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Queen Elizabeth's 2011 trip to Ireland held far more significance than you'd expect
By KATHRYN OLVERA
History - Science
The world was forever changed after the death of Queen Elizabeth II — the second-longest reigning monarch in world history. The Queen spent her years cultivating connections and creating lasting relationships, and her trip to Ireland on May 17, 2011, opened the doors for the repairing of the relationship between Ireland and the U.K.
In 1979, members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army planted a bomb in the boat of British naval officer Lord "Dickie" Mountbatten and activated it as he and his family were out on the water, furthering tensions between the two countries. Queen Elizabeth II’s four-day trip to Ireland in May 2011 marked the first time a British monarch had been to Ireland in 100 years.
During her time in Ireland, the Queen garnered support and was considered a driving force in the continued relationship-building over a decade after the Belfast Agreement — which marked the end of what's referred to as "The Troubles." The Queen also spoke a few words in Irish and expressed condolences for the lives affected by the years that were marked with violence.
"So we celebrate together the widespread spirit of goodwill and deep mutual understanding that has served to make the relationship more harmonious, close as good neighbors should always be," said the Queen, according to a published version of her May 2011 speech. In 2014, Irish President Michael Higgins visited the U.K. and furthered the nations' healing relationship.