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The Day The Prince came to The Kingdom
     First Published 2018
From 9am until 5.45pm on June 15th 2018 The Kingdom of Kerry had a real royal prince in its midst, or even mist!
His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the future King of England, and his wife Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall spent an 8-hour whistle-stop tour of parts of the county. It was fleeting in compared to the three day visit by his great great great grandmother Queen Victoria n 1861.
A queen who would rule for 60 years, survive several assigna- tion attempts and mother of nine children choose Killarney for her three day sojourn at the end of August. She arrived from Dublin by train with a large entourage and enjoyed great hospitality from The Herbert Family of Muckross and the Earl of Kenmare. Accompanied by her husband Prince Albert and three of their children, Prince Alfred and their two daughters Princess Alice and Princess Helena. They stayed one night in Killarney House, home of the Earl of Kenmare and the following two nights in Muckross House. Over the next two days they would visit Muckross demesne, Dinis, Mangerton, Torc, Muckross
Abbey. A boat ride with picnic on the lake was followed by a stag hunt and visit to Muckross Abbey and admired the beauty of Heaven’s Reflex. Her trip is regarded as the ‘beginning’ of tourism in Killarney such was the huge amount of publicity associated with the trip. Some of her legacy remains in the ‘Queen’s Bedroom’ at Muckross House, the barge she travelled on (which needs restoring) and of course Ladies View, named after her ladies-in-waiting who visited the site on the Kenmare road overlooking the three Lakes of Killarney.
And so 127 years later, the king in waiting His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the future King of England, and his wife Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall spent an 8-hour whirlwind tour of parts of the Kingdom of Kerry. Dropping in by helicopter to Derrynane, a quick tour of The Liberator’s home and a barefoot walk along Derrynane Beach were the early and only highlights from South Kerry. Tight Security with armed Gardai and snipers in the bushes deprived locals from catching a glimpse of royalty although local children did get to meet the royals and discuss ocean pollution. After pleasantries with dignitaries and tea the
couple were whisked by helicopter to Tralee to visit Siamsa Tire. Here they listened
took a stroll around the gardens and down to the Muckross Lakeshore, and it
the ‘official’ engagement took place. The couple spent about an hour shaking hands with representatives of community, political, social and sporting organisations and in what must have been quite an ordeal. As the temperature was cooling following the whirl- wind tour the duchess was visibly shaking with the cold as the Mayor of Killarney Niall Kelliher and President of the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism presented the couple with the Order of Innisfallen award. The award is presented to recognise people who promote tourism in Killarney . A hasty retreat to Killarney
House and then whisked by cavalcade the couple would fly by their royal jet from Kerry Airport back in time for dinner in Birkhall.
Their legacy? Maybe not as much as Queen Victoria but it could be cemented if he comes back as King where once again he will receive the royal treatment from his second ‘kingdom’. That cold Friday evening was followed by a Super Saturday and glorious sunshine with the beginning of the long hot summer and the welcome sight of bumper to bumper traffic in the county.
Photos: Don MacMonagle
 The Raining Prince
 to traditional music and applauded the Irish dancing and again shook hands with local schoolchildren before travelling by motorcade escorted by Garda outriders back to Killarney which was in lockdown mode for the visit.
The entourage drove through Killarney National Park and were greeted on arrival at Muckross House where they spent 30min inside exchanging more pleasantries and more shaking hands. The Prince
was here, away from media and officialdom, that the prince appeared to enjoy his trip the most. Always inquisitive he asked numerous questions about the flora and fauna. As the mist drizzled from the grey sky, and nearly an hour later he strolled back to the house under a solitary umbrella to be reunited with his wife who had taken a jaunting car trip to the old schoolhouse.
From here the royal couple went to Killarney House where
HRH Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Dutchess of Cornwall receive the Order of Innisfallen Award from Niall Kelleher, Mayor of Killarney MD and Paul O’Neill, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce on the lawn at Killarney House.
  Queen Victoria arrives by boat to visit Ross Castle in 1861
HRH Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Dutchess of Cornwall under heavy security drive off from Killarney House to catch their private jet from Kerry Airport as well wishers strain to catch a glimpse or a historic photo of the couple. Photo: Don MacMonagle

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