Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Play the Royal Diplomats in Ireland
As Britain flounders in the political chaos of Brexit, Prince Harry and Meghan visit Ireland’s capital, Dublin, to deliver a message of continuity.
DUBLIN—Forget Brexit, guys, we still love you.
That was the message from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they breezed into a sunkissed Ireland this afternoon, purposefully honoring a European country with their first royal tour as a married couple as the ongoing drama over Brexit threatened to collapse the British government.
Indeed, in a speech made at an evening garden party in the bucolic surroundings of the British ambassador's house, Harry couldn't have been more effusive, declaring, "We’re so pleased to be here, for our first official international visit together as a married couple, and we hope it will be the first of many."
For those who question the value of royal families, today's diplomatic mission by Harry and Meghan to Dublin is a worthy retort. The border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland will be Britain’s only land frontier with the EU after—if—it leaves the European Union.
As Meghan and Harry landed on the tarmac this afternoon, smiling and waving for the cameras, a gigantic press corps capturing their every move, it was possible, at least temporarily, to associate Britain with something other than Brexit-based chaos.
If ever a country needed a royal family to put its best foot forward, right now is that moment for the U.K., and Meghan and Harry were making sure nothing was left to chance, bringing with them an entourage of 11, including a stylist and a hairdresser.
Meghan, naturally, wore green for her arrival, looking chic and elegant in a gown by Givenchy and killer heels, before later changing into a black midi dress by Emilia Wickstead for the evening event.
Today's events kicked off with a meeting with the youthful Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar, who asked the couple if they got much "time to themselves" on the trip to which Harry replied, "It's business really."
Harry did touch on the troubled legacy of Anglo-Irish history in his speech at the garden party, which was attended by a stellar line up of Irish sporting and business talent, saying, "As each other’s closest neighbors, the UK and Ireland’s relationship is unique; our shared history is long and complex. There have of course been challenging, and at times tragic, periods of that relationship.
"Tomorrow we hope to have the opportunity to reflect on some of those difficult passages in our history when we visit Croke Park and the Famine Memorial.
"On this visit we will also celebrate just how much unites us. This is a very special relationship between two proud, sovereign countries. We share common values; culture, business links, family ties, and possibly a similar sense of humor. Our relationship is of course informed by our history, but it is also one which is now dynamic and forward looking."
All the expectations are that, despite the shadow of colonialism referenced by Harry, the young royals will receive a rock star welcome tomorrow, when the program allows for some free-wheeling mingling with the burghers of Dublin's fair city.
They'll also be visiting the Irish emigration museum Epic, which tells the story of the diaspora, taking a peek at the ancient illuminated manuscript that is the Book of Kells and going for a walkabout in the city centre.
Meghan will also be presented with that other essential takeaway of a visit to Dublin—somewhat questionable documents 'proving' her Irish ancestry.
Mindful, perhaps, of not fueling the party prince narrative, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin's most popular tourist attraction, has been left off the schedule.