Ireland's biggest star and Britain's reigning monarch met at a ceremony to award students who have made a special contribution to British culture.

Queen Elizabeth had been invited to the Royal Academy Awards ahead of the Diamond Jubilee festivities on June 3 that celebrate the monarch's 60th year on the throne.

Taking to the stage, the U2 singer thanked the Queen for visiting Ireland last year, saying that the trip was an important moment of unity between the two neighbouring nations.

"Truth be told the Irish are more fond of revokes than deference, but I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge the extraordinary magic that you made on your trip to Ireland last year."

Before the Queen's trip last May a British monarch hadn't visited the Emerald Isle in 100 years, since George V visited in 1911. The Queen's landmark visit was the first time since Ireland broke away from British rule and established an Irish Free State in 1922.

Bono wasn't the only celebrity to be invited for an audience with her majesty. Singer Sir Paul McCartney, artist David Hockney, and actor Sir Derek Jacobi were present at the ceremony. Sir Jonathan Ive, the head designer of computer company Apple, also attended, having been knighted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace earlier that day.