Queen Victoria's First Visit to Ireland

2nd August 1849
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Queen Victoria visited Ireland four times during her lengthy reign. The first, and perhaps most important, of these took place from the 2nd to the 12th of August 1849, in the later years of the Great Famine.

On the 2nd of August 1849, the young Queen Victoria arrived in Ireland, accompanied by her husband, Prince Albert. This was a time of gret turmoil in Ireland, as the people had been suffering through the horrors of the Great Famine which ravaged the country and decimated the population. British/Irish relations were tense. Though the famine was offically declared over by Westminster, there was still widespread poverty and starvation in Ireland where the Workhouses were filled far beyond max capacity.  In spite of this the British monarch was well received and met with warmth. Victoria wrote in her diary of the cheering crowds that came out to meet her, the signs of 'Céad Míle Fáilte', and of the beauty of the Irish women, with their dark hair and good teeth. 

During the 11 day tour, Victoria visited Dublin, Cork, and Belfast. In Cork she visited Cobh which was renamed Queenstown in her honour. It was to be the first of three successful visits for the British monarch.

Victoria's next visit to Ireland would be in 1853, and the third on the 22nd of August 1861. 

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