Northern Ireland

Earl of Wessex visits St Patrick's grave in Downpatrick

Earl of Wessex in Downpatrick Image copyright Simon Graham
Image caption The Earl of Wessex views the granite stone marking St Patrick's burial spot

The grave of Ireland's patron saint was among the first places visited by the Earl of Wessex during a two-day trip to Northern Ireland.

The Earl, the Queen's youngest son, visited Downpatrick, the medieval capital of County Down, where St Patrick's remains are buried.

Prince Edward saw the granite stone marking the burial spot and signed the visitors' book at Down Cathedral.

It stands on the site of a former Benedictine monastery built in 1183.

The earl lunched with tourism chiefs and members of the local community at the St Patrick's Centre.

At the Downpatrick and County Down Railway Museum he unveiled a plaque commemorating the official opening of the carriage viewing gallery before setting off on a restored steam train to Inch Abbey.

Earlier Prince Edward was welcomed into Belfast's George Best City Airport by Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle, the new lord lieutenant of Belfast.

Image copyright Simon Graham
Image caption The earl was shown around Down Cathedral

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