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LONDON (AP) - Ireland's president is being feted by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, on a state visit heavy with symbolism for two countries with a tangled and troubled history.

President Michael D. Higgins' visit is the first by an Irish head of state since Ireland threw off British rule a century ago, and a sign of how Northern Ireland's peace process has transformed relations between two one-time enemies.

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Higgins says that while it was impossible to "wipe the slate clean" about the past, relations between the two countries were good.

Higgins will address Britain's Parliament during his three-day trip, which includes a banquet Tuesday evening at the castle, hosted by the queen. Among the guests will be Martin McGuinness, once a senior IRA commander, now Northern Ireland's deputy leader.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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