elizabeth II held at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.