This is just an opinion piece
One has to admire the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for their stamina on their planned state visit. Apart from the fact that the country seemed to need this visit like a priest before execution (although going by the amount of protests that occured, it did not apply to everyone), the visit seems to be bringing a feeling of nostalgia, sadness, and an acknowledgement that we do feel this way and have a right to.
It would have made great headlines had they decided to have a sip of the pint of Guinness poured for them at the storehouse. What a photograph that would have been!
I admire their strength, the Queen’s determined movements and the Duke’s straight posture, they are both 85 and 90 years of age. I admire the sense of duty that brought them here, and i admire the Irish people for pulling out the welcome wagon for it.
It however does not erase the smallness of our island, and the fact that we have created an unparalleled mess of ourselves and our economy. It does not erase the fact that most of young Britain thinks that the Irish have a problem with them just for the heck of it, and with a vague notion of Northern Ireland. It does not erase the fact that as a nation, we have a long way to go before our sense of self, our sense of the world beyond our shores, and just plain common sense, combines to bring about a more aware population, and one that is more internationally relevant.