Prince Charles shows off dancing skills at Hillsborough reception

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Charles and Camilla at the Seamus Heaney 'Homeplace' centre in Bellaghy on Tuesday

By Deborah McAleese, Press Association

The Prince of Wales jokingly showed off his Irish dancing skills during an evening of music at Hillsborough Castle.

Meeting with children from the Tir Na n-Og School of Irish Dancing, Charles laughed as he gave a brief demonstration of his Irish dancing footwork.

The Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall rounded off the first day of their trip with a Spring Evening musical event at the castle.

The event saw the world premiere of a new piece by Belfast composer Neil Martin.

Songs after the Rain was commissioned by Charles to celebrate the three major cultural traditions on the island of Ireland.

As part of a packed programme, the royal couple were also entertained by the children of Tir Na n-Og School of Irish Dancing which was founded in Belfast in 1998.

Charles and Camilla were in jovial spirits as they joined 100 guests in the castle's majestic Throne Room for the event.

There were also performances by West Ocean String Quartet, Malachy Frame (Baritone), Brid Ni Ghruagain (Mezzo), Deirdre Moynihan (Soprano) and the Percy French Party.

Following the concert the royal couple met with the performers in the opulent Red Room.

Camilla posed for a photograph with the Irish dancers, while Charles jokingly tried to copy their footwork.

Dance school teacher Jackie White said it was a "real honour" to share the culture of Irish festival dancing with the royal couple.

She said Charles was fascinated by the dance technique.

"He wanted to try a bit with his feet so he showed us his footwork.

"He was really encouraging and particularly interested in the young people," added Ms White.

The royal couple then retired to the State Drawing Room for a drinks reception with guests, including the PSNI's Chief Constable George Hamilton.

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