A BELFAST church, once scarred by bomb attacks during the worst of the Troubles, welcomed the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall through its doors yesterday afternoon.
Prince Charles and Camilla brought the bustling city centre to a virtual standstill as their cavalcade swept into St George’s Church on High Street.
The Royal couple were met at the entrance to the church by First Minister Peter Robinson and Secretary of State Owen Paterson, as well as the Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast, Dame Mary Peters.
During their hour-long stay, the couple met members of the church congregation and those involved in the ongoing restoration, while they also heard a performance by the church choir.
They also spoke to those involved in the promotion and protection of the Irish language.
Indeed, Prince Charles said he would like to learn Irish, but said he would not have the time to do so.
Caroline O’Nolain from the Church of Ireland Irish Language Guild said she was surprised to have been invited to the Royal visit.
“Surprised and even a little shocked,” she said yesterday.
“It was a great acknowledgement of the work that we have been doing, that Princes Charles asked that we come along today.
“He told me that he would like to learn Irish, but said that he wouldn’t have time and that he was also trying to learn Arabic.”