Irish President Michael D Higgins is welcomed to the UK by the Queen at the start of the first state visit by an Irish head of state
Mr Higgins and his wife Sabina met the monarch at Windsor Castle - three years after the Queen's historic visit to Dublin heralded the start of a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries.
The significance has been further deepened with the presence of Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, who will attend a banquet hosted by the Queen - a move unthinkable only a decade ago.
The streets of Windsor were decked out in Union flags and Irish Tricolours this morning ahead of the visit.
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