News

Queen Elizabeth II visits the Game of Thrones set in Northern Ireland

Phil Noble / Reuters
Phil Noble / Reuters

Phil Noble / Reuters

Currently on a tour of Northern Ireland, Queen Elizabeth II visited the set of Game of Thrones in Belfast today. Joined by Prince Philip, the Queen toured the Paint Hall and met with many of the show’s cast and crew.

Co-creators David Benioff and David Weiss acted as escort to the monarch, starting with the show’s custom-made weaponry and costumes. The Queen took her time to look over the show’s props, and the interior set of the Red Keep.

The tour ended in the iconic throne room, where she met with actors Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, Lena Headey, and Conleth Hill.

After chatting with the cast, the Queen approached the Iron Throne, and although she did take a moment to admire its design, she declined the opportunity to take a seat. Maisie Williams revealed, “She kept commenting on how uncomfortable the throne looked, that was funny.”

queen2

As the royal tour concluded, the Queen was given a miniature Iron Throne as a souvenir to mark her visit. There was no comment on whether or not the Queen or Prince Philip are fans of the series, but a spokeswoman commented that they were “interested to see the impact the filming has had on the local economy and the local skills and crafts that make the show”.

Game of Thrones has been a boon to the local economy for the past five years, contributing millions of dollars, numerous jobs, and encouraging tourism to the region.

The cast was left quite overwhelmed by the royal visit. Lena Headey said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous to meet anybody. I didn’t think I was, and then I saw her appear and I suddenly thought, ‘it’s the Queen, the real Queen.

She was really cool and gorgeous and delightful.

I think of everything she has done and everything she has achieved and the fact she is still interested even though she has met countless people and talked about numerous things.”

Conleth Hill had met the Queen previously, “She didn’t remember me but that’s fine. She was lovely, very interested, inclusive of all of us.”

Kit Harington also shared his thoughts on the meeting, “Being here and meeting the Queen, it’s pretty amazing that the show has done that and she has come to see the sets. It gives it some sense of scale.

She is an incredible person. She has an incredible presence about her. To meet someone who has been on the throne as long as she has and has seen the things she has, it’s quite an experience.”

The royal visit lasted just over half an hour, and Sky News covered it in its entirety in the video below, with the royals arriving at around the 22 minute mark.

103 Comments

  • This was awesome. D&D looked so serious, awkward and nervous. I want to hear what they have to say about the visit.

  • On a completely unrelated note, rumor has it Angela Sarafyan is going to be cast as “someone around Stannis Baratheon”. Her brother’s friend wrote about it on twitter.

  • 37:42 “Whos the guy in the blue jacket with the beige..hes blocking the whole thing!” LOL, hes only one of the most important people there and one of the major reason the queen would be there in the first place.

  • Funny when the queen is meeting the cast and some guy can be heard complaining that Dan is blocking the shot. Doesn’t even know who he is just “the bloke in the blue jacket with the glasses”. Moron, he’s part of the whole reason this photo op even took place lol. You would think as a journalist he would know that.

  • Mike,

    When the GoT beat meets the royals beat, things like this happen.

    I’m sure there are some GoT bloggers all like “who’s that guy who arrived with the Queen?”

  • This must have been amazing for Maisie and Sophie (and Kit too). A few years ago they were nothing, now they are in the biggest show on TV and have just met the Queen

  • Weirdest Episode of Thrones ever!

    My favourite bits are Prince Philip lifting up a prop weapon and asking what it is and Tommy Dunne (weapons master) explaining that its a castration knife (the one used on Theon). And then at the Iron Throne, the Paparazzi guys saying “Who’s the bloke in the blue jacket and glasses? He keeps blocking all the shots”. He was talking about D.B. Weiss, GOT producer!

    Great to see our Carla there representing the Extras though.

  • Conleth Hill WITH HAIR! How fast does his hair grow?? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t wear a bald cap and shaves every time he films a season. Seeing him with hair is unreal!

    By the way, I think it’s great Queen Elizabeth spurned the Iron Throne. That’s real wisdom!

  • Her sitting on the throne would have been funny. Too funny for a Queen, but still, a great photo.

  • As if Elizabeth Windsor got to meet David Benioff and his magnificent cheekbones, so lucky!

  • Uhm, anybody wondering what Rose Leslie is doing on the Season 5 set? Ygritte’s body is burned… I know she’s originally Scottish, but could she be living in Belfast now?

