A bouquet of balloons has been thrown at the feet of children’s book author and former British PM Tony Blair.
The balloons are a tribute to the late author, Helen Smith, who was the subject of a book by the former UK prime minister which is due to be published later this month.
The first of the four balloons, which was designed by the artist Tania, is made up of white fabric, with a floral motif.
The second balloon, which is made from a rose coloured fabric, is also made of a rose colour and features a red ribbon.
The third balloon, a blue one, is white with a rose and a white bow.
The fourth balloon, made of red, is a pink one.
“We have made this bouquet because of her bravery, her integrity, and her courage,” Blair said.
“It is her birthday, her first birthday, it is her gift to our country and to the world.”
I am very proud to have made the balloons.
“She will always be a part of this country and will always have a place in our hearts.”
The former prime minister was speaking at the book launch of Helen Smith’s biography of Blair, entitled The Power of the Little Girl, and will be interviewed at the launch in Belfast later this week.
It is the first time the book will be published.
The author is due in Belfast on Thursday, with the book also set to be released in the UK and Ireland later this year.
Smith, a former UN secretary general and the daughter of the late prime minister Gordon Brown, was born in 1945 and grew up in London’s Kensington neighbourhood.
She wrote more than 200 children’s books, including the acclaimed book The Power Of The Little Girl.
In her autobiography, Smith wrote of her childhood in a house that was divided between a bedroom for herself and the children’s room.
“The children were taught to keep quiet and never say anything to me,” she wrote.
“They were taught that their mother could not protect them.
They were taught not to tell anyone about anything that happened to them.”
In 2005, the book was published in the US and New Zealand by Penguin, which said Smith’s work had “the potential to be a watershed in education and cultural exchange”.
The author also wrote a series of books for children which were sold to children’s libraries in the United States.
Smith was an outspoken critic of the then-Conservative government’s “war on terror” and was a vocal critic of Tony Blair’s government’s military intervention in Iraq.
Smith died in 2008.