Prince William and Kate Middleton kick off Irish tour

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(Dublin) – Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton began a tour of Ireland, in the latest high-profile trip by senior British royals since Queen Elizabeth II´s landmark state visit in 2011.

The couple´s three-day trip comes just weeks after a general election which saw a surge in support for nationalists Sinn Fein, whose flagship policy is Irish reunification.

William´s grandmother the queen is head of state in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein was the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which fought against British rule in the province for decades.

The visit also comes in the wake of Britain´s departure from the European Union on January 31, with the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic a major issue in the process.

William and Kate met Irish President Michael D. Higgins at his official residence after landing in Dublin.