Northern Ireland news

King and Queen meet their match in eight-year-olds Charles and Camilla

The King and Queen met Camilla Nowawakowska and Charles Murray during their two-day trip to Northern Ireland (Brian Lawless/PA)
Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

The King and Queen met their match during their trip to Co Armagh, crossing paths with two eight-year-olds also called Charles and Camilla.

As they greeted the primary school children who had waited patiently outside St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Queen noticed young Camilla, wearing a colourful crepe-paper replica of her own crown.

Standing next to Camilla Nowawakowska was Charles Murray, who was sporting a purple paper crown decorated with shiny stickers.

The Queen meets Camilla Nowawakowska and Charles Murray
The Queen met Camilla Nowawakowska and Charles Murray, aged eight, outside St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh (Brian Lawless/PA)

When the two children told the Queen their first names, she said: “Goodness me, isn’t that funny.”

“You’ve got very smart crowns on, they’re a little bit lighter than the one I had on,” she joked.

“They look pretty cool with all the jewels.”

Charles was then called over and shook hands with the two children.

King Charles III visit to Northern Ireland – Day 2
Charles Murray and Camilla Nowawakowska sported paper crowns for the royal visit (Brian Lawless/PA)

The meeting took place following a short service at the cathedral involving several religious leaders.

The Dean of Armagh, the Very Reverend Shane Forster then led the royal couple towards Market Theatre Square.

Along the path across the cathedral’s grounds were children from different schools waving Union Jacks, some of whom gasped as they caught sight of the King.

Students and staff from the Methodist College Belfast, including several choristers who performed at the coronation, also had a chance to meet the King and Queen.

King Charles III visit to Northern Ireland – Day 2
The Dean of Armagh, the Very Revd Shane Forster, left, led the King and Queen towards Market Theatre Square (Brian Lawless/PA)

Among the singers waiting outside were Hannah Gheel and Emily Wilson, who said they were excited to meet the royals.

Hannah said performing at Charles’s coronation had been an experience that was “difficult to describe”.

“I feel like it hasn’t set in that we were actually there, the whole thing, the sound in the cathedral and (Westminster) Abbey,” she said.

Emily said it had been “emotional” to perform.

King Charles III visit to Northern Ireland – Day 2
The King and Queen are on a two-day visit to Northern Ireland (Brian Lawless/PA)

“Honestly, all of the songs, the acoustics of the abbey and everyone singing together, it was really emotional actually,” she said.

Hannah added: “We got quite emotional after as well because it was all finished. Because we put so much time and we knew the pieces so well, so after it was finished it was quite sad.”

The pair said that the amount of practice they had done beforehand meant that neither nerves nor the countless famous faces at the event had disrupted their performance.

Northern Ireland news