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The Throne Room

Explore the ceremonial heart of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Explore the ceremonial heart of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

The magnificent Throne Room was built as an extension in 1797. It was originally three rooms, which were combined to create a grand Saloon in the 1840s.

Queen Elizabeth II received guests at a ball to celebrate her coronation here in 1953.

Still the grandest room in the house, the Throne Room is now decorated with green silk damask fabric and used for investitures, citizenship ceremonies, weddings and an annual concert given by King Charles III.


Group bookings only

Ticketing information

Explore The Throne Room as part of a guided tour of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

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

Buy Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets

Highlights of the Throne Room

Chairs of State and Coat of Arms

The 'thrones' in this room are actually Chairs of State, which represent the monarch in absence. Officially, only the Governor and his wife were allowed to sit on them.

Local embroiderers started the Coat of Arms at the end of the Throne Room for George V. However, it took such a long time to make that his son Edward VIII had come to the throne by the time it was ready!

After Edward’s abdication in December 1936, the Coat of Arms was packed away. It was then displayed 17 years later for Queen Elizabeth II.

Throne Room with silk green damask walls, wooden floor and large rug. Two red and gold Chairs of State, or 'thrones' are situated at the far end of the room. Gold-framed paintings of landscapes adorn the walls and three large chandeliers hang above.
A young couple look at paintings in the Throne Room. The walls are lined with green silk damask and the paintings are hung in gold frames. Gold and grey details frame the walls and doors. A large rug covers the dark wooden floor.

Portraits of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart

Prince James was the only son of the Catholic King James II of England and VII of Scotland.

Exiled to Rome with his family after the Glorious revolution of 1688, James was sometimes referred to by supporters as ‘the king over the water’ and nicknamed 'The Old Pretender'. He viewed himself as the Jacobite King James III.

There are two paintings of James in the Throne Room: the earliest is attributed to French portraitist François de Troy and dates from around 1700-1704.

This portrait was painted while James was in exile in France and shows him gesturing towards a group of ships at sea – thought to be a symbol of his intent to cross the channel and claim the throne.

The later painting dates from around 1900-27 and is twentieth-century copy after Antonio David. It depicts James as the Jacobite 'James III'; he wears the blue sash of the Order of the Garter and the green Order of the Thistle. This portrait was purchased by George V in 1927.

Jean Baptiste Martin hunting scene paintings

Jean Baptiste Martin was a French artist whose work was popular with French royalty, in particular Louis XIV.

The collection in the Throne Room features two of Jean Baptiste Martin's paintings, called A Stag Hunt at Versailles and A Hawking Party at Marly. They portray the Duke and Duchess of Burgundy in the midst of hunting.

The paintings were purchased by George IV and are now part of the Royal Collection.

A young couple look at paintings in the Throne Room. The walls are lined with green silk damask and the paintings are hung in gold frames. A large rug covers the floor.

The Throne Room transformed

The Throne 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.


  • Things to see

The Gardens

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

  • Wednesday - Sunday
  • 10:00-16:00 (last entry 15:00)
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in all admission tickets (members go free)
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  • Things to see
  • Tours and talks

The Castle

Discover elegant State Rooms still used by the royal family inside Hillsborough Castle.

  • Group bookings only
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in combined castle tour and gardens tickets (members go free)
Learn more
  • Exhibition
  • Things to see

Life Through a Royal Lens

New to Hillsborough Castle for 2023 - Life Through a Royal Lens, a photography exhibition exploring the Royal Family's relationship with the camera.

  • Group bookings only
  • Hillsborough Castle
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The story of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

‘The Grandest House in County Down’

Art at Hillsborough Castle

Hillsborough Castle has become a place in which to see amazing art

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