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Irish flag hangs outside Windsor Castle as crowds gather

The Irish flag is hanging outside Windsor Castle as the Queen prepares to welcome the Irish President for the first state visit in history.

The Irish flag hangs outside Windsor Castle as crowds begin to form. Credit: ITV News

Crowds have started to gather along the route, ahead of Micheal D Higgins' momentous meeting with the Queen.

Although President Higgins has travelled to events in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Scotland last year, these were not official visits.

Crowds have already started to gather at Windsor ahead of today's state visit. Credit: ITV news

Today's ceremonial visit will begin at the Irish Embassy, when the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will greet The President and Mrs Higgins, on behalf on the Queen.

They will then journey together to Windsor.

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Irish President: Visit is not about 'wiping the slate clean'

Irish President Michael D Higgins said today's historic state visit to the UK was not about "forgetting the past" or "wiping the slate clean" but about focusing on the present and building future relations. It is the first official state visit from Ireland to its former colonial ruler.

Irish President Michael D Higgins receiving a military welcome yesterday. Credit: Press Association

Speaking to Irish state broadcaster RTE he said progress should not be about forgetting the past.

"The challenge is to hand to a future generation all of the prospects of the future. You are not inviting them to an amnesia about any deep dispute.

"There are a lot of very difficult memories and it would be to my mind wrong to suggest to anyone that you should as it were, wipe the slate clean."

The President will be joined on the trip by Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore.

Historic state visit by the Irish President to Windsor

Michael Higgins, the Irish President, will visit Windsor Castle Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

It's an historic day for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh today in Windsor.

They are due to meet the Irish President Michael Higgins.

There will be a traditional carriage procession through the streets to reach the castle.

Queens gift on display at Windsor Castle

Video. Windsor Castle has much to entice tourists inside its stone walls but outside in the grounds, there is a new attraction. Six willow arches have been constructed as a gift to the Queen, one for each decade she has been on the throne.

The coronation arches are now on display on the long walk at Windsor Great Park and has taken two months to complete. They were officially opened at the weekend. Divya Kohli reports.

One of the Queen's cars is up for auction

The Queen's former Daimler parked outside Windsor Castle Credit: Brooklands auctioneers

A car that used to belong to Her Majesty the Queen is up for auction in Surrey. The Daimler saloon car was delivered to Buckingham Palace in 2001. The Queen used the vehicle to travel between Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, as well as when attending her other engagements.

The car was transferred to The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust by the Royal household in 2004, and has a mileage of 15,252. The guide price at Brooklands auctioneers is £25,000 - £30,000.

The Queen behind the wheel of the Daimler saloon car Credit: Brooklands auctioneers

The car was last seen in public at the Cartier Royal Jubilee display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex in 2012.

The description of the car in the guide listing ends: '... this represents a rare opportunity to purchase a unique, important and totally useable, one careful lady owner vehicle which would surely grace any collection.'

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Duchess of Cambridge meets the Scouts at Windsor Castle

The Duchess of Cambridge meets Scouts during the National Review of Queen's Scouts at Windsor Castle Credit: Olivia Harris/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge attends the National Review of Queen's Scouts Credit: Olivia Harris/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge meets Scouts at Windsor Credit: Olivia Harris/PA Wire

Windsor recovery for The Queen

Queen Elizabeth II who will spend the day resting after suffering symptoms of gastroenteritis Credit: Ian Gavan/PA Wire

Her Majesty was due to attend a military celebration in Wales during the country's St David's Day celebrations, but was forced to cancel her planned engagements.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on her condition, but a spokeswoman earlier confirmed the Queen would spend the weekend at Windsor.

Preparing the guards at Windsor Castle

The Queen has visited soldiers as their prepare for a State Visit Credit: © Crown copyright 2012

The Queen has visited Combermere Barracks in Windsor to meet soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

They were preparing for the state visit later today of The Amir of the State of Kuwait and ongoing military operations.

Soldiers from Soldier from the Household Cavalry Regiment and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. Credit: © Crown copyright 2012
The Queen has visited soldiers as their prepare for a State Visit Credit: © Crown copyright 2012
Preparations for the visit of the Amir of Kuwait at Windsor Castle Credit: © Crown copyright 2012
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