Northern Ireland was created on 3 May 1921 when the Government of Ireland Act came into effect and partitioned the island, with 26 counties seceding or leaving the United Kingdom and leaving its six north-eastern counties to remain, with two new devolved Parliaments in Belfast and Dublin.

The Queen said the anniversary was a reminder of a complex history that invited reflection on togetherness and diversity.

“In Northern Ireland today, there is, perhaps, more than ever, a rich mix of identities, backgrounds and aspirations, and an outward-looking and optimistic mindset,…The political progress in Northern Ireland and the peace process is rightly credited to a generation of leaders who had the vision and courage to put reconciliation before division. But above all, the continued peace is a credit to its people, upon whose shoulders the future rests.”

 Her statement, pointed to the diversity of modern Northern Ireland and the optimism that many people feel about the future. While paying tribute to the troubles of the past her message was one of reconciliation and hope. Indeed it echoed the words spoken by her grandfather, King George V, at the ceremonial opening of the Northern Ireland parliament at City Hall in Belfast on June 22nd, 1921, when he appealed to “all Irishmen to pause, to stretch out the hand of forbearance and conciliation, to forgive and forget, and to join in making for the land which they love a new era of peace contentment, and goodwill”.

The prime minister Boris Johnston said centenary events in the coming months would exhibit the region’s accomplishments.

“The government will continue to showcase all the brilliant things Northern Ireland contributes to the rest of the UK and the world, from its world-class fintech industry and research capabilities to its inspiring young people and its vibrant culture of arts and sport. It is also important that we pause to reflect on the complex history of the last 100 years. People from all parts of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and across the globe will approach this anniversary in different ways, with differing perspectives.”

The Government also announced a range of events and activities to commemorate the Centenary and complement those undertaken by the devolved government at Stormont.