The Queen issued a statement this morning

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Her Majesty celebrated the 100th anniversary of the creation of Northern Ireland by issuing a message of hope for lasting peace and praise to the people living in the nation. And, less than a month since the death of her beloved husband, she recalled "with fondness" a visit they carried out together to Northern Ireland.  

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The Queen's statement read: "A century ago, the Government of Ireland Act came into effect, and today marks a significant centenary for both the United Kingdom and Ireland.

"This anniversary reminds us of our complex history, and provides an opportunity to reflect on our togetherness and our 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. 

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queen news: The Queen has issued a statementQueen news: The Queen recalled visiting Northern Ireland with Prince Philip in her recent statement (Image: GETTY)

queen news the queen's statementQueen news: The Queen issued a statement today (Image: ROYAL FAMILY/TWITTER )

"But above all, the continued peace is a credit to its people, upon whose shoulders the future rests.

"It is clear that reconciliation, equality and mutual understanding cannot be taken for granted, and will require sustained fortitude and commitment.

"During my many visits to Northern Ireland, I have seen these qualities in abundance, and look forward to seeing them again on future occasions.

"I also wish to recognise the important contribution made by our friends and closest neighbours towards the success of Northern Ireland.

READ MORE: Princess Diana was ‘quite terrified’ by the Queen – ‘Unlikely ally’

queen news the queen and prince philipQueen news: The Queen and Prince Philip during their visit to Northern Ireland in 2016 (Image: GETTY)

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"I look back with fondness on the visit Prince Philip and I paid to Ireland, ten years ago this month.

"I

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