Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancée Charlene Wittstock will visit Newport next week as part of a three-day State visit to Ireland from April 4 to 6.
Newport is the ancestral home of the prince’s great grandparents and the visit was confirmed following an intervention by Junior Minister for Tourism Michael Ring. The couple will travel from Galway to Newport House on Wednesday where they will meet relatives of the prince.
“The visit will be a great boost for the tourism product in Newport and it’s only right given the Princes’ ancestral connections with Newport,” Minister of State Ring told the Mayo Advertiser.
The visit comes 50 years after his parents, Prince Rainier III and Hollywood actress Princess Grace, visited Ireland in 1961.
The couple will attend a series of events in Dublin and Galway from Monday to Wednesday. They will be formally welcomed to Ireland by President Mary McAleese and her husband Dr Martin McAleese and the pair will also meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, government ministers and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Gerry Breen.
During the trip they will visit Trinity College and take a tour of the redeveloped Docklands in Dublin as well as the Irish Marine Institute in Oranmore, Co Galway. The trip will conclude with the visit to Newport where the prince will be formally met by Minister of State Ring on behalf of the Government as well as dignitaries from the county. It is hoped the couple will engage in a meet and greet with the local people before the group travel to Ireland West Airport Knock.
Prince Albert will be accompanied by a delegation from the Monaco Chamber of Economic Development during certain events.
Junior Minister Ring said it was time the council, locals, and State agencies looked at recognising the ancestral home of Princess Grace through the development of a museum.