Lonely Planet Writer

Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a 'mini moon' in Ireland?

Speculation is growing that the UK’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are planning a ‘mini moon’ in Ireland after their 19 May wedding in England.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have released details of their wedding day. Image: Alexi Lubomirski via Getty Images

For security reasons, royal trips are generally kept under wraps until shortly before the event, which is why Meghan and Harry took everyone by surprise with their recent visit to Belfast and Lisburn in Northern Ireland. It is rumoured that they will visit Dublin shortly after their wedding and may carry out some engagements, although it is not believed that this trip will be their official honeymoon. This is unlike reality TV royalty, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, who infamously spent part of their honeymoon in Castle Oliver in Limerick in 2014.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meeting well-wishers in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Image: Karwai Tang/ WireImage

Ireland also played host to Harry’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in May 2011, at the invitation of former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese. In 2015, Harry’s dad and stepmum, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, stayed at Lough Cutra Castle, in Gort, Galway. They also visited Donegal Castle in Letterkenny in 2016 and are expected to return to Ireland in late April or early May. William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, also visited Belfast together before their 2011 wedding.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visit Donegal Castle. Image: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

If it comes to pass, this will be Harry’s first visit to Ireland. Meghan spent time in the country as as an ambassador for the One Young World summit in 2014. The wedding plans are gathering pace with the invitations being sent out last week, and 36-year-old Meghan reportedly held her low-key hen party at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire in recent weeks, where she enjoyed a two-night stay with some of her friends. If she and Harry do come to Dublin, it is believed that the trip will be good for Anglo-Irish relations, which are currently under stress at government level over Brexit.