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Queen to make first-ever state visit to Ireland

Filed on March 6, 2011

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II will make her first-ever state visit to the Republic of Ireland, British and Irish officials said Friday.

It’s a deeply symbolic move because no ruling British monarch has visited since 1911, when King George V spent six days in Dublin.

At the time, Britain and Ireland were united under a single crown. Ireland won its independence in 1922, but relations between Ireland and Britain remained poisoned by continuous arguments — and fighting — over the fate of Northern Ireland, which remained part of the United Kingdom.

The Good Friday peace accord of 1998, which afforded the disputed province a measure of self-government, have since gone a long way toward healing the historic rift.

The palace said in a statement the queen would be accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. Ireland’s presidency confirmed the announcement, saying that details would be made available “in due course.”

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