Prince Charles (heir apparent to the British throne) announced today that both he and his wife are to exercise his hereditary right to Irish citizenship and avail of a Republic of Ireland passport.
It is believed that this decision follows on from the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and fears that public confidence in the monarchy is weakening.
A spokesperson for Clarence House said at a press conference this morning that the Prince’s family has deep and historical connections with Ireland going back over 800-years.
These connections began with the humanitarian aid scheme known as the Plantation of Ulster followed by the appointment of a goodwill ambassador, Oliver Cromwell and eventually the sending of the Black and Tan peacekeeping troops in March 1920.
The spokesperson added that the Prince is Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment who played such a valuable hearts and minds role in the north of the island during the seventies.
A spokesperson for the Taoiseach who was present at the announcement said that both the Taoiseach and Irish Government were “overjoyed” with the Prince’s decision particularly in light of the positive reactions to Ireland rejoining the Common Wealth at the recent Fine Gael annual conference.
When questioned as to would the Royal couple reside in Ireland it emerged that the Taoiseach has already agreed to hand back both Farmleigh House and Dublin Castle to the Crown and that extensive decorative alterations would be carried out to both buildings after consultation with the Duchess.
It is expected that the Prince will not play an active role in Irish politics but would make himself available at significant state occasions such as the opening of the Dáil.
A weekly audience between the Taoiseach and the Prince will also be arranged along the same lines as that held between the Queen and the British Prime minister.
The Palace spokesperson said that “HRH sees his role as more of a benevolent Head of State rather than that of political influence.”
The issue as to whether HRH will learn Irish was deftly avoided when it was pointed out that Prince Charles has been Prince of Wales since 1948 and has never seen the need to utter a word of Welsh.
The Prince’s spokesperson continued on to say that HRH is looking forward to moving to Ireland where he can, under Ireland’s more relaxed laws, indulge his passion for blood sports and hunting in the Phoenix Park.
It is also expected that the Prince’s parents will be frequent visitors to Ireland and that the Prince’s father the Duke of Edinburgh still holds an Irish driving licence and is looking forward to “getting back behind the wheel.”
Both the Irish Government and representatives of the monarchy finished up by saying that this move would herald a new chapter in Anglo Irish relations.