    But all in all, a very funny meeting. How high were Sophie’s heels? ;-)

  • That was like watching the entire event as an onlooker hiding behind a hole in the wall. They could’ve at least fixed mics to everyone or had a running commentary in the background.

    Criticisms aside, this was a cool way to promote the show (maybe even set up for a future royal cameo ?). More stuff like it and the wait for more production news won’t feel quite so long.

  • I was cackling the entire time! “Who’s that guy in the beige? He’s blocking the whole thing!”

    She’s so tiny compared to everyone else and yet instills so much fear!

    It’s great to see the show get to this level, must have been nerve racking for the actors, my god. You could tell they were nervous. It was funny to watch them be introduced.

    (Sophie did a little curtsey, but she’s so tall in comparison to everyone!)

  • Ha, Prince Philipp handled the castration knife! Seems like they don’t watch the show because Dunne explained what it was, otherwise the Prince would have known and probably made a joke about it, knowing his humour.

  • Dominique Lavigne,

    I thought that maybe she was there because they’re working on DVD commentaries. Maisie tweeted a few days ago that she and Sophie were about to record a commentary. Maybe Rose and Kit did theirs as well.

  • Prince Philip seemed really interested in the props and weaponry!

    “Who’s the bloke in the blue jacket ……..hes blocking the whole thing!” Dear ignorant “journalist” bloke, you should have done just a bit of homework before being allowed in the throne room. ;)

  • Kate,

    If Isaac’s also on the commentary, the only episode suitable for them would be 405 (only one where they all appear, plus it would stop D&D defending the choice to go to Craster’s). Rose and Kit should do 409 with Neil Marshall, just like when he was on Blackwater’s second commentary with Lena and Peter.

  • Her Grace Elizabeth of the House Windsor, Second of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

  • If the Queen had planted her rump on that throne, it would have been one of the greatest photo ops in history!!

  • Happy for Maisie, Sophie, Rose and Kit to be able to meet their Queen, it’s a memory they will be able to tell their grandchildren about decades from now. Dan and Dave deserve this attention for all the effort they have put into the show, not to mention the free PR. Of course cannot forget the crew in attendance who have worked as hard as the show runners in bringing GoT to the screen.
    Wonder if the well dressed man outside who talked with the Queen so long was an HBO exec, I cannot imagine one or two big wigs not being present for that visit.

    Did anyone notice that red armor display tucked behind the dresses, I don’t recognize it, it’s not the Lannister’s and have been Googling images for a half hour attemting to get a match. it is a really nice piece, the breast plate reminds me of Vlad’s armor from Coppola’s “Dracula”. Could D&D be teasing us with armor for the upcoming 5th season, perhaps Sunspear guards.

  • I wonder what Prince Phillip said to Sophie Turner and Rose Leslie. Knowing him something inappropriate.

  • Seven save the queen. A monarch dabbling in pop? Maybe she’s just a fan of Sunday Bloody Sunday. :/

    That must be quite an honor for the actors.

  • strokememarge: Did anyone notice that red armor display tucked behind the dresses, I don’t recognize it, it’s not the Lannister’s and have been Googling images for a half hour attemting to get a match. it is a really nice piece, the breast plate reminds me of Vlad’s armor from Coppola’s “Dracula”. Could D&D be teasing us with armor for the upcoming 5th season, perhaps Sunspear guards.

    I saw that armor too, I think it’s the Red Viper’s armor!!, they didn’t use the helmet, alas…

  • At about the 14:40 mark there’s a woman with a handbag beside the props and it looks like she pilfered something (sure she didn’t, just look funny to me). Not that I would be above slipping a prop into a voluminous handbag! BTW who were all those other people? Royal entourage? Other invited guests? Cast and Crew friends/families? And why no American actors to meet the Queen?

  • Princess Sansa – is the new Mountain, Vengeance and lemon cakes shall be mine.
    And then a giant lemon cake would descend from the sky and defeat all the haters.

  • sviraman,

    Alisanne Mormont? Please be a Mormont! I can’t think of much else, either that or Val but if it was Val they’d say someone near Jon Snow not someone near Stannis.

    Anyway, she looks great! Can we get a confirmation that she was cast?

  • jentario,

    Isn’t Alysane is supposed to be short, thick, strong…claims have mated with a bear (actually she’d be perfect match for Tormund come to think of it). That actress looks far too delicate to play the role Alysane.

