King Charles III is flying to Belfast, Northern Ireland, today as mourners continue to gather at St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, where the body of Queen Elizabeth’s coffin lies in rest. During the queen’s reign, more than 3,600 people died over three decades in Northern Ireland in fighting between the Irish Republican Army and forces backed by Britain. In 1979, an IRA bombing killed Lord Louis Mountbatten, the queen’s second cousin. In 2012, the queen famously shook hands with former IRA leader and Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness in Belfast. Last week Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’Neill paid tribute to the queen.
Michelle O’Neill: “There’s no doubt that she leaves a legacy of someone who reached out the hand of friendship, someone who advanced peace and reconciliation, someone who sought to build relations between those of an Irish and those of a British identity. And I think that was sterling work and something that I think she’ll be very much remembered for here on this island.”