The Queen has now landed in Northern Ireland for a two-day tour of the region, and on her itinernary was a 20-minute long audience with Republican politician Martin McGuinness.

With the cameras posed for the historical event, Sky News footage shows the Queen arriving for her meeting yesterday at Hillsborough Castle.

Mr McGuinness greets the Queen with a handshake asking: “Good evening. Hello. Are you well?”

The 90-year-old monarch replies with a lightning-quick "thank you very much. Well, I'm still alive, anyway.”

Elizabeth then goes on to poke fun at the fact that she gets two birthdays every year – her official birthday, which took place earlier this month, and her actual birthday, which is in April.

She explains: "We've been quite busy. There's been quite a lot going on," adding: "I've had two birthdays, so we've been quite busy."

Four years ago, former paramilitary Martin McGuinness and the Queen shook hands – an occasion later hailed as a significant moment in the peace process.

He again met her in 2014, when she hosted a state event for President Michael D Higgins at Windsor Castle.