Prince Charles Unveils New Portrait of Himself and Immediately Giggles
Not all royal life is hobnobbing with iguanas named Peter and making mojitos. So, following their historic trip to Cuba and the Caribbean, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles got back to business.
The 70-year-old Prince of Wales and the 71-year-old Duchess of Cornwall attended the reopening of Hillsborough Castle yesterday in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The storied castle, which was built in 1770 for the Marquess of Downshire, was closed for five years for a $26 million renovation. The revamp restored state rooms, redeveloped the walled garden and paved a visitor parking lot. So, it only makes sense that Prince Charles also christened the castle (which is actually a Georgian country house) with a little celebratory memento.
Prince Charles unveiled a brand-new portrait of himself by artist Gareth Reid in the drawing room as the Hillsborough Advisory Group and others involved in the renovation looked on. In total Charles fashion, he pulled back the portrait, giggled a little and said it was “well done.”
The Princes of Wales was highly involved in refreshing the historic castle, which is the official Northern Ireland residence for Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royals, as well as the official government residence of the secretary of state for Northern Ireland. The plot includes 100 acres of grounds and has developed a reputation as a fabulous place to host a garden party.
During a speech, historic royal palaces chairman Rupert Gavin mentioned he’d received “occasionally detailed notes” from the prince about the restoration. Prince Charles himself called the “transformation quite extraordinary.”
His and Camilla’s visit coincided with their 14th wedding anniversary.
Hillsborough Castle opens to the public on April 18. We might just have to book a ticket.