Northern Ireland

Deirdre Heenan: DUP’s royal humiliation reflects a political creed in deep decline

The sight of an unhappy Jeffrey Donaldson playing second fiddle to Sinn Féin in King Charles’s presence last week showed how far unionism has fallen down the pecking order

King Charles was introduced to Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, at Stormont last week, where he asked him: ‘I have seen you occasionally, in the past?’ Picture: Getty

Northern Irish unionists have a deep emotional allegiance to Queen Elizabeth. To many of them, she was the very embodiment of Britishness.

Visits by the monarch to the North provide an opportunity for unionists to ostentatiously display loyalty and affection, and reaffirm its position within the UK. The historic visit of the new King Charles III last week should have been an opportunity for political unionists to bask in his reflected glory. Instead, they were ...