Queen’s 90th: Video footage of her 1961 visit to Carrickfergus

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/5/2002: Queen Elizabeth pictured during the first part of her Golden Jubilee celebration trip to Northern Ireland.
  PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 14/5/2002: Queen Elizabeth pictured during the first part of her Golden Jubilee celebration trip to Northern Ireland. PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

To mark Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, we take a nostalgic look back at her royal visit to Carrickfergus.

In August 1961, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh stepped ashore at Carrick harbour on the first day of a two-day visit to Northern Ireland.

The town was chosen as the landing spot as it evoked “a strong sense of history”, according to a Newsletter editorial at the time.

The location recalled de Courcy and “other Normans who left their mark on Down and Antrim”, along with William of Orange who landed at the castle in 1690.

The royal party were given a tour of the castle before proceeding to other engagements in Belfast.

Meanwhile, around 1,000 people are expected in the vicinity of Fisherman’s Quay tonight (Thursday) as Carrick celebrates the monarch’s birthday.

As part of a series of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council events to mark the royal milestone, the Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, will be joined by the Vice Lord Lieutenant for Country Antrim, Richard Reade DL, to light a beacon.

It will form a link in a nationwide chain of beacons, led by Her Majesty lighting the first one.