The Royal couple were joined by First Minister and Party Leader Dr. Ian Paisley and Secretary of State Shaun Woodward at an event which marked the singular contribution Queen’s University has made to education and to Northern Ireland since it received its Royal Charter in 1908.
Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson, said the University family was honoured that The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh had marked the Centenary with a visit.
“This is an important year for Queen’s and the region we serve. The University has played a critical role in the educational, cultural, social and economic development of Northern Ireland over the past century. Today’s visit is tangible recognition of that contribution.
“We welcome Her Majesty today, not just as an honoured guest, but as part of our community. The Queen’s official role as the University’s Visitor is an important part of our system of governance.
“This visit marks another red-letter day for Queen’s as it celebrates 100 years as one of the United Kingdom’s leading universities.”
Commenting on the visit Dr Paisley said:
“Her Majesty The Queen sets an excellent example for all of us in terms of duty and devotion towards other people. In her long reign she has served our country well and has been an excellent ambassador for the United Kingdom overseas, helping to attract investment and tourism to all parts of the UK.
“In my capacity as First Minister of Northern Ireland I am delighted to welcome Her Majesty to this part of the United Kingdom. The Queen has visited Northern Ireland many times before, but not, I believe at a more promising time for the Province. It seems at last that the days of violence are over and that people are prepared to abide by shared democratic standards. We are proud to live under the rule of the Crown and we are still Her Majesty’s most loyal subjects.
“Her Majesty has a very special place in the hearts of the people of Northern Ireland: she will always be admired by most people in our Province. It is my honour to welcome her to Northern Ireland today.”