Irish President Michael D. Higgins' two Bernese Mountain dogs are always ready to welcome royalty

By Conchita Margaret Widjojo
March 03, 2020 11:14 AM
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Kate Middleton and Prince William are making some furry new friends!

During their visit to Ireland on Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge not only met with the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, but the royal parents were also warmly greeted by the president’s Bernese Mountain dog Brod, which means pride in Gaelic.

Brod is no stranger to royal company. Both Brod and the president’s dog Sioda — who missed the couple’s visit due to a paw injury — met William’s brother Prince Harry and sister-in-law Meghan Markle during their visit to Ireland as newlyweds in July 2018. The two pups grew a liking towards both Meghan and Harry as they continued to follow them around during the tour of the garden, staying with them the whole time.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage; Andrew Parsons - Pool/Getty
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sabina Coyne
Prince William, Kate Middleton, President Higgins and his Bernese Mountain dog
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage
Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex visit to Dublin, Ireland - 11 Jul 2018
Meghan Markle

Prince William and Kate are dog parents themselves to Lupo, an English Cocker Spaniel. At a 2018 Christmas party at Kensington Palace, the royal mom revealed they got the dog to help them during a difficult time.

“When Prince William was away in the Falkland Islands, he went for dinner with some good friends of ours in the Air Force, and he was saying how difficult it was for Kate because he was leaving for six weeks. It was when they’d just got the Spaniel to help her with the time apart,” said Natalie Bressani. “She appreciates what wives and families go through.”

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Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince George and Lupo
| Credit: Michael Middleton/Kensington Palace/Getty Images

While in Dublin, the first stop of their three-day tour, William, 37, and Kate, 38, toured the Garden of Remembrance, a memorial “dedicated to those who gave their lives for Irish independence,” the couple’s office at Kensington Palace says.

Sabina Coyne, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watch as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge signs a the guestbook during a meeting at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland
Kate Middleton and Prince William
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate was dressed head-to-toe in green in honor of the Emerald Isle. She wore a patterned dress by Alessandra Rich under a Catherine Walker coat along with matching accessories — a clutch, heels and headband. William also got in the spirit with a green tie paired with his suit and long jacket.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sabina Coyne
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: SplashNews.com

The poignant moment will help herald three busy days, during which they will “focus on the relationship between the two countries, and build on the theme of remembrance and reconciliation.” William and Kate “are looking forward to building a lasting friendship with the Irish people.”

They are also meeting the Taoiseach Leo Varadker on their first day in the Irish capital.

Sabina Coyne, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watch as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge signs a the guestbook during a meeting at Áras an Uachtaráin on March 03, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland
Kate Middleton and Prince William
| Credit: Phil Noble - Pool/Getty

The visit, following a request by U.K.’s Foreign Office, seeks to enhance relations following the lead of William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, who made a groundbreaking visit in 2011. That tour had been the first official visit by a monarch in a century, the latter period of which saw a violent campaign to unite Ireland with British Northern Ireland.

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During their three-day tour of thriving cities and rural communities, William and Kate are set to take in Ireland’s rich culture and spectacular scenery, meeting local organizations working to support and empower young people and help them develop important life skills.

They will also hear about Ireland’s conservation initiatives, including efforts on sustainable farming and marine conservation.