Prince Charles speaks of 'harmony' at start of visit to both sides of the Irish border

Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

Charles and Camilla have just touched down in Northern Ireland at the start of a four day tour to the island of Ireland.

At the start of his tour the Prince of Wales spoke about the troubled past of this island at a visitor centre dedicated to the memory of late Nobel Laureate poet Seamus Heaney.

The Prince said: "I hope, in some way, this work will help show how our varied histories, voices and traditions can create all the greater harmony when they come together.

"After all it is differences that make harmony possible, even as it is the barriers that have been overcome that make friendship all the stronger.

Referring to a sequence of music to be performed here called 'Songs After Rain', Prince Charles added: "This part of the world has seen more than it's fair share of rain in every sense; I can only pray that the songs which follow will be all the sweeter for that."

Prince Charles was welcomed by crowds who were waiting to meet him Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

During their trip the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will also visit County Antrim, Belfast and Hillsborough and then move to Dublin and Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland.

Clarence House says the visit has been planned at the request of the Foreign Office which means their Royal Highnesses are being deployed once again to strengthen ties between the U.K. and other EU countries before Brexit talks get underway after the election.

The couple recently completed a similar tour of EU countries Romania, Italy and Austria.

Charles and Camilla are on a four day tour Credit: Liam McBurney/PA

Prince Charles and his wife will also officially open a memorial to police officers from the PSNI (formerly RUC) who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Then in Dublin, Charles and Camilla will have talks with both the President and the Taoiseach (prime minister) and be guests at Kilkenny Castle for a display of hurling and Gaelic music.

At the end of the tour, they will visit a not-uncontroversial memorial in Glasnevin Cemetry in Dublin which records both Irish and British lives lost in the 1916 Easter uprising.