At a meeting of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle in Dublin today a decision was taken that the party’s most senior member in the North to meet with the Queen next week.
The British monarch who is the head of the armed forces will be in Belfast at a luncheon being hosted by the cross-community charity Co-Operation Ireland next Wednesday when it is now expected that she will meet McGuinness for the first time.
The Co-Operation Ireland event will also be attended by Irish president Michael D Higgins and the Loyalist DUP leader, six county First Minister Peter Robinson.
On her visit to Ireland in May of last year, the Queen met and shook hands with the Sinn Féin mayor of Cashel, the late Michael Browne.
An eirgi spokesperson has said of the news “Although Irish republicans throughout the world are disgusted with the decision they are not surprised of Sinn Fein’s determination in meeting the British royal”.