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  1. ITV Report

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness says he 'likes the Queen'

The Queen and Martin McGuinness first met in 2012. Credit: PA

Former IRA commander Martin McGuinness has said he likes the Queen and also paid tribute to her courage in agreeing to meet him.

Mr McGuinness first met the Queen when they shook hands at a charity event in Belfast in 2012 and since then they have met on several other occasions including in June when he showed Her Majesty around the Crumlin Road jail where he was held for a month in 1976.

The Queen was shown around Crumlin Road jail by Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson. Credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire/Press Association Image

"I liked her courage in agreeing to meet with me; I liked the engagements that I've had with her.There's nothing I have seen in my engagements with her that this is someone I should dislike, I like her," Mr McGuinness told the BBC.

He added: "I know who Queen Elizabeth represents. I know she's the head of the British state. I know she has all sorts of titles in relation to different regiments in the British army.

"She knows my history. She knows I was a member of the IRA. She knows I was in conflict with her soldiers, yet both of us were prepared to rise above all of that."

Martin McGuinness also met the Queen at a banquet at Windsor Castle. Credit: Luke MacGregor/PA Wire

Earlier this year Mr McGuinness attended a Windsor Castle banquet given by the Queen in honour of the state visit to Britain by Irish president Michael D Higgins. He joined in a toast to the monarch as an orchestra played 'God Save The Queen'.

When he was a Sinn Fein MP Mr McGuinness refused to sit in the House of Commons because he would have had to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen.