Museum exhibition puts Her Majesty ‘in the picture’

A photographic exhibition marking the Queen’s 90th birthday has been unveiled at the Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast.

‘Happy and Glorious’ features a snapshot of images relating to Her Majesty’s numerous visits to Northern Ireland, before and during her illustrious reign as Britain’s longest serving monarch.

Among the photos on display is then Princess Elizabeth’s first official engagement in the Province, reviewing the girl guides in Lisburn in 1945. Others depict the Queen’s regular visits to various parts of Northern Ireland during the 64 years of her sovereignty, and include celebrations for her Coronation and the Golden Jubilee.

Also given prominence is an archive photograph of Lambeg drummers greeting the Queen and Prince Philip at Hillsborough Castle in 1953.

Continuing the royal theme, cream teas will also be available to the public every Wednesday at the museum’s Piccolo cafe throughout the duration of the display, which runs until the end of June.

Museum curator, Dr Jonathan Mattison, said the outreach facility was delighted to host such an exhibition to publicly recognise the Queen’s personal milestone.

He said: “We are absolutely thrilled to mark Her Majesty’s 90th birthday in such an innovative way, and have no doubt the impressive photographic display will become a focal point and matter of discussion for museum visitors.

“As well offering a snapshot of the Queen’s numerous visits to Northern Ireland over a period of 70 years, the exhibition also brings history to life through the presence of a shell of one of the original Lambeg drums which serenaded the Royal couple. We are grateful to Hillsborough District for the loan of this significant musical item.”

He added: “We are also indebted to the Belfast Telegraph for their cooperation and assistance in the provision of photographs for this special exhibition.”

The recognition of the Queen comes ahead of a major Battle of the Somme exhibition at the east Belfast museum later this year.

Since opening last summer, the Museum of Orange Heritage is proving popular with the wider public and tourists as the Loyal Institution aims to promote shared space and greater levels of reconciliation through education.

The state-of-the-art building at Schomberg House displays a wealth of items and artefacts relating to the history of Orangeism across the world. Another smaller museum, focusing on the origins of the Institution, is located at Sloan’s House in Loughgall, Co Armagh.

The Museum of Orange Heritage is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. The Cregagh Road facility is also open until 8pm every Thursday.