Queen ducks the Guinness but duke 'definitely tempted'

18th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Queen Elizabeth declined the chance to sup the perfect pint of Guinness but her husband Prince Philip seemed sorely tempted during a visit to the Irish cultural icon's home brewery on Wednesday.

The royal couple were given a tour of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland's top tourist destination, as part of the queen's historic first state visit to the Irish Republic.

Master brewer Fergal Murray talked the royal couple through the six stages as he poured a perfect pint of the stout, one of the world-famous cultural symbols of Ireland.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, seemed in his element and asked if it was made with water from Dublin's River Liffey.

"No! Pure and pristine from the hills!" Murray replied.

As the brewer placed the perfectly-poured pint on the bar, the sprightly prince, who turns 90 next month, quipped: "You're selling it to me."

All cameras were trained on getting the big shot but would the royal couple drink it?

International media watching a live feed roared on the Queen, shouting "Go on! Go on!", then "Oh!" as if the monarch had missed a penalty in the football World Cup final as she walked away from the bar.

Her husband lingered as if he might have a sup, reviving the excitement.

However, he seemed caught in the age-old dilemma of a fresh pint on the bar and the wife leaving, and stuck with duty.

Murray said: "Prince Philip seemed particularly interested and I thought he came close to picking the pint up. He was definitely tempted. I could see it in his eyes.

"He seemed quite fascinated with the drama of it all.

"The Queen was lovely but was obviously keen to get on with her sightseeing and had to persuade him leave the pint alone and follow her."

The royal couple were shown one of the company's most important artefacts, its 9,000-year lease costing £45 ($73, 51 euros) a year that founder Arthur Guinness signed in 1759 for an old, disused and dilapidated brewery at St James's Gate.

Prince Philip asked: "What kind of mug signs a lease like that?"

© 2011 AFP

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