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Mid and East Antrim salutes Duke of Edinburgh with a bang

Monday 11 June 2018

Mid and East Antrim salutes Duke of Edinburgh as residents celebrate Prince Philip’s 97th birthday The Duke of Edinburgh’s 97th birthday was marked with a bang – or rather 21 of them.

Mid and East Antrim salutes Duke of Edinburgh with a bang

A large crowd turned out for a spectacular gun salute in honour of His Royal Highness in the garrison town of Carrickfergus.

Special guests, including Mrs Joan Christie CVO, OBE, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, were among those gathered at Castle Green in the shadow of the town’s iconic fortress as three guns each fired off seven rounds in a thundering tribute.

The impressive weapons, which have been used by the army in battle zones throughout the world, were supplied and operated by 206 (Ulster) Battery Royal Artillery.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, described the Royal occasion as “a fitting honour” for Prince Philip, in recognition of a lifetime of public and civic duty.

The Mayor added: “I’m delighted to honour His Royal Highness with a spectacular display from the 206 (Ulster) Battery Royal Artillery at Castle Green.

“As we celebrate the birthday of the longest-serving British consort, we also used the occasion to celebrate one of his main interests - The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which he founded in 1956.

“We are extremely proud of our borough’s strong links to the Royal Family and our rich military history.

“As a garrison town, Carrickfergus has been of huge strategic significance for centuries and was the ideal venue for what was be a superb event.

“I wish to extend Council’s thanks to Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, and new Freeman of the Borough, Mrs Joan Christie CVO, OBE, for her attendance to take the Salute. 

“Our thanks are also extended to 38 (Irish) Brigade and 206 (Ulster) Battery Royal Artillery for the magnificent firing, alongside Kate Thompson of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for her support.”

Carrickfergus has strong ties with the Royal family.

In 1961 Her Majesty the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh landed in Carrickfergus for the start of a two-day visit to Northern Ireland. 

And Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Catherine were granted the titles of Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus to mark their marriage.