A quick outfit change later Meghan and Harry continued the day carrying out a variety of interesting engagements in Dublin. They started at Croke Park, the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association, meeting with some of the 200 children from across Ireland showing off their football, hurling and rounders skills.
Harry followed in the footsteps of his grandmother the Queen by making the symbolic visit to Croke Park. She visited the stadium herself back in 2011. The stadium is steeped in history and witnessed one of the most infamous incidents of Ireland’s War of Independence when British soldiers opened fire on a crowd of spectators in 1920, killing 14 people.
Croke Park is a Gaelic games stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is also called Croker by GAA fans and locals It serves as both the principal national stadium of Ireland and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Since 1891 the site has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic sports, including the annual All-Ireland in Gaelic football and hurling.
A major expansion and redevelopment of the stadium ran from 1991 to 2005, raising capacity to its current 82,300 spectators. This makes Croke Park the third-largest stadium in Europe, and the largest not usually used for association football.
The visit started off with a guided tour at the GAA Museum, which brings to life the story of Gaelic games from ancient times to present day. They were accompanied by Tanaiste Simon Coveney for the tour.
Meghan and Harry then entered the stadium hand-in-hand walking around the sprawling pitch as Gaelic Athletic Association representatives, with GAA President John Horan, GAA Director General Tom Ryan and Stadium Director Peter McKenna, who talked the couple through the rules of Gaelic games.
They spoke to young children about their involvement in sport and what it meant to them playing at Croke Park.
Galway hurler Joe Canning and Cork Ladies footballer Rena Buckley were among the all-star winners to shake hands with the pair.
Meghan also chatted to Sarah Cregg, who plays wheelchair hurling, and Colin said: “She said, ‘Good on you, Sarah,’ She asked if it was a physical game. She said it was. She liked that Sarah was mixing it with the lads. She thought that was very empowering.”
Meghan and Harry met several GAA loving people, including 3-year-old Walter Kieran. Pictured with his father Thomas, Walter took part in the GAA Fun & Run demonstration for the royal couple. Fun & Run is an adapted version of Rounders designed to cater for persons of all abilities and needs.
The adorable young man can be seen trying to reach out to Meghan’s face, who endearingly grabs the little boy’s hand in return.
Another photo shows Walter covering his face as Prince Harry jokingly points a finger at him.
You can see the funny episode here:
From the Mail One:
‘The couple also spoke to Ciarán Harkin, 16, from Galway, and Cera Kenny, 17, from Kildare, both youth leaders. Cera said: ‘She was saying how important it was to stay in your community and bring on younger children.’
However they were both most impressed at the way Harry refused to move when an official tried moving the duke on to the next group waiting to meet him. Cera said: ‘When he was being rushed, he said no, two more minutes.’
Ciaran said: ‘He was very genuine and real.’
The informality of the event was emphasised when the Tanaiste, or deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney stepped in to take a picture on a parent’s phone of Harry and Meghan posing with a young man in a wheelchair.”
Meghan and Harry then paid a visit to Trinity College.
They saw Book of Kells, a ninth-century illuminated manuscript of the gospels that is one of Ireland’s greatest cultural treasures.
The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables.
They also got to visit the Long Room of the Old Library
Both Meghan and harry signed the visitors’ book
They viewed the Brian Boru Harp, the oldest in Ireland
Side note: Interestingly enough, it’s actually not the first time Meghan visits Trinity College. Back in November 2013, the she received the Bram Stoker Medal for Entertainment from the university’s Philosophical Society, for her role as Rachel Zane on Suits.
After the visit Meghan and Harry enjoyed a walkabout at the College, where they met Chloe Mullins, who gave the pair a sketch of their engagement photograph. Speaking about the sweet moment, Chloe said:
“Harry said, ‘You’ve given me more hair’. He saw it and was like, ‘Wow’. Meghan came over and he said, ‘Look at this, what do you think of it?’ She said wow too and thanked me for it.”
They also met Elizabeth Ring, a 19-year-old law student, who said of her conversation with the couple: ‘Meghan said Dublin was her favourite city. Harry said he’d come back with his jacket over his head, incognito.’
10-year-old Emma Boden gave Meghan and Harry a handmade card. ‘Meghan said thank you very much and she told me that she loved a handwritten card. Then she shook my hand. She smells really, really nice and now my hand smells really nice as well. I don’t think I’ll wash them for a long time.’
Meghan was gifted some beautiful flowers
Harry stepped in when he saw Meghan receiving so many flowers. Watch the clip below
A video from the visit:
Meghan and Harry then made a stop at Delahunt Camden for lunch
After lunch, Meghan and Harry’s entourage pulled up outside the Irish Famine memorial on Dublin’s north quays. They spent a short time walking around the haunting statues of starving Famine victims.
Sculpture Rowan Gillespie, who accompanied them, said afterwards. “They definitely became moved. Once they walked amongst them, there was very definitely a change as they looked into the faces.”
A video from the visit:
Omid Scobie said:
During the #FamineMemorial visit Harry told sculptor Rowan Gillespie that famine “is happening all around us today” and that people should be looking at “what we’re not dealing with.”
Both seemed very moved by the stories behind each sculpture.
Following the couple’s visit to the Famine memorial, the pair arrived to a glowing reception at the CHQ building in Dublin’s Docklands, where Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring, and several others greeted them.
They were taken on a tour of EPIC, Dublin’s Irish Emigration Museum, by its founder Neville Isdell, and the deputy museum director Jessica Traynor.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Isdell said the couple had “no airs and graces” and had “done their homework.” The pair were very engaged on the various topics, he said. “They were very interested in the fact that the contribution of the people who left Ireland, how much bigger it was than they had imagined,” he said.
The final stop on the pair’s trip saw them visit Dogpatch Labs, a technology startup hub in the CHQ building.
The tech hub is home to CoderDojo, a scheme that gets young people involved in coding, and the couple were shown several projects designed by young people.
The executive director of CoderDojo, Guistina Mizzoni, said Meghan and Harry were “particularly interested in seeing projects built by young girls.” Continuing that Meghan was “clearly very passionate about women and how we increase female representation,” but so was Harry he said.
One of the coding projects the couple were shown was a website built by 13-year-old Aisling Cowap, which promoted girls taking up coding. “They just listened, and they said it was very good, they were really nice,” Aisling said afterwards.
“I was really excited to know that they were coming, and I know Meghan is big into girls and coding, and tech,” she said.
During a roundtable discussion on diversity in tech, Harry stressed the education system needed to change, to better “engage” children when it came to technology and skills like coding.
Speaking during the session about the knowledge gap between parents and children when it comes to technology, Prince Harry joked with participants about his own poor Excel abilities.
It was an all change for Meghan, who wore a grey Rouland Mouret dress to meet President Michael Higgins at Aras an Uachtarain earlier that day.
Meghan switched into a smart black Givenchy tailored trouser suit!
The white shirt is from Lavender Hill Clothing England
She wore her Givenchy Black 2G Buckle Belt. Made in Italy.
And her Sarah Flint Perfect pumps
She completed the look with the Givenchy GV3 Frame Bag.
An absolut love ending to the first tour for Meghan and Harry!