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Government Houses of the British Empire and Commonwealth

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Government House is any residence used by Governors-General, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in the Commonwealth and the British Empire. Government Houses serve as the venue for Governors’ official business, as well as the many receptions and functions hosted by the occupant. Sometimes, the term Government House is used as a metonym for the Governor or his office.

While a Government House is the official residence of a viceroy or governor who represents the monarch, many Commonwealth nations now operate without the British Monarch as Head of State. To avoid confusion, several of these nations refer to their presidential palaces as a State House or President's House.

When Queen Elizabeth II or a member of the Royal Family visits a Commonwealth nation, they will often stay at the Government House, which is reported in the Court Circular. This privilege is sometimes extended to other dignitaries, but usually arrangements are made for important non-royal visitors to be accommodated at hotels, or in accommodations provided by their own country's embassy or consulate.


Government House, Port Louis, Mauritius
Government House, Port Louis, Mauritius

South Africa




Royal and vice-regal residence at the Citadelle of Quebec
Royal and vice-regal residence at the Citadelle of Quebec

Caribbean and the West Indies

Government House of The Bahamas
Government House of The Bahamas

South America


Government House of Singapore
Government House of Singapore

British Indian Empire

Rashtrapati Bhavan (former "Viceroy's House"), New Delhi
Rashtrapati Bhavan (former "Viceroy's House"), New Delhi
Raj Bhavan, (former Government House) in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).
Raj Bhavan, (former Government House) in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).
Rashtrapati Niwas (former "Viceregal Lodge") in Shimla (formerly Simla)
Rashtrapati Niwas (former "Viceregal Lodge") in Shimla (formerly Simla)

Other government residences

Middle East

  • Palestine, Palace of the Commissioner, Jerusalem



Pre-independence, the living arrangements of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland varied according to the social calendar:

After 1922, the Viceregal Lodge served as the official residence of the first two Governors-General of the Irish Free State. The Governor of Northern Ireland resided in Hillsborough Castle, which is, since 1973, the official residence of the Northern Ireland Secretary.



Government House, Canberra
Government House, Canberra

New Zealand

South Pacific

See also

This page was last edited on 5 July 2021, at 08:30
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