The Queen's stunning Irish home revealed: inside Hillsborough Castle

It had a £24million makeover last year

Bridie Wilkins

Hillsborough Castle is the Queen's official residence in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. It’s also home to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who holds an annual garden party there, usually attended by a royal. In 2014, Historic Royal Palaces took over the running of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens and started a five-year refurbishment that is believed to have cost £24million, but it's fair to say that the home has always been pretty mind blowing. Take a look…

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When the Queen met Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers in 2014, they posed for photographs inside one of the home's living rooms. It's decorated with yellow wallpaper and cream carpets, and has two oak armchairs furnished with blue striped cushions. There is a large sash window framed with floral curtains, and the Queen has decorated with a selection of art work on the walls.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton attended the annual garden party in 2016. They were pictured in front of the two-storey Georgian mansion, which has large steps leading up to the entrance, and a gorgeous water fountain. In total, the home is surrounded by 96 acres of land.


When the home reopened after renovations in 2019, Prince Charles unveiled a painting of himself hanging in one of the drawing rooms. The space has yellow walls and grand high ceilings.


The RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam winning Irish rugby team were invited to Hillsborough Castle in 2009. The Queen greeted them in another drawing room, which has pale blue walls and a regal marble doorway with intricate gold carvings.


Royals and officials who visit Hillsborough Castle are required to sign the visitors' book. The Queen was photographed as she did so in 2014, giving a look at a separate reception room in the home, featuring pale pink walls, a large painting hanging in a bronze frame, and an oak table where photo frames and a striped lamp are positioned. 


The Queen and then-Irish president Mary McAleese enjoyed a meeting inside a room with bright red walls and a white open fireplace. They sat on gold gilded chairs with pink striped upholstering. 

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