Queen cancels trip to Northern Ireland for event marking centenary of Irish partition

Queen cancels trip to Northern Ireland for event marking centenary of Irish partition

THE QUEEN has cancelled her trip to Northern Ireland where she was due to attend a mass to celebrate the centenary of the state later this week.

It's understood that Her Majesty's doctor has advised against the two-day trip, insisting that the 95-year-old should spend a few days resting instead.

The Queen is said to have "reluctantly accepted" her doctor's advice.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "Her Majesty is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she had been due to undertake a series of engagements today and tomorrow.

"The Queen sends her warmest good wishes to the people of Northern Ireland, and looks forward to visiting in the future."

The event - which takes place at St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh on Thursday - has been subject of much discussion, particularly after Ireland president Michael D Higgins rejected an invitation to attend last month, stating that he wanted to avoid making a "political statement" by appearing.

Despite his absence, members of the Irish Government will be in attendance - Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister of State at the Department of Defence Jack Chambers.

Sinn Fein hit out at the Government for sending Coveney and Chambers to a mass marking what they describe as "a catastrophic event for Ireland".

"Government should follow the lead of Uachtarán na hÉireann, the President of Ireland Micheal D Higgins. No member of the Irish Govt should participate in the commemoration of partition - a catastrophic event for Ireland. The decision to attend is wrong. Very wrong," said Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.