The official state opening event was captured on film, and the original is held by the Public Records Office NI .


The first sitting of the new parliament of Northern Ireland was held in early 1921 at Belfast City Hall, with King George V officially opening proceedings on 22 June 1921.

The ceremony took place against a background of continuing Republican violence in Northern Ireland, and there was a heavy security presence as the sovereign steamed into Belfast Lough and made his way by carriage to City Hall.

Here, King George delivered a speech calling for:

“all Irishmen to pause, to stretch out the hand of forbearance and conciliation, to forgive and forget, and join in making for the land they love a new era of peace, contentment and goodwill.”

The Kings speech was a key moment and opened the door to peace in Ireland.

The Official photograph captures the moment perfectly.



Accession Number






Digital Copy of the Programme