State Drawing Room

An elegant family space, still used for private entertaining and relaxing

An elegant family space, still used for private entertaining and relaxing

When

  • Open daily for castle tours

Ticketing information

Explore the State Drawing Room as part of a guided tour of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Included in combined castle tour and gardens tickets (members go free)

The State Drawing Room dates from around 1810, but was rebuilt in 1936 after a devastating fire in 1934 that destroyed many parts of the original building.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement here in 1985.

The present decorative scheme is based on the inter-war feminine ideal of a country house drawing room, in colours favoured by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Contemporary works by Irish artists have been chosen for the walls, including paintings belonging to HRH The Prince of Wales.

The French windows offer a wonderful view over the Jubilee Parterre in the gardens.

Highlights of the State Drawing Room

Bust of Princess Elizabeth (1946)

This bust of Her Majesty The Queen as Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, is one of at least 14 royal portraits made by Sir William Reid Dick.

Reid Dick was a Scottish sculptor, known for his public monuments, notably the statue of Franklin D Roosevelt in Grosvenor Square, London, the tombs of George V and Queen Mary in St George’s chapel at Windsor, and the statue of Lady Godiva in Coventry.

Princess Elizabeth, who was aged 20 at the time, is presented wearing a v-neck collar dress and pearl necklace. A patina (a thin film of green) has formed on the bust as the bronze has reacted with oxygen.

Visitors enjoying the State Drawing Room in Hillsborough Castle. A young couple are in the foreground sat on a 2-seater sofa, seemingly enjoying the views around them. The rest of the group are spread around the room; a HRP Explainer stands in the background. The room is a soft yellow, with marble-like columns, floral fabrics and wooden floor. Various rugs of different colours and patterns cover the floor. A chandelier hangs above.
State Drawing Room with wooden floor and a variety of persian rugs and furniture from the Royal Collection. A variety of Irish art hangs on the sunny yellow walls. Marble-like pillars frame the room.

Hydrangeas by Gareth Reid

Gareth Reid was born in Belfast and studied at Glasgow School of Art, where he still works. He was the winner of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year Competition and was consequently commissioned to paint Graham Norton for the National Gallery of Ireland.

This series of hydrangeas continues his interest in evoking the mysterious atmosphere of gardens and woodlands.

Landscape I by HRH the Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales is a keen landscape watercolourist. Lithographs of his paintings are sold to raise money for the Prince of Wales Charity Foundation. His paintings are displayed in the State Drawing Room alongside contemporary works by Irish artists, including pieces from his own collection.

Ceremonial key

This key was used by King George V to open the Royal College of Science in Dublin on 8th July 1911. It is cast with a York rose for the King’s former royal title, the Duke of York, alongside the Royal Crest and a GVR monogram.

The State Drawing Room transformed

The State Drawing Room is one of the newly re-presented State Rooms that you can explore on your visit to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Watch as our team of experts restore the room to its former glory in this short film.

A guide shows a group of visitors the Throne Room in the State Rooms at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. Two red and gold thrones sit at one end of the room and the walls are lined with green silk damask and the walls are lined with historical artwork.
Tours and talks Things to see

Discover elegant State Rooms still used by the royal family on a guided tour of Hillsborough Castle.

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

Included in combined castle tour and gardens tickets (members go free)

The South Terrace, looking south-east across the terrace flagstones towards the small topiary trees and summer shrubs. The Greek Temple is just seen through the castle portico in the background on the left of the image.
Things to see

Discover the ornamental lawns, meandering waterways, peaceful woodlands and picturesque glens that surround Hillsborough Castle.

Open daily

Hillsborough Castle

09:30-18:00 (last admission is 17:00)

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Vertical shot looking straight up at Rubens' Ceiling at Banqueting House Whitehall, London
Highlights Things to see

Marvel at Sir Peter Paul Rubens' ceiling in its original setting of Inigo Jones' spectacular Banqueting House.

Open daily

Banqueting House

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Historic Royal Palaces retail product - drinking glasses, books and deer cushion

Shop homewares

In our home section you will find stylish lifestyle home accessories and furnishings, including cushions, tapestries, ornaments and much more which will add those finishing touches to make your room complete.

From £9.99

The Wildflower crystal and pearl tiara sparkles with florets of crystals and an elaborate foliage design.

Shop jewellery

Choose from our stunning collection of jewellery, including pieces inspired by the palaces and the people who lived in them. These beautiful collections include necklaces, rings, earrings, charm bracelets, bangles and pendants.

From £14.99

Historic Royal Palaces retail product - light green and white crockery and stationary, a table setting.

Shop afternoon tea gifts and accessories

Exclusive English fine bone chine tea sets inspired by our historic royal palaces. Collect our traditional Palace china afternoon tea sets, with designs including elements from all our royal palaces.

From £10.00