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Row erupts over Queen Elizabeth's portrait in Northern Ireland Office

A dispute has arisen over a portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at the Northern Ireland Offi...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.15 1 Aug 2019


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Row erupts over Queen Elizabet...

Row erupts over Queen Elizabeth's portrait in Northern Ireland Office

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.15 1 Aug 2019


Share this article


A dispute has arisen over a portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) in Belfast.

The Belfast Newsletter reported that all portraits were removed, following a case in which a senior civil servant was paid stg£10,000 (€10,977).

The paper said the compensation was for being offended at having to walk past the portraits.

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While the new UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith, suggested not all pictures were taken down.

He said: "I was delighted to see a picture of her majesty in my office when I arrived at Stormont House for the first time.

"There are also many pictures and portraits of her majesty, the duke of Edinburgh and other members of the royal family on public display at Hillsborough Castle."

But he added: "I also recognise the importance of the Northern Ireland Office being an open and inclusive place to work, able to attract highly-skilled people from across all parts of our community in Northern Ireland".

"As an employer in Northern Ireland, the NIO takes its obligations under the Northern Ireland Act and Fair Employment legislation seriously."

Mr Smith later tweeted a small, framed photo of Queen Elizabeth II on his office mantelpiece.

While the leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster, hit out at the row.

She said: "It is beyond parody that there is a dispute over a portrait of her majesty the Queen, our head of state.

She added that Stormont House "is the seat of [Her Majesty's Government] in Northern Ireland."


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