Queen Elizabeth Makes First Visit To Northern Ireland After Brexit

In this handout image received from the Northern ireland Office on June 27, 2016, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (L) at Hillsborough Castle, south of Belfast on June 27, 2016 on the start of a two day visit to the province. / AFP PHOTO / Northern Ireland Office / Aaron McCracken/Harrisons 07778
In this handout image received from the Northern ireland Office on June 27, 2016, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (L) at Hillsborough Castle, south of Belfast on June 27, 2016 on the start of a two day visit to the province. / AFP PHOTO / Northern Ireland Office / Aaron McCracken/Harrisons 07778

“I’m still alive,” quipped the British monarch Queen Elizabeth on Monday when asked about her health, in her first round of public engagements since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

The dry remark followed a dramatic few days for Britain that have seen the prime minister resign, the pound hit a 30-year-low, and England defeated by Iceland in a shock football rout.

Next came Elizabeth’s two-day trip to Northern Ireland, where she met with leaders including Martin McGuinness, a former Irish Republican Army paramilitary who now serves as deputy First Minister of the British-ruled province.

“Hello, are you well?” McGuinness asked as he extended his hand in greeting to the monarch in a televised meeting.

“I’m still alive anyway. Ha,” Queen Elizabeth laughed, shaking his hand.

“We’ve been quite busy. There’s been quite a lot going on.”

It wasn’t clear whether her comments were a reference to political events in Britain — or possibly her two recent birthday celebrations.

The queen, who turned 90 this year, added that she had been busy celebrating “two birthdays”. The monarch’s birthday is celebrated twice under British tradition.

Elizabeth has not issued a statement on Britain’s vote to leave the EU, a shock result that has strained the ties of her United Kingdom.

Voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland backed remaining in the bloc, but support for an exit in England and Wales carried the victory for “Brexit” by 52 percent.

That means a referendum on Scottish independence is “on the table” according to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who hopes to keep Scotland in the EU.

ALSO READ: FG To Raise $50bn From China To Finance Oil Sector Projects

McGuinness’ Sinn Fein party, which wants Northern Ireland to leave the UK and unite with the Republic of Ireland, quickly called for a vote on Irish unity following the Brexit vote.

After an audience behind closed doors with the queen, McGuinness refused to comment on whether they had discussed the referendum.

“We discussed many things, none of which I will tell you,” McGuinness said.

 

Previous ArticleNext Article
Arinze Esomnofu is a Content writer with Edliner.com He is not only talented but also passionate about writing and reporting as he has had some of his op-ed article featured in top Nigerian Online and Traditional media houses. He is also a freethinker on religious matters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *