On the 4th August 2014 The Duke attended the First World War Centenary Commemorative Service at The Cathedral Church of Saint Anne in Belfast as members of The Royal Family attended commemorative events across the United Kingdom to mark the centenary.
HRH was greeted on arrival in Northern Ireland by Theresa Viliers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant. Arriving at The Cathedral Church for the cross-community event The Duke was met by representatives of The Northern Ireland Executive, Belfast City Council, and faith leaders.
During the service five candles were lit by cadets of the three armed services, and two schoolchildren from Belfast, to represent the five years of the First World War 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918, as we remember the catastrophic loss of life and the many whose lives were changed forever; those who endured permanent physical injury, or were mentally and emotionally scarred, during the months and years of war.
The Duke lit a single candle in remembrance, beside a book containing the names of the Irish War dead of World War I, and read from The Book of St Mathew, Chapter 5, Verses 1-12:
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you’.