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British RoyalsThe Cambridges

Duke of Cambridge in Northern Ireland: “The work you do transcends community divisions”


The Duke of Cambridge gave a speech Wednesday night at a reception in Northern Ireland that touched upon the unity necessary to bring together people from all walks of life and praised the work of young people in effecting that change.

“From using sport to encourage people to talk openly about mental health to delivering services to children and young people who are at risk of entering care or custody – the work you do transcends community divisions and is helping deliver a brighter future for everybody in Northern Ireland,” William said in his speech.

“And as we celebrate those who are leading that change for the next generation, it is also fitting that we recognise somebody else in the room this evening, who helped inspire so many of you in the first place.”

William was referring to Mary Peters, the British Olympian who was named a Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter on Wednesday morning by The Queen.

“Mary Peters is not only one of the United Kingdom’s sporting legends, she’s also inspired generation after generation to come together in times of trouble and work for the common good – a lesson I hope many of us can learn from.”

The Duke then asked the gathered guests to congratulate Peters on her appointment.

Many felt that William was hinting at political matters as well, though he was careful not to overtly reference Brexit in his comments as the deadline looms without a clear way to separate from the EU.

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Others felt his speech mirrored aspects of his grandmother’s speech at the Women’s Institute in Sandringham urging politicians to respect “different points of view” and “seek out the common good.”

The reception, hosted at Empire Music Hall, was a celebration for young people in Northern Ireland. William and Kate each pulled pints of Harp Ice lager behind the bar. The Duke of Cambridge quipped that his glass was “good enough for an advert.”

His Royal Highness continued, “All that remains is to say thank you to all of you once again. On the assumption that the bar staff are more skilled than Catherine and I at pulling pints, I’ve no doubt you’ll have a brilliant evening.”

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.