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Our Victoria B Launches The Queens Platinum Jubilee Celebrations at Hillsborough Castle!


Weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebration begins with a bang at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens


A Gun Salute will ring out from Northern Ireland’s royal residence this Thursday 02 June, as The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations officially begin at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.


The special midday Gun Salute will be the first ever to be seen by the public at Hillsborough Castle and will signal the beginning of the Jubilee Vintage Garden Party, a four-day event which is supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, and will see the Castle’s gardens transformed into a 1950s extravaganza, inspired by those held by the Governor of Northern Ireland 70 years ago.


Stuart Campbell, Public Engagement Manager at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens explains; “To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we are heading back to 1953, when HM The Queen visited Hillsborough Castle and Gardens on her Coronation Tour.


“Our Vintage Garden Party will have live music hailing from the era and Duke Special’s Gramophone Club, which can be enjoyed with a bite to eat from a range of food vendors or even an afternoon tea from Yellow Door to enjoy on the lawn. Local businesses and creators will make up the vintage stalls dressed and dotted around the gardens and guests can even get into the 1950s swing of things with free swing dancing lessons. We’ll also have a beautiful carousel for our visitors of all ages to enjoy, with the Castle as a magnificent backdrop.”


Inside the Castle, the table in the State Dining Room will be exquisitely laid to reflect the State Dinner held during The Queen’s first visit to the Castle as monarch in July 1953, for a limited time only, as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.


Stuart continued; “When HM The Queen made her first visit to Hillsborough just one month after her Coronation, this exquisite Minton dessert service was purchased especially for the visit. It has been safely stored away and only ever used for official banquets, so we are delighted to have it on display in the State Dining Room for our visitors to get up close to.”


Visitors to the Vintage Garden Party can upgrade their tickets to include Hillsborough Castle’s state rooms, where they can also view the Royal Letters Patent; the official document giving Hillsborough village its ‘Royal’ prefix. Meanwhile, Lydia de Burgh’s 1954 portrait of Her Majesty has been hung in the Drawing Room, alongside a new collection of paintings by female, Irish artists.


The entire site is open to the public for the weekend, where visitors can enjoy a stroll of the 100-acres of stunning royal grounds, including the new wildflower planting along Yew Tree Walk; a ‘Mini Superbloom’ inspired by the Tower of London’s ‘Superbloom’, which will see thousands of wildflowers in bloom across the summer to mark the Platinum Jubilee.


Hillsborough Castle and Garden’s Vintage Garden Party takes place from Thursday 02 – Sunday 05 June, from 10am – 6pm. The Castle will be closed to visitors on Saturday 04 June. Booking is recommended, tickets are available via hrp.org.uk/Hillsborough-castle.


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