[Hillsborough Castle is the official royal residence in Northern Ireland.]
Refusing to be dissuaded by threats of terrorist thuggery, the Queen was determined to visit Belfast and Coleraine during her Silver Jubilee tour; arriving on this day 1977 - her first visit to Northern Ireland since 1966 - it took as many as 35,000 auxiliary troops and police to protect her, making it the largest royal security operation to date.
While Her Majesty inspected an honour guard of the Ulster Defence Regiment, conducted an investiture, and attended a garden party for several thousand guests, the Duke of Edinburgh toured Belfast's legendary Harland and Wolff Shipyard on the first day of the two-day visit. Despite threats by the IRA to give the Queen 'a visit to remember' the goodwill tour - which began with a brief helicopter trip to Hillsborough Castle - went off without a hitch.
Her next visit to Ulster, however, wouldn't be until 1991...
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