Kate Middleton Heckled During Visit to Northern Ireland: Video

Catherine Princess of Wales
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An unwelcome visit? Princess KateDuring her royal visit to Northern Ireland with her husband, she was confronted by an observer Prince William.

On Thursday, October 6, the Princess of Wales, 40 was shaking hands in Carrickfergus Castle with locals when she was called out to by a woman in a green jacket. While recording the interaction on her phone, she told Kate, “Nice to meet you, but it would be better if it was when you were in your own country.”

The duchess left to chat with others at the barricade, but the woman continued her work. “Ireland belongs to the Irish,” she said.

Despite the unanticipated moment, Kate kept her cool and smiled to greet more people as the walkabout went on. William, 40 years old, did not appear as if he was going to step in. His back was turned when the heckler spoke.

Thursday marked the couple’s first official visit to Northern Ireland — which is part of the U.K. — as the new Prince and Princess of Wales, titles they inherited following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September. Tensions between the British, Irish and British have been high for centuries. In fact, the late monarch spoke out about the political strife at a 2011 banquet in Dublin.

“It is a sad and regrettable reality that through history our islands have experienced more than their fair share of heartache, turbulence and loss … with the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we wish had been done differently, or not at all,” Elizabeth noted at the time. “To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past, I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy.”

Before traveling north, Kate visited the Royal Surrey County Hospital’s maternity unit on Wednesday, October 5, to meet with medical staff, new mothers and more. The Duke of Cambridge, meanwhile, celebrated his love of sports at St. George’s Park in Staffordshire. William, who is the president of The Football Association, spoke to para-footballers at the facility, which has been home to the English national team since 2012.

As the nation’s mourning period came to an end with the state funeral of the longest-reigning British monarch, William, Kate and more royal family members have gotten back to their busy schedules. The prince, now the first in line to the throne of the country, recently gave his first speech in honor of his grandmother since her death at age 95.

“Our natural world is one of our greatest assets,” he said at the United for Wildlife Global Summit on Tuesday, October 4. “It is a lesson I learned from a young age, from my father and my grandfather, both committed naturalists in their own right, and also from my much-missed grandmother, who cared so much for the natural world.”

He added at the London event: “In times of loss, it is a comfort to honor those we miss through the work we do. And I take great comfort then from the progress we are making to end the illegal wildlife trade.”