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03rd Mar 2020

The photo you want to see today is Kate and William meeting Ireland’s first dog

Leslie Ann Horgan

As VIP visitors go, Prince William and Kate Middleton are the biggest of deals.

Not only are they one of the most photographed and talked about couples on the planet, but they come to Ireland at a time when post-Brexit negotiations have brought the tragic history of our nations back to the fore.

Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Dublin for a three-day official State visit and were whisked straight to Áras an Uachtaráin where they met with one of our own VIP citizens – the gorgeous Bród.

The Bernese mountain dog delighted in being fussed over by the animal loving royal couple, who both gave him a good pet as they posed for official photographs with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina.

The friendly doggy also raised a smile from the waiting press pack as he scampered around his home grounds, leading the way towards the Peace Bell which was to be rung by the visitors.

Camera-friendly Bród is usually seen in the company of his sister Síoda, another large Bernese. The pair usually accompany President Higgins on his duties around the Áras, hanging out in his study while the President works.

The dogs are also a guaranteed hit at the garden parties that President and Mrs Higgins host at the grounds for groups of invited guests during the summer. Although Bernese are a big breed of dogs, they’re known for their gentle temperament and are reported to be great with children and people with sensory needs.

President Higgins is reported to keep cuddly toy versions of Bernese mountain dogs at his office in the Áras – the perfect gift to bring home to Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte perhaps.