Three years ago, when she became the first British monarch to visit Ireland in 100 years, the Queen laid a wreath dedicated to republicans who died fighting the forces of the Crown for Irish independence.
Now the Irish President is to make a similar gesture of reconciliation by viewing the colours of the Army regiment that brutally put down the 1916 Easter Rising.
The symbolic event will form a key part of the first state visit to England by an Irish president, due to take place early next month.
Today the Foreign Office announced details of events scheduled for Michael D Higgins’s visit, which the Irish ambassador to the UK described as an important step in freeing both countries “from the burdens of the past”.
Highlights will include an address by Mr Higgins to both Houses of Parliament, a state banquet in his honour and a reception that will bring together both republican and Unionist politicians from Northern Ireland. Mr Higgins will also visit Coventry to meet members of the Irish community living in Britain.