King and Queen Consort arrive in Belfast as the home countries tour continues

King Charles III  and the Queen Consort look at the floral tributes left outside Hillsborough Castle, Co Down, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.  Picture date: Tuesday September 13, 2022. (PA Wire)

King Charles III and the Queen Consort look at the floral tributes left outside Hillsborough Castle, Co Down, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Tuesday September 13, 2022. (PA Wire)

King Charles III and his Queen Consort were greeted by cheering crowds as they arrived at Hillsborough Castle, before receiving a message of condolences from the people of Northern Ireland.

Charles and Camilla left Edinburgh for Northern Ireland after the new monarch and his siblings held a vigil around their mother’s coffin at St Giles’ Cathedral on Monday night.

The couple’s jet landed at George Best Belfast City Airport where new Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris was waiting to greet the King and his wife who are touring the four home countries.

King Charles III and the Queen Consort flew from Edinburgh to Belfast (Paul Ellis/PA) (PA Wire)

King Charles III and the Queen Consort flew from Edinburgh to Belfast (Paul Ellis/PA) (PA Wire)

Royal visits usually result in gifts and despite the solemnity of the occasion, schoolboy Lucas Watt, 10, of the local inter-community primary school, Forge Integrated, presented the king with a tin with a picture of the famous Giant’s Causeway.

The King looked delighted and tapped into the gift of Art on a Tin, a shop set up by husband and wife team Bill and Caroline Skillen to promote local artists and filled with truffles made by Chocolate Manor in the Northern Irish coastal village of Castlerock became.

Camilla received a bouquet of flowers from Hillsborough Castle from 10-year-old schoolgirl Ella Smith.

After landing in Belfast, Charles and Camilla traveled to Hillsborough Castle in Co Down, the royal residence in Northern Ireland, for several engagements.

King Charles III  and the Queen Consort meet well-wishers in front of Hillsborough Castle (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

King Charles III and the Queen Consort meet well-wishers in front of Hillsborough Castle (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

The couple took a tour when they first arrived at the castle and shook hands with some of the hundreds of flag-waving people who had waited for hours to catch a glimpse of the new king.

Well-wishers cheered upon first seeing the couple, and the king and his wife received a 21-gun salute as they entered the grounds.

Shouts of “God save the King” could be heard and at one moment a corgi in the crowd snuggled up to Charles as his owner held him up during the royal couple’s tour.

Behind the cordons, many schoolchildren stood and a group handed out letters they had written to the king, each with a colorful image of the Union flag they had drawn on the back.

Applause erupted as they inspected the floral tributes to the late Queen before entering the castle grounds.

Charles and Camilla view floral tributes outside Hillsborough Castle (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

Charles and Camilla view floral tributes outside Hillsborough Castle (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

The King later held a private audience with the Minister of Northern Ireland and met with representatives of political parties in the region.

The couple then received a message of condolences on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland from the Speaker of the Stormont Assembly, Alex Maskey.

They will then proceed to a reception at the castle hosted by Mr Heaton-Harris, which will also be attended by some members of the public.

Charles and Camilla then travel to St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, where they attend a service commemorating the Queen’s life.

The new monarch will also meet leaders of all major faiths in Northern Ireland.

Before leaving, Charles and Camilla take a stroll around Writers’ Square near St Anne’s Cathedral.

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