THE Republic’s President Michael D Higgins is to make an official UK state visit.
He will become the first Irish head of state to make an official state visit to the UK after accepting an invitation from the Queen to stay at Windsor Castle for a three-day trip next April.
Mr Higgins will be accompanied on the trip by his wife Sabina.
In May 2011 the Queen became the first British monarch to visit the Republic.
During the Queen’s visit to Ireland, she paid paid her respects to republican dead at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance and visited Croke Park – site of the 1920 Bloody Sunday massacre.
She also made a speech on Anglo-Irish history at Dublin Castle.
Mr Higgins, a former Labour government minister, poet and academic, has met members of the Royal Family before.
Both he and his wife met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in June 2012 at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, and he has also met Princess Anne and the Duke of Kent.
Though he has visited the UK several times since becoming president, these were not official state visits.