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Princess Anne unveils stone to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary

She visited several venues across Co Derry today.

Princess Anne in Derry today
Princess Anne in Derry today
Image: Matt Mackey/Press Eye/PA Images

BRITAIN’S PRINCESS ANNE has unveiled a stone to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary.

She visited several venues across Co Derry today during a one-day visit to the region.

The princess toured the Siege Museum within the historic walls of the city which tells the story of the 1688 bombardment and the development of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.

Local school children greeted her before a performance by highland dancers.

She also unveiled a Centenary Stone marking the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Northern Ireland which is to be placed permanently in the museum.

Chairman of the Siege Museum Committee, William Moore, said it had been an honour to welcome the princess.

“The Siege Museum was established to encourage everyone to come to learn more of the story of the Siege and this historic city,” he said.

“We welcome visitors all year round, though this past year or so has been very challenging.

“This has been a wonderful day which has encouraged us all. It has been an absolute honour for the Committee of the Siege Museum and the Trustees of the Memorial Hall to facilitate today’s visit of Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal.”

Events have been taking place across the region to mark the date, including a cross-community church service in Armagh last month attended by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Queen Elizabeth II had been due to attend but was forced to pull out due to ill health.

Irish President Michael D Higgins declined an invitation to the ceremony, saying that the title of the event marking partition “wasn’t a neutral statement politically”.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Affairs Simon Coveney and Chief Whip Jack Chambers represented the Irish government at the event.

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Moving on to Limavady today, Princess Anne met people involved in the family-run Seating Matters business which exports therapeutic seating around the world.

She also met staff and volunteers involved with Limavady Community Development Initiative, a charity which recently played a key role in refurbishing the former Roe Valley Hospital to turn it into a multifunctional community facility and efforts to support vulnerable adults through the Covid-19 pandemic.

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