Queen makes personal gesture of peace

The flag draped coffin of Lord Mountbatten rests in Westminster Abbey. Credit: PA NEWS/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Queen will make her 20th trip to Northern Ireland today, but this Jubilee trip will be different from her previous visits. She will meet, and shake hands with, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness tomorrow in Belfast, and in doing so make a personal as well as political gesture for peace.

In 1979, when McGuinness was an IRA operative, the Queen's cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed in a bomb attack outside his Sligo home. The IRA readily claimed responsibility at the time saying:

"This operation is one of the discriminate ways we can bring to the attention of the English people the continuing occupation of our country."