William and Kate told Ireland belongs to the Irish on visit to Belfast

The Princess of Wales on a visit in Belfast
The Princess of Wales on a visit in Belfast

THE Princess of Wales has been challenged by a woman suggesting Kate was not in her own country when meeting members of the public on a visit to Northern Ireland.

The exchange unfolded when Kate and William were undertaking an impromptu meet and greet with people in north Belfast.

While shaking hands with the princess, the woman said: “Nice to meet you but it would be better if it was when you were in your own country.”

The woman, who appeared to be videoing the exchange on a mobile phone, added: “Ireland belongs to the Irish.”

During the day-long visit, William and Kate are fulfilling a number of engagements with various organisations that provide support to people from all backgrounds.

They began with a visit to suicide prevention charity PIPS in north Belfast.

The couple spoke with staff about their work helping people at risk of suicide and self-harm.

The charity also arranged for them to take part in an art therapy session, painting pumpkins, with some vulnerable children who have been supported by PIPS.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation has seen a significant rise in those reaching out for help. That includes an increase of more than 500% among young people.

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Lord mayor Tina Black and Sinn Fein MP for the constituency John Finucane were among those who welcomed the royal couple on arrival.

After the visit to PIPS, the couple travelled into Belfast city centre to view Trademarket, a new outdoor street-food and retail market where they took part in a spirited cocktail making race.

They also met with representatives from Kainos, a Belfast-based software company provided the site for the market at a peppercorn rent.

The final visit of the day was to the town of Carrickfergus in Co Antrim.