PRINCE Charles and Camilla have received a warm welcome at every stop as they made their way across the island of Ireland this week.
The royal pair began their visit - which is the fifth they have made together to the Emerald Isle - in Northern Ireland.
They first visited Co. Tyrone and met local businesses and members of the community.
Prince Charles planted a tree in the gardens of Hillsborough Castle, which is the only royal residence in Northern Ireland, before pair made their way to Belfast for a series of engagements, including a reception for local organisations involved in helping and supporting refugees from Ukraine.
After two-days spent in the North, from March 22-23, the pair began their tour of the south in Co. Waterford.
One of the first engagements there saw Camilla, the Duchess of Wales visit Henry De Bromhead’s stables, where she met leading Irish jockey Rachael Blackmore and her champion mare Honeysuckle.
Blackmore and Honeysuckle made history at last month’s Cheltenham Festival where they won the Champion Hurdle for a second consecutive year.
The win marked 15 wins out of 15 races for unbeaten Honeysuckle – who is the only mare to win the Champions Hurdle twice.
The royal pair also enjoyed a greeting at Reginald's Tower while in Waterford on March 24 and a Viking re-enactment near a replica longboat, before they met Ukrainians living in the county.
Later, speaking at a reception hosted by the city's mayor, the prince gave a speech which he began in in Irish.
“Tá áthas an domhain orainn a bheith anseo i bPort Lairg [We have the ‘joy of the world’ to be here in Waterford],” he told those gathered.
“I cannot tell you what huge pleasure it gives both my wife and myself to be with you in Ireland once again, a country that means more to us than I can possibly say.”
He added: “It has long been one of our great ambitions to visit every county of this majestic land before senility totally overtakes us.
“So to have been so warmly welcomed – and, not least, by a Viking re-enactment – is a wonderful blessing, and one that will certainly live long in our memories.
“It is in places such as Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, where we are reminded so vividly of our ancient connections, and how they have evolved over time toward a modern friendship.
'From a Viking town, to a city with a royal charter, to the place where the first Irish tricolour was flown, to the home of a new university and acclaimed as the best place to live in Ireland, Waterford is a city of promise and hope for the future.”
Prince Charles went on to pay tribute to and offer words of support for the people of Ukraine, adding that the crisis the country now faces is a stark reminder of the importance of being good neighbours.
“Such times as we are living through bring into sharp relief the importance of peace and friendship, which history tells us we can too easily take for granted.
It is yet another demonstration of how our two countries are not just neighbours, but partners who, though at times we have travelled a troubled road together, have through reconciliation and understanding forged a future that has benefitted both our peoples and the world.”
Closing his speech, he added: “We are especially pleased to be able to resume our own personal voyage around Ireland by starting a visit here, in your beautiful county, celebrating old friendships and building new ones.
“Is deas a bheith arís le seanchairde [It is good to be with old friends again].”
The royals spent the final day of their trip, on Friday, March 25, visiting Co. Tipperary, where they visited the Rock of Cashel
This year senior royals are visiting eight of the 14 Commonwealth countries outside the UK to mark the Queen’s record-breaking 70th year on the throne.
A series of public events over four days are due to take place in the UK in early June to mark the occasion.
The Queen, who turns 96 this month and has been in fragile health, made history in 2011 when she became the first British monarch to visit Ireland since its independence.