The Queen Meets Causeway Crafters
Accompanied by Prince Philip, Elizabeth II paid her first visit to the famous County Antrim landmark as part of a two-day trip to Northern Ireland
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were welcomed to the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site today as The Royal party visited County Antrim. It was the first time that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had visited the Northern Ireland landmark where they were met by National Trust rangers, volunteers, local crafters and some lucky visiting tourists.
Heather McLachlan, Northern Ireland Director for the National Trust said: 'It was a huge honour to welcome Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to Northern Ireland’s most famous natural wonder for the first time. The Giant’s Causeway welcomes more than 880,000 visitors a year from across the world. However today’s visitors were certainly extra special.
'As a conservation charity it was a great opportunity to share our conservation work on the north coast and of course to extend our famous Northern Irish welcome.'
The Royal party met with local craft producers who take the opportunity to sell authentic, Northern Irish products to the huge number of international and local visitors to the Causeway Visitor Centre.
Max Bryant, National Trust manager at the Giant’s Causeway said: 'The Giant’s Causeway is a huge motivator for visitors to the island of Ireland and there is no doubt that a high profile visit like this will raise the profile of Northern Ireland as a world class destination even more.
'We play a big role in the local economy and it was a proud moment for our volunteers, staff and local business people to tell The Royal party about the part they play in the community here. It was also important for The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to simply enjoy this very special place. I am sure they will take home some lasting memories of our stunning Northern Ireland landscape and the world famous Causeway stones.'
Local school children presented gifts to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh including a piece of north coast basalt and a hand carved bowl made from oak by wood turner Gerard Gray of Taisie Crafts based in north Antrim.
Images by Brian Morrison