Queen begins Northern Ireland visit

Banbury Cake: The Queen is travelling to Northern Ireland as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK The Queen is travelling to Northern Ireland as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK

The Queen has arrived in Enniskillen for a two-day tour celebrating her Diamond Jubilee and the diversity of Northern Ireland's people.

Her six decades on the throne were marked by a cathedral service of thanksgiving in the town which was the scene of a devastating IRA bomb attack in November 1987.

A few minutes walk from St Macartin's Cathedral is the local cenotaph that has become a memorial commemorating the 11 people killed in the blast which happened during a Remembrance Day service. The Queen will meet relatives of some of the victims after the service.

As well as celebrating her 60-year milestone with the communities of Northern Ireland, her visit will also be marked by a historic handshake with Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness.

The greeting between the Stormont Deputy First Minister - a former IRA commander - and the Queen in Belfast on Wednesday is a gesture which will herald another milestone in Anglo-Irish relations.

Her arrival was delayed by almost an hour after bad weather forced the Royal Flight to divert from Enniskillen to Aldergrove Airport, near Belfast. Hundreds of people lined the streets of Enniskillen to greet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as they made their way to the cathedral in a chauffeur-driven car.

A trumpet fanfare marked their arrival in the 17th century cathedral through its west door, where they were welcomed by the Dean of Clogher, the Very Reverend Kenneth Hall. In a sign of inclusiveness, senior clerics from other denominations took part in the ecumenical service including significantly the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady.

The Dean of Clogher began the service with a prayer for the Queen, telling those gathered - including Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson - "Beloved in Christ, we have come together to offer our worship and praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive God's holy word, and to give thanks for the 60-year reign of Elizabeth, our Queen."

During the thanksgiving service, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was commemorated with prayers, including words of support for those who serve their communities. The congregation also said the Diamond Jubilee prayer, composed to mark the Queen's milestone year.

Before the royal couple left, the national anthem was sung and they then went to a nearby ecclesiastical building for what is believed to be a meeting with families from the Enniskillen bombing.

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