By Jonathan McCambridge, PA
Britain's Princess Anne has attended the first annual garden party held at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Princess Royal also visited Ballymena in Co Antrim and an equine rehabilitation centre as part of her one-day trip to the region.
The visit began with a trip to Ballymena Showgrounds where a flagship celebration is being held to mark the centenary of the work of the St John’s Ambulance with young people across Northern Ireland.
Anne met with leaders, as well as cadets and badgers, learning more about the organisation’s range of youth programmes and activities.
🎉 Celebrating 100 years of @stjohnambulance Cadets!
The Princess Royal, Commandant-in-Chief, joins in with centenary celebrations at Ballymena Showground.
Since 1922, the Cadets has enabled young people to learn vital first aid skills, as well as building confidence. pic.twitter.com/vrrbVOnfOV
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) July 5, 2022
She also met with a number of young people completing the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Later, Anne visited the Irish Equine Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Ballinderry in Co Antrim where she viewed the stable area, including a demonstration of a water treadmill and saltwater hydrotherapy used in the rehabilitation of horses.
The final engagement was at Hillsborough Castle where the princess was guest of honour at a garden party, hosted by the Secretary of State Brandon Lewis.
Mr Lewis presented Anne with a Platinum Jubilee hamper, a gift produced as part of a Northern Ireland Office initiative.
Prior to departure, Anne planted an oak tree in the castle’s walled garden.