Arlene Foster has been made a Dame of the Realm in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The former DUP leader served as First Minister from 2016-2017 and again during the pandemic from 2020 until 2021.
Like many northern unionists, Dame Arlene is a strong supporter of the British monarchy and her social media feed features a steady supply of royalist retweets and loyal commentary:
“As a big royalist, it’s a huge honour to receive this damehood in the 70th year of Her Majesty’s reign,” she said.
“But also it’s an honour for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, the place which I love and which I represented for 18 years.
"And indeed for the whole of Northern Ireland because the citation talks about the fact that I was the first female to take the role of First Minister, so I’m really, really pleased as you can imagine, I’m delighted.”
Here are the buns!! pic.twitter.com/lNEWIQ1xmy
— Arlene Foster DBE PC #ProudofNI. (@ArleneFosterUK) June 1, 2022
But when asked by the Belfast Telegraph whether she expects she’ll get much use of the title when she’s out and about in her former constituency she replied:
“I’ll always be Arlene from Fermanagh.”
Britons will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s record breaking reign this weekend with a four day bank holiday weekend.
No other British Monarch has reigned for 70 years and thousands of community events are planned right across the United Kingdom.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 1, 2022
In a message to mark the occasion, Her Majesty offered her thanks “to everyone who has been involved in convening communities, families, neighbours and friends to mark my Platinum Jubilee, in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth.
“I know that many happy memories will be created at these festive occasions. I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last seventy years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”
Main image: Queen Elizabeth II meets First Minister Arlene Foster at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast, at the beginning of a two day Royal visit to Northern Ireland. Picture by: Alamy.com