Lonely Planet Writer

The Prince of Wales is in the throes of a love affair with this country

With his second visit to Ireland taking place less than a year after the previous one, it seems that the Prince of Wales has truly fallen in love with his neighbouring country.

The Prince of Wales visits the National Botanic Gardens in Wicklow,
The Prince of Wales visits the National Botanic Gardens in Wicklow, Ireland. Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

In June of last year, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, visited Ireland on a four-day trip, and visited a number of locations in Cork and Kerry. Having returned to Ireland earlier this week, they carried out a number of engagements together and separately in Wicklow. Many were centred around nature and the environment, which are subjects of great interest to the heir to the British throne, who is the most-travelled member of the Royal Family.

Prince Charles in Powerscourt House and Garden in Ireland
Prince Charles in Powerscourt House and Garden in Ireland. Image: Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

They were welcomed to the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in Wicklow by the Irish president, Michael D. Higgins, and his wife, Sabina Higgins. Afterwards, Charles and Camilla joined a reception at Powerscourt House and Gardens, which is noted for its elegant Palladian mansion and stunning landscaped gardens, where the Prince planted a Sequoiadendron giganteum tree, the largest in the world. He then met climate change volunteers and campaigners at the Cool Planet experience, which aims to encourage people to make more environmentally-friendly choices.

Camilla visited clients and staff at Bray Women’s Refuge, which provides short-term crisis accommodation to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse. In the evening, she and Charles arrived for a dinner and reception at Glencairn House, the official residence of the British Ambassador to Ireland. The following day, Prince Charles love – known for his love of nature – went to the National Botanic Garden at Kilmacurragh. This undoubtedly appealed to him, as the gardens at his private residence, Highgrove House, which can been seen on a virtual tour, are his pride and joy.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Powerscourt House and Garden in Ireland.
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Powerscourt House and Gardens. Image: Artur Widak/NurPhoto

Prince Charles then visited Ireland’s largest national park, Wicklow Mountains National Park, and spent time at the ancient monastic site of Glendalough, where he met with staff who work in nature conservation and education programmes. He was presented with an oak seedling grown from an acorn collected from the oak woodlands in Glendalough to mark his visit.

The Duke and Duchess then went to visit Northern Ireland, following their trip to the south of the country.