|The Earl of Wessex talks to Lord Lieutenant Dame Mary Peters at Hillsborough Castle at the Hillsborough Garden Party hosted by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons||Her Royal Highnesses the Countess of Wessex shares a laugh with one of the Duke of Edinburgh award recipients at the Hillsborough Garden Party on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Thompson/Harrisons|
THE Earl and Countess of Wessex were special guests at a garden party hosted by the secretary of state at Hillsborough Castle on Tuesday.
The Royal couple were greeted by Mr David Lindsay Lord-Lieutenant of County Down and went on to meet Mr David Corbett Sheriff of County Down and The Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In the Rose Garden they met Deputy Chief Constable Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Judith Gillespie OBE and a number of PSN1 officers and their guests. TRHs also met Brigadier Edward Smyth-Osbourne Commander 38 (Irish) Brigade and a number of personnel serving in Northern Ireland and their guests.
In the main garden TRHs received a warm welcome and, following the National Anthem played by The Band of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, The Secretary of State invited TRHs to plant a tree to commemorate the visit.
Despite the constant rain, the Royal pair met many of the 2000 invited guests representing a broad cross-section of the community.