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Historic state visit by Irish President to Windsor on Tuesday 8 April

18th March 2014

Categories: News

An historic state visit – the first ever to the United Kingdom by an Irish head of state – will start in Windsor on Tuesday 8 April.

Following their own highly successful visit to Ireland in 2011, Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will welcome President Michael D Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins at the specially built pavilion at Datchet Road – and afterwards there will be the traditional carriage procession through the streets to Windsor Castle.

Information booklets will soon be on their way to local residents and businesses so they are aware of the arrangements that will be in place for the day of the state visit itself and also for the rehearsal on Thursday 3 April.

This is the 12th state visit in Windsor since 1998 and the Royal Borough and Thames Valley Police are working together – and with the Royal Household – to ensure the event goes smoothly.

The aim is to allow spectators to enjoy the spectacle but with the least possible impact on the town. However, given the historic nature of this particular visit state visit, large crowds are expected so there will be some unavoidable disruption on both days.

Shops and businesses in the town centre will be open as usual on both days.

Royal Borough Mayor Cllr Andrew Jenner will be part of the official welcoming ceremony at the pavilion, as will council managing director Mike McGaughrin.

Cllr Jenner said: “It is a great delight that Windsor has been chosen for the first day of this historic state visit. I think it demonstrates the town’s importance to our monarch and I look forward to issuing a warm Royal Borough welcome to President and Mrs Higgins.

“Windsor will be the place to be for the many Irish people who live in our borough and beyond so I have no doubt we can expect a party atmosphere in the town to celebrate this memorable occasion.”

Supt Kate Ford, local police area commander, said: “Everyone’s safety is our concern and Thames Valley Police is working closely with the Royal Borough, the Royal Household and colleagues from the Metropolitan and British Transport Police to ensure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable day and with minimal disruption to the local community.”

The information booklets – containing the procession map, road closure times and parking arrangements – will be hand-delivered to residents and business on or near the processional route from next weekend. The information will also be available on the council's website www.rbwm.gov.uk

There will be unavoidable road closures and traffic delays on both rehearsal and state visit days but businesses in Windsor town centre will be open as usual.

Full details of the state visit arrangements will be available on the Royal Borough’s website at www.rbwm.gov.uk (direct link from home page) and on the Thames Valley Police website www.thamesvalley.police.uk

The websites are also the places to find any potential last minute changes to road closure and parking arrangements.

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