Queen to visit Northern Ireland in June

Mr Robinson tells the BBC that he expects the executive to allow the proposal to go through

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The Queen will visit Northern Ireland on June 26 and 27 as part of the Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK.

She will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh on visits to Enniskillen and Belfast

First minister Peter Robinson welcomed confirmation of the royal visit.

"It is also a sign of progress that Buckingham Palace has been able to give advance notice of the two day visit," he said.

"In the past, only a select few got to greet Her Majesty The Queen and most people would have been unaware that a visit was even taking place.

"This change in protocol will give people a great opportunity to demonstrate their fondness and admiration for Her Majesty by coming onto the streets to welcome her.

'Opportunity'

"When further details of the programme are confirmed in due course, the public will have the best opportunity in my lifetime to be able to see and greet Her Majesty The Queen.

"This is testimony to the changed times in which we live."

Mr Robinson also revealed that the Stormont executive is to present the Queen with a gift of Beleek pottery to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

Writing on his twitter account, the first minister said that he had proposed the pottery present at an executive meeting and there were "no objections".

In March Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's deputy first minister, said he would consider meeting the Queen when she visited NI.

"I want to be a deputy first minister for everybody - for the unionist people, for the loyalist people, for the Protestants and the dissenters and those who don't believe in anything," he told RTE.

Celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession reach a peak this weekend with a four day programme of events.

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