Today, 19 September 2022, the UK more or less shut down to give its monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, a Funeral of Funerals. The occasion was remarked on as ‘a brilliant blend of ancient and modern,’ and ‘an embodiment of greatness.’
It was a spectacle most fitting for a strong and tolerant woman who stands, gloriously, champion in the historical record as longest reigning monarch, out-reigning Queen Victoria by seven years, and her namesake, Elizabeth I, by twenty-six years.
In the Republic of Ireland, the British monarchy has long been a contentious subject, overshadowed by the history of colonisation. Indeed, Castleisland District Heritage holds many documents relating to the disturbed periods of English rule in Ireland.
However, a positive change came about in 2011 when Queen Elizabeth II made a State Visit to the Republic of Ireland at the invitation of the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. Security was understandably high for the occasion, but the public mood seemed to be mostly one of general apathy. Indeed, a poll conducted at the time revealed that ‘most people either supported the visit or couldn’t care less.’
The public display of sentiment in Ireland since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022 suggests that her visit to these shores more than a decade ago brought about a thaw in the historic relationship. For her efforts in this alone, she takes her place in Irish history.
May she Rest in Eternal Peace. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.
 The material includes a verse, The Ballad of Arthur Herbert, written in the wake of the assassination of magistrate Arthur Edward Herbert in 1882. The following lines sum up relations between the two countries at the time: ‘Q for the queen whose use is not known,/R for the rifles that keep up her throne.’ See also IE MOD 46, ‘Kings and Queens of England,’ Michael O’Donohoe Collection, Castleisland, pp308-312.  Royal Killarney Commemorating the first visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Republic of Ireland (2011), p13.