Holy cow! Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip will be visiting the Republic of Ireland this year !
This will be the first visit of a British Monarch to Ireland since King George V and Queen Elizabeth visited the Dublin area back in 1911.
[King George was newly enthroned in Great Britain, since his father, King Edward VII, had died in 1910. Edward VII was the direct successor of Queen Victoria, and for all of his life before that (such as being the Prince of Wales for many decades) he was named "Albert" (or "Bertie") -- after his father, Prince Consort Albert. Why did he not become "King Albert"? I don't know. Also, "Edward" was not the real name of King Edward VIII, who shortly abdicated and became the Duke of Windsor. The only country that I know of that has had a "King Albert" is Belgium. Maybe that was the reason: he did not want to have a King Albert in Belgium and a King Albert in Britain at the same time. One of the major cities of the Congo used to be called "Albertville", and there is the town of Albertville, Alabama, too. However, the Province of Alberta was not named for a European monarch or prince of any kind, but rather it was named for the wife
of the Governor-General of Canada, whose name was "Alberta".]
Back in 1911, King George was visiting part of his own kingdom, which was the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland". Most of Ireland won its independence from this kingdom in 1921, and then the new kingdom became the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Hence, the British monarch has never really visited Ireland (the independent country).
In a way, this would be rather like the President of the United States never having visited Mexico (several have, including Jimmy Carter) or Cuba (He has -- such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt shortly before World War II. I don't know if Eisenhower or J.F.K. ever visited Cuba in their entire lives. However, since Fidel Castro took over in Cuba, no President has ever visited there, of course.)
It has been a tradition for a long time that early in the term of a new American President, the President of Mexico becomes his guest for dinner in the White House. The American President always returns the visit to Mexico -- though not always to Mexico City, I think. The Prime Minister of Canada and the President visit each other rather frequently, of course. I believe that President Obama visited Ottawa during the first or second month of his presidency. The Prime Minister has visited Washington since then**.
I believe that Queen Elizabeth has visited Northern Ireland a time or two. Most people don't know it, but Northern Ireland is separated from Scotland by a strait of the Atlantic Ocean that is only about 20 kilometers (12 miles) wide***.
In any case, this visit by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to Ireland is a big deal: the first British Monarch to ever visit the Republic of Ireland.
The first British monarch ever to visit the United States was King George VI, who along with his wife Queen Mary, visited President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., in 1936. President Roosevelt and Mrs. Roosevelt decided that they needed to greet the King and the Queen with something genuinely American. They held a cookout of frankfurters (hot dogs) on the lawn of White House!
From what I have read, the King and the Queen enjoyed it very much. The President and the King became deep friends with each other, especially all the way though World War II.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited the United States and Washington many times. On one of these visits. Churchill was run over by an automobile (!). Churchill went outside to cross the street for something, and when he reached the curb, he looked right (just like they do in England) rather than looking left (as in North America), and Churchill stepped right out in front of a moving car. We're lucky that he was not seriously injured.
On the grounds of the British Embassy on Massachusetts Ave. in Washington, there is a bronze statue of Sir Winston in a walking position. Actually, they placed his statue right in the property line, with one foot on British territory (the ground of the Embassy) and one foot on American territory. That's as cool as hell! Sir Winston's mother was an American, and his father English, and Sir Winston was also the first (maybe the only) foreign leaded to be voted as an Honorary Citizen of the United States by the U.S. Congress. Cool. Now, there is also the guided-missile destroyer U.S.S. Winston Churchill in the U.S. Navy. She was built concurrently with the U.S.S. Roosevelt, and they have consecutive hull numbers in the Arleigh Burke class of AEGIS guided-missile destroyers.
The U.S.S. Roosevelt is named for both President Roosevelt and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt.
There is also an aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy named the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. She is one of 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the Navy, and she is one of the 10 members of the Nimitz class.
The one other aircraft carrier in the Navy is the U.S.S. Enterprise, which always has been a one-of-a-kind warship.
The first aircraft carrier of a new class is under construction in Newport News, Virginia, and she is the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford -- named for the American President who also served as an officer on board the carrier U.S.S. Monterey during World War II.
**The most important avenue or street in Washington, D.C., is Pennsylvania Avenue, and it links the Capitol Building with the White House. (In all, it is also over 25 miles long, and it extends well into Maryland on the east.) I have checked, and it seems to me that there are only three foreign embassies on Pennsylvania Avenue: those of Canada, Mexico, and Spain (for some reason, in the case of the latter).
The one of Canada is by far the largest embassy in Washington, and it is located in a position of honor, half-way between the Capitol and the White House. When the British Empire finally allowed Canada to have its own foreign embassies back in the 1930s, the first Canadian one ever established was in Washington. Likewise, the very first Australian Embassy was established in Washington (rather than in a place like London, Paris, Wellington, Ottawa, or Tokyo).
***There have been serious proposals to connect Scotland with Northern Ireland with an undersea railroad tunnel similar to the Chunnel between England and France, but no work has ever been started. In any case, it would cost billions and billions of pounds sterling.
There do exist undersea high-voltage power lines that connect Scotland and Northern Ireland. Hence, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland are all on the same power grid, and they can all exchange electric power on an as-needed basis.
England is also connected via undersea cable with France. As for telecommunications, Ireland, Great Britain, and France have been connected via microwave communication links for a long time, and there are doubtless undersea fiber-optic cables by now.
As for other places that are connected by high-voltage underwater power cables, there are these:
The North Island and the South Island of New Zealand.
Australia and Tasmania.
Honshu, Hokkaido, and Shikoku islands in Japan, and Kyushu is also connected with Honshu via overhead transmission lines.
Italy and Sicily, which have also had overhead power lines connecting them.
Sweden and Germany
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
Norway and the Netherlands (wow, that's a long way)
Long Island and Connecticut
Long Island and New Jersey
France and Corsica
Corsica and Sardinia
I believe, Sardinia and Italy, or is that one in the works?Vancouver Island with the British Colombian mainland. Newfoundland with Quebec.
Prince Edward Island is close enough to Quebec and New Brunswick to be connected with overhead power lines. Rather recently, Prince Edward Island has been connected with New Brunswick via a highway bridge.
Likewise, there is a highway & railroad bridge now that connects Denmark with Sweden -- but that one also contains a tunnel section simply to provide a connection to the Baltic Sea that simply cannot be blocked by anything (such as a collapsed bridge).
Guesswork: Turkey and Cyprus; Greece and Crete; Spain and Morocco; Curacao, Aruba, and Venezuela; Sweden with islands in the Baltic Sea.
Red China could also be connected by undersea cable with Taiwan, but those two countries don't like each other very much. It was a BIG DEAL when airline flights were allowed to connect these two directly sometime in the decade of 2001 - 2010.
I have read that the name the "Republic of Ireland" does not have much official status there. The Irish call their country "Ireland" in English and "Eire" in the Celtic language of Ireland. They use the phrase "the Republic of Ireland" simply in cases to distinguish the country from the actual island on which it sits.