Queen shakes hands with former IRA leader
POSTED: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 8:30am
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 8:34am
NBC News — They're calling it a historic handshake and a peacemaking milestone for Northern Ireland. Queen Elizabeth shook hands wednesday with the former head of the Irish Republican Army. Martin McGuinness was once the commander of the paramilitary group, he is now the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland's power sharing government.
The handshake was also a very personal moment for the Queen. In 1979, the IRA murdered her cousin while he was on vacation in the Republic of Ireland. For his part, McGuinness said the handshake was important because reconciliation was the next stage of the peace process.