Northern Ireland news

Queen Elizabeth will not attend centenary event

Queen Elizabeth has cancelled her two day trip to the north. Picture by Scott Heppell/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth will not attend today's centenary church service in Armagh after "reluctantly" accepting medical advice to rest.

The 95-year-old monarch had been due in the north for a two day visit.

She was due to arrive in Hillsborough in Co Down yesterday to mark the village's granting of royal status.

She was also expected to attend the church service marking the centenary of partition.

But in a statement, Buckingham Palace said the trip was off.

It has been reported that British prime minister Boris Johnson is due to attend the interdenominational service in St Patrick's Church of Ireland cathedral.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and chief whip Jack Chambers will represent the Irish government.

The event became mired in controversy since last month after President Michael D Higgins said he would not be attending.

The SDLP has yet to say who will represent the party at the centenary church service.

Party leader Colum Eastwood confirmed a fortnight ago that the party would send a representative, but the SDLP has still not said who will attend.

Sinn Féin will not attend the event.

The service has been organised by the four main churches in Ireland.

Last night the Church Leaders Group said they were "very sorry" to learn the queen would not make the Service of Reflection and Hope.

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The sermon at today's service will be given by Rev Dr Sahr Yambasu, the first African-born leader of one of Ireland's main churches.

The 63-year-old native of Sierra Leone was elected president of the Methodist Church in Ireland earlier this year.

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Northern Ireland news