Security was lock-tight, roads were closed and armed police officers and detectives took up every available vantage point as Killarney rolled out the red carpet the day the future King of England came calling.
The then Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Derrynane and Tralee before arriving in Killarney in June 2018 for a private visit to Muckross House and Gardens before they were whisked to Killarney House to be inducted into the Order of Innisfallen – the highest award that Killarney can offer.
It was the day the King of England-in-waiting signed the distinguished visitors’ book at Muckross House where they were welcomed by Killarney hotelier and the Chairperson of the Muckross House Trustees, Geraldine Rosney.
The Royal couple were presented with two books, The Atlas of Irish Mammals and the Encyclopedia of Irish Bryophytes and the duchess enjoyed a brief trip on a pony and trap.
Reading the Order of Innisfallen citation at Killarney House, where a marquee had been erected for a garden party, master of ceremonies Michael Rosney said the award allowed the community to recognise, celebrate and thank many people who have helped make Killarney the wonderful place it is today.
Mr Rosney said Killarney was delighted that Prince Charles and Camilla honoured Killarney with their presence and he hoped they will carry many happy memories home with them.
He noted that it was not the first Royal visit to Killarney as the former Prince of Wales, Albert Edward – who went on to be King – visited in 1858 and Queen Victoria arrived in 1861.
Mr Rosney said Victoria’s three-day visit had a profound and lasting impact on the social, cultural and economic fabric of Killarney which is still being felt today.
“That visit was one of the major catalysts which firmly put Killarney on the tourist trail that is so faithfully followed with such commitment, dedication and distinction through all the succeeding generations,” he said.
The Order of Innisfallen MC added that the visit of Charles and Camilla to Killarney was highly symbolic of the bonds that have been forged between British tourists and the people of Killarney and Kerry over the last century and a half.
Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher and then Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President, Paul O’Neill, formally welcomed Charles and Camilla to Killarney.
Now, just over four years on, Killarney’s VIP visitor has been proclaimed King Charles III at a lavish ceremony at St James’s Palace.
Charles (73) automatically became the monarch after the death of his mother, Elizabeth II, who had reigned for an astonishing 70 years.
Clerk of the Privy Council, Richard Tilbrook, proclaimed Charles King, head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith, before declaring God Save the King.
The packed room, including the newly elected Prime Minister Liz Truss and the six living former British prime ministers, Boris Johnson, Teresa May, David Cameron, Godon Brown, Tony Blair and John Mayor, repeated the phrase and the proclamation was then read.
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