19th May 2015
We are not helping to keep HRH Prince Charles safe as he visits Ireland today to share the first meeting in the Republic of Ireland between the Sinn Féin leadership and a member of the British Royal Family.
But it got me thinking about how much Royal guarding and exposure we have had over the past three years.
Just three months ago, Prince Charles visited the Lee Valley Tunnel and Abbey Mills Pumping Station in his capacity as President of Water Aid to mark the 150th anniversary of London’s sewer network.
The infrastructure is run by Thames Water, with whom we have a long-standing framework agreement, and our highest protection fencing system ArmaWeave is installed at Abbey Mills, among other Thames Water sites.
It is, of course, within a stone’s throw of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium, which was the principal venue for the London 2012 Olympics, which were opened by The Queen and for which we were the largest security fencing supplier.
More recently, our installations in Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games kept Prince Charles’ two sons and The Queen’s grandsons secure as Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended events and visited volunteers.
And Princess Kate and Prince William, who is President of the FA, first came across Zaun fencing when they opened the FA Centre of Excellence, St George’s Park, at Burton-upon-Trent back in the autumn of 2012, where our perimeter fencing surrounds pitch no 2, the David Beckham pitch!
As for this latest Royal trip, The Prince of Wales has arrived in Galway at the start of a four-day visit, including a meeting with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams among other politicians, including deputy leader Martin McGuinness at the University of Galway.
Mr McGuinness previously met the Queen in 2012 in his role as Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister. The handshake between Queen Elizabeth II and the former IRA commander at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast was considered historic.
A year earlier, Michael Browne, the Sinn Féin mayor of Cashel, shook hands with the Queen in County Tipperary, making him the first party member to meet British royalty.
During his own trip, Prince Charles will visit the village of Mullaghmore in County Sligo, where his great-uncle, Earl Mountbatten, was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979.