King William to land in Carrickfergus this weekend

Pictured at the launch of the Royal Landing at Carrickfergus Castle with King William in March 2017 are Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Harold Henning (right), and chairman of the Carrickfergus Historical Re-enactment Group, Darren McAllister
Pictured at the launch of the Royal Landing at Carrickfergus Castle with King William in March 2017 are Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Harold Henning (right), and chairman of the Carrickfergus Historical Re-enactment Group, Darren McAllister

This Saturday, King William of Orange will be landing once more at Carrickfergus.

The re-enactment will be the highlight of the inaugural Royal Landing, and will be accompanied by a four-day festival marking the historic event.

King William III in Carrickfergus during the 2016 festival in Carrickfergus

King William III in Carrickfergus during the 2016 festival in Carrickfergus

King William will be rowed into the town’s harbour where he will be met by soldiers and dragoons dressed in period costume, before leading a parade on horseback through the Co Antrim town.

The Orange Order describes this year’s event as a “rebranded and improved annual pageant”, which will also incorporate an open-air musical concert and Lambeg drumming workshop prior to the main event.

A separate Gospel concert will take place on Sunday afternoon.

Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Harold Henning, said: “Carrickfergus is rich in Orange history, with its magnificent castle overlooking the harbour where King William landed in 1690 on his way to victory at the Battle of the Boyne.

“The Royal Landing is sure to bring our glorious past back to life in a unique way as it further establishes itself as one of the flagship events in the lead up to the Twelfth of July.”

The Carrick pageant is being held in partnership with the British Heart Foundation in Northern Ireland, raising funds for research into and awareness of heart disease.

The Royal Landing will take place from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 June 2017. The main Carrickfergus parade will be held on Saturday 10 June, commencing at 12.15pm, to meet King William landing at the castle at 1.15pm.

Chairman of the Carrickfergus Historical Re-Enactment Group, Darren McAllister, said: “We are excited about the rebranding of the annual Carrickfergus Pageant to the Royal Landing and we hope the change will assist the ever-growing appeal of the event.

“It’s our aim to make the historical significance seem as life like as possible as we have visitors from across the UK, Ireland and further afield who travel to witness this event year on year.”

He added: “The expansion of the Royal Landing to a four-day celebration event will be the result which we hope all of our visitors will thoroughly enjoy.”

TIMELINE:

Thursday June 8

Lambeg Drumming Workshop and Display, Market Place, 7 - 9pm

Friday June 9

Royal Landing Concert, Marine Gardens, 7.30pm - 10pm

Performers include Millar Memorial Flute Band, Tillyhay Dancers, Sinclair Pipe Band, Hounds of Ulster and Vow Accordion Band

Saturday June 10

Parade and re-enactment, 12.15pm - 5pm

Sunday June 11

Gospel Concert, 2pm - 4.30pm