‘Historic day’ as Co Down village becomes Royal Hillsborough

Hillsborough, home to the Queen’s official residence in Northern Ireland, is to become the first town or village in the region to be given a Royal prefix.

The Government said the Co Down village will become Royal Hillsborough later this year.

The Queen and other members of the royal family stay at Hillsborough Castle when visiting Northern Ireland.

The granting of Letters Patent for the village comes in Northern Ireland’s centenary year.

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis said: “This is fantastic news for the village of Hillsborough, a truly wonderful place that deserves this special honour.”

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The Government has supported an application for the Royal prefix from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

“The village’s Royal status reflects the beauty of Hillsborough as well as its unique history and close connections to the royal family through Hillsborough Castle,” said Mr Lewis.

“I have been privileged to enjoy Hillsborough Castle and the village of Hillsborough over the past year with my family, as have many other Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland before me.

“I hope this news will attract many more visitors to the area and the whole of Northern Ireland, as well as boosting further investment and local jobs as we level up right across the United Kingdom.”

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Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Nicholas Trimble said: “This is a historic day for Hillsborough, for Northern Ireland and for the UK. Hillsborough has for a long time been a jewel in our local crown.

“We work closely with the community and local businesses and have invested significantly in the area in recent years, upgrading the forest and installing new play facilities, among other improvements.

“As a council, we are delighted that our application has been successful.”

Laura McCorry, head of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, said: “This very welcome news will provide a much-needed boost for tourism in Hillsborough, after a challenging year for the entire industry.

“Hillsborough is a truly remarkable place, with so much to offer visitors – rich history, stunning surroundings and brilliant spots to eat, drink and shop.

“Sitting at the heart of all of this is the castle we’re privileged to care for, which has been the backdrop for many milestones in the history of Northern Ireland.

“This week, we’re thrilled to be welcoming visitors back inside Hillsborough Castle again.

“We’re hopeful that this announcement will help us to really put Hillsborough on the map as a tourism destination, inspiring visitors from across Northern Ireland and beyond to come and see everything we have to offer.”