The leaders of Northern Ireland's power-sharing administration - the DUP's Arlene Foster and Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill - had a telephone conversation with Queen Elizabeth today.

It was the first such contact involving the monarch and the leaders of the two main parties at Stormont since the devolved government was restored earlier this year.

In a statement to RTÉ News, Ms O'Neill said they discussed a range of matters including the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She also said they spoke briefly about the fact that we are approaching the centenary of partition and Sinn Féin's approach will be to promote reconciliation as the debate continues on the future of the island.

Earlier, in a tweet, Mrs Foster said Queen Elizabeth was "entirely up to date with what is happening" in Northern Ireland "and in particular how we are dealing with Covid-19". 

Ms O'Neill said the virus emergency, combined with the impact of Brexit, would "lead to very challenging times for the economy on both of our islands".

She also said that in the course of their telephone conversation she wished Queen Elizabeth "well during these challenging times".

While the DUP and Sinn Féin continue to disagree publicly and privately on many policy areas, after a difficult start, there has been a noticeable improvement in the Arlene Foster-Michelle O'Neill relationship.

As leaders of the five-party executive, they are spending significant amounts of time together, attempting to deal with the coronavirus emergency.