King Charles III paid his first visit to Northern Ireland today and met a number of figures from across the political divide from both sides of the border.
The newly-coronated king's mother played an important role in easing the political tensions between this country and his own, and Charles went one step further than his mother this evening in earning the respect of republicans. He did so by making DUP Jeffrey Donaldson feel somewhat awkward in a conversation about the biggest party in the North.
The BBC captured an intriguing conversation between Charles, Stormont Speaker Alex Maskey of Sinn Feín and his party colleague Michelle O'Neill, the Sinn Feín party leader in Northern Ireland. Beside them was Donaldson.
The conversation went like this.
King Charles: Anyway it's good to see you because I haven't seen you in awhile
Michelle O'Neill: Yes I know, a few years. Cork I think was the last time we met.
King Charles: What are you now, the biggest party are you?
Michelle O'Neill: We are indeed, we are indeed.
Alex Maskey: Don't be telling Jeffrey that now.
King Charles: All this skill and ingenuity.
The video then cuts. Sadly we don't really find out what the king has to say to Donaldson but we can only imagine it was warm.
All that skill & ingenuity.... pic.twitter.com/kutBtNbsTH
— Debs (@DebShoes72) September 13, 2022
King Charles in Belfast
Earlier, Charles spoke at Hillsborough about the role his mother played in assisting the peace process.
"My mother felt deeply, I know, the significance of the role she herself played in bringing together those whom history had separated, and in extending a hand to make possible the healing of long-held hurts," the king said
"Now, with that shining example before me, and with God's help, I take up my new duties resolved to seek the welfare of all the inhabitants of Northern Ireland."
Maskey had the following words to say about Queen Elizabeth's impact in Northern Ireland
"It's extraordinary to consider how much social and political change Queen Elizabeth witnessed... throughout her long reign.
"Yesterday an assembly of unionists, republicans, nationalists and those for whom the Constitution is not a main focus united to pay tribute to the late Queen.
"When she first came to the throne, no one would have anticipated an assembly so diverse and inclusive."
The new king will continue his tour of the UK throughout the week, with a visit to Wales on Friday.