Prince William praises the work Ireland and the UK have done to heal their 'troubled past' in moving speech

By Zach Harper

Prince William has praised the work Ireland and the United Kingdom have done to heal their "troubled past" and encouraged both nations to continue to remain friends now that Britain has left the European Union.

The Duke of Cambridge made the reflective, sensitive and impassioned remarks during a reception at the Museum of Literature Ireland during his tour of the country with Duchess Kate on March 4.

"Legal treaties are vital in underpinning the relationships between states," he said, referring to Brexit, which became official on Jan. 31. "But relationships between people are equally, if not more essential – especially between the people of our two countries, whose lives, histories and futures are so deeply intertwined.

"I am confident that friendship, understanding and a shared vision for a peaceful and prosperous future will ensure that the unique and precious bond between our people is not broken. My family is determined to continue playing our part in protecting, preserving and strengthening that bond."

The Queen enjoyed the Long Library at Trinity College Dublin on her visit to Ireland in 2011. Photo: © John Stillwell - Pool/Getty Images

The future King also acknowledged the hard and difficult work the two countries have done to move toward peace. Since the Troubles was a conflict over Northern Ireland's constitutional status from the late 1960s to 1998, most unrest and violence took place there. But it did at times also spill over into the Republic of Ireland, England and mainland Europe. The conflict has been over since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, and the Queen visited the Republic of Ireland for the first time in 2011.

"Growing up, I remember seeing the Troubles that took place, which affected so many people across the UK and Ireland," William continued. "This explains why one of the truly profound moments for Catherine and I took place yesterday when we laid a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance.

"It was a reminder of the complexity of our shared history, and as my grandmother said during her visit in 2011, 'Our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache and turbulence.' But it was also a reminder of how far we've come.

"It is right that we continue to remember those who suffered as a consequence of our troubled past. And whilst many wrongs have been done, it is important that we are not bound by these."

William and Kate laid a wreath at Dublin's Garden of Remembrance, which honours those who died fighting for Irish freedom, on March 3. Photo: © Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images

William went on to thank the Irish President Michael D. Higgins, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and Irish Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Simon Coveney for their hospitality, along with ordinary Irish citizens.

"Over the past two days, Catherine and I have seen for ourselves why Ireland is a country looked upon with such envy. As we stood on the cliffs at Howth and looked across the Irish Sea – a mere 50 miles from the British coastline – it was easy to see why so many people find the lure of this beautiful country so difficult to resist," he finished. "And beyond the breathtaking landscapes, we have received such wonderful hospitality and friendship from all those we have met."

PHOTOS: The best pictures from Day 2 of Prince William and Duchess Kate's royal tour of Ireland

The couple's day was packed with engagements, beginning in Dublin with a visit to a mental health centre and a drop-in to a residential facility run by a social justice charity. From there, they headed to a research farm in Carlow, took a walk along the coastline in the Dublin suburb of Howth, and finished their day with the reception at the Museum of Literature Ireland.

On March 3, they visited with Ireland's president and prime minister before attending a reception at the Guinness Storehouse's Gravity Bar.

The couple head to Galway on the final day of their whirlwind visit on March 5.

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