Charles and Camilla Visit Irish Cultural Centre

Treated to 'best of Irish' in advance of St Patrick's Day

Charles makes an attempt at pouring a pint of GuinnessPrince Charles makes an attempt at pouring a pint of Guinness

Prince Charles had the chance to learn how to pull a pint of Guinness when he and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, paid a visit to the Irish Cultural Centre (ICC) in Hammersmith this week (15 March) to mark the centre's 25th anniversary.

Staff and volunteers turned out to welcome the Prince of Wales and his wife, (who was wearing a green dress for the occasion) before they were given a whistle-stop display of Irish music and dancing in advance of the centre's St Patrick's Day festivities.

Prince Charles went behind the bar in the foyer of the Centre, where bar staff member Jude demonstrated how to tilt a pint glass and pour in the Guinness. He was given a round of applause for his efforts, amid shouts of 'Slainte', but there wasn't time for more than a sip of the drink before he had to move on.

The visitors then viewed an energetic performance by young Irish dancers, and were shown around an exhibition of contemporary Irish art by curator Barbara Stanley. The Prince unveiled a plaque commemorating the 25th years of the centre. He and his wife also met a group of Irish nurses who work in the NHS.

The visit took place ahead of the royal couple's forthcoming trip to Ireland next week.

The royal visitors were officially welcomed by the chairman of the ICC Board, Peter Power-Hynes and greeted by all the members of the board, before being shown around by cultural director Rosalind Scanlon.

The party also chatted with members of the local knitting circle, many of whom are long-time emigrants from Ireland and they also joined in singing 'The Mountains of Mourne' with choir members.

They also visited the Library and chatted with volunteer John Byrne.

The atmosphere throughout the visit was described as relaxed and friendly and there was general agreement that the visitors seemed genuinely interested in everyone and enjoyed their experience.

The ICC has been the home of Irish culture for the last 25 years and became a registered charity in 2013 before re-opening a new centre in 2017. As well as a new foyer, bar, and mezzanine area, the centre has a large performance auditorium, together with several rooms where cultural events and performances relating to irish music, film, literature and art, as well as classes lectures and conferences, take place.

The Centre also plays an active role in the wider community, with open-access programmes for all ages and interests and backgrounds.

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March 19, 2022