The summer is coming and weapons are being drawn in an epic clash for the throne.
The seminal battle between King William and King James at the Boyne in 1690, marking the Glorious Revolution, is prominently portrayed in the latest advertising campaign by the Museum of Orange Heritage.
Billboards depicting the two historical figures are already turning heads in Belfast from several vantage points across the city. Similar promotion will also be evident to commuters in County Antrim in the coming weeks, as well as on bus shelters.
Curator of the Museum of Orange Heritage, Dr Jonathan Mattison, insisted Orangeism was a component part of Northern Ireland’s cultural tourism offering.
“Our Clash for the Throne marketing campaign is an innovative and contemporary take on an event of immense historical significance, which is central to our entire museum project,” he said.
“This advertising initiative underlines the commitment of the Orange Institution to outreach to the wider community. The Museum of Orange Heritage offers visitors the opportunity to learn and engage with a rich, vibrant and evolving tradition that has played a significant role in Irish, British and world history. The events in Ireland between 1688 and 1691, especially at the Battle of the Boyne, would secure the Glorious Revolution and as a consequence our Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
He added: “We want to encourage everyone to visit the facility and engage with our programmes. Facilitating greater understanding is vital for positive community relations and acceptance.”
The Museum of Orange Heritage at Schomberg House, Belfast, and at Sloan’s House, Co Armagh, both officially opened in June 2015. The projects received a total of £3.6 million from the EU’s PEACE III programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
The interpretative centre in east Belfast displays a wealth of items and artefacts relating to the history of Orangeism across the world, including King William’s original saddlecloth and the Paymaster General’s book of payments to the Williamite army.
The Loughgall facility focuses predominantly on the origins of the Institution, with the centrepiece being the original parlour where the first Orange warrants were signed over 200 years ago.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited Sloan’s House last year.
The Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. The Loughgall museum is open from 10am to 4pm.