The mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens says the Queen’s second visit to the north coast in two years is testament to the fabulous hospitality and friendliness of local people.
Alderman Maura Hickey was thrilled to welcome Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh to four engagements in the borough last Tuesday.
Her Majesty visited the Giant’s Causeway and a short time later unveiled the Robert Quigg VC statue in the centre of Bushmills.
The mayor was then honoured to host a Council Civic Lunch at Royal Portrush before sharing a carriage with the Royal couple on a No 85 Merlin steam train to Bellarena at the conclusion of the visit.
Wearing a gorgeous silk coat made for the occasion by Portrush designer Sarah O’Neill, alderman Hickey said: “Bushmills is very, very privileged to have such an amazing event coming to their town today and that is due to the hard work of the Quigg family and the organisation who have put such a lot of effort into getting this statue commissioned and made in honour of Robert Quigg VC.”
She added that the area should be proud that Her Majesty has come back here so soon after her 2014 visit to Coleraine.
“I think that speaks volumes for us as a borough. We are obviously very welcoming and enjoys coming here and we feel absolutely privileged that she has taken the time out to spend what is virtually an entire day with us. I think we are very very privileged and honoured.
“It’s a complete uplift for everyone involved and a huge privilege for me to host Her Majesty at Royal Portrush and to be sat in the train carriage with her.”
Alderman Hickey was accompanied on the engagement by her husband Liam, who is president of Coleraine Rotary Club.
“Liam remembers her visit in 1953, he was ten years of age then and he recalls that with great, great excitement and he says it was an amazing thing for the town at that particular time.
“This is definitely historic that she has come back here to do the same journey and on a steam train no less - just so hugely exciting.”