Prince William is speaking out about the importance of bridge-building between neighbors as the U.K. and Ireland grapple with the consequences of Britain leaving the European Union.
William wrapped the second day of his and Kate Middleton’s royal tour in Ireland with a key diplomatic speech at a reception in Dublin. The royal referred to the continuing discussions over the future relationship between the countries and vowed that his family would do their part to enhance relationships between people.
“Ladies and gentlemen, legal treaties are vital in underpinning the relationships between states. But relationships between people are equally, if not more, essential – especially between the people of our two countries, whose lives, histories and futures are so deeply intertwined,” he said.
“I am confident that friendship, understanding and a shared vision for a peaceful and prosperous future will ensure that the unique and precious bond between our people is not broken. My family is determined to continue playing our part in protecting, preserving and strengthening that bond.”
William, 37, and Kate, 38, who wore a vintage Oscar de la Renta gown, were hosted by Simon Coveney, the minister for foreign affairs, at the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) in Dublin.
Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Prince William and Kate Middleton
He also referenced the couple’s moving visit to the Garden of Remembrance, which honored those who fought for Irish independence — following in the footsteps of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth who did the same during her groundbreaking visit in 2011.
“Growing up, I remember seeing the troubles that took place, which affected so many people across the UK and Ireland,” William said. “This explains why one of the truly profound moments for Catherine and me took place yesterday at the Garden of Remembrance. It was a reminder of the complexity of our shared history, and that as my grandmother said during her visit in 2011, ‘Our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache and turbulence.’”
“But it was also a reminder about how far we have come. It is right that we continue to remember those who suffered as a consequence of our troubled past. And whilst many wrongs have been done, it is important that we are not bound by these.”
Earlier in the day, William and Kate took a walk along the cliffs overlooking the Irish Sea between the U.K. and Ireland.
Chris Jackson/Getty Kate Middleton and Prince William
Tim Rooke/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage Prince William and Kate Middleton
William added, “As we stood on the cliffs at Howth and looked across the Irish Sea – a mere 50 miles for the British coastline – it was easy to see why so many people find the lure of this beautiful country so difficult to resist.”
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”And beyond the breath-taking landscapes, we have received such wonderful hospitality and friendship from all those we have met.”
”This morning we were privileged to meet a group of remarkable people who are working to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate. Their commitment and desire to help is truly inspirational.”
William and Kate will close out their three-day tour in Ireland on Thursday.