  • So they only introduced her to actors who are “subjects” (and Conleth Hill is only that, well, depending on how you think about Northern Ireland)? Is that because Americans don’t kneel?

  • I enjoyed this bit of silliness too much! Good for the GoT cast and crew! I LMAOed when Prince Philip and others handled the castration knife and other weapons. The Queen accepting and handing off the mini iron throne was funny as well. Fun!

  • Flibbertigibbet:
    So they only introduced her to actors who are “subjects” (and Conleth Hill is only that, well, depending on how you think about Northern Ireland)? Is that because Americans don’t kneel?

    It’s whoever was on hand or decided to show up, I would expect. There are plenty of other Brits in the cast who could have been there.

    Msan28:
    Her Grace Elizabeth of the House Windsor, Second of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

    Queen of the Angles, the Scots and the Orange Men, Lady of the Sixteen Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realms.

  • What fun!!! And doesn’t everyone look smart?

    Dominique Lavigne: Uhm, anybody wondering what Rose Leslie is doing on the Season 5 set? Ygritte’s body is burned… I know she’s originally Scottish, but could she be living in Belfast now?

    Because if the Queen is calling, the cast is going to trot out their resident aristrocrat : ) Someone has to show them how to curtsy properly!

  • Can’t believe Sky News filmed and recorded live this privileged event for GOT. The writers and few of the cast are so lucky to meet the Queen. It’s weird that I came to Belfast to see GOT exhibition and I saw the Titanic Studios at the Titanic Quarter when I came to see the Titanic museum. That’s over a week before I heard the news.

  • I did not recognize Sophie at all when I saw this on the news a few minutes ago. Holy heels!! So happy for all of them getting this honour of meeting Her Majesty and His Royal Highness!! This is one of those moments they’ll remember their entire lives.

    As for the stupid journalists…I follow the Royals and this sadly is nothing new to me. In fact, there was a quick bit about Harry’s visit to Brazil on the news right after this was covered and it was all about his Visit to a local Centre that is a major Rehab and Physio Centre that really thinks outside the box w/the Therapies they offer. Such as canoeing for Stroke victims to help strengthen their core, which is what Harry tried out w/a patient and his Therapist, and got rather soaked as he was in the middle of the canoe, not to mention taking in a few other activities today….

    One small problem w/that. It happened yesterday. Now don’t you think someone would have discovered that before going to air? You’d think, right?

    Wonder who in the Family will end up w/the mini Iron Throne!?! You know there’s got to be someone in The Firm who is a fan. :o)

    ROTFLOL over Phillip picking up the Castration Knife!! Of all the things on the table he could have picked…:oD

  • Hate all that kneeling. That should go out the window if monarchy wants to…evolve.

    Anyway…great vid. The actresses were damn gorgeous and Varys with hair is another beast lmao.
    Never saw the queen this “close” or saw her way around hosts and such. Exquisite.

  • OT: Uruguay sends Italy home with the help of Biter! Suarez needs to visit GoT! :)

  • What a story! I’ve read about how much GoT has done for the local economy in Northern Ireland. The Queen was so gracious, and I enjoyed watching D&D as hosts.

    Will we get to hear more about this from D&D or Bryan Cogman?

  • F**k the queen and the whole British monarchy!

    They are irrelevant today and back in the day when they were relevant all they did was colonized and enslaved half of the world. They for sure murdered way more people than the Nazis ever did however in our movies and shows today they are never the bad guys and somehow we have to respect them!!!

  • At around 31:50 in the video, Prince Phillip picks up the knife used to castrate Theon. Pretty funny.

  • Zangbangboom:
    F**k the queen and the whole British monarchy!

    They are irrelevant today and back in the day when they were relevant all they did was colonized and enslaved half of the world. They for sure murdered way more people than the Nazis ever did however in our movies and shows today they are never the bad guys and somehow we have to respect them!!!

    They enslaved half the world? and murdered more people than the Nazis ? dude , where you getting your information?

  • You forgot the coolest of her real titles: Defender of the Faith!

    Msan28:
    Her Grace Elizabeth of the House Windsor, Second of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.

  • OogaBoogah,

    That’s probably the best part of this weird little collision of worlds. Knowing him, he’d probably want a copy of that dagger.

    This is such a surreal video. The lady on my money and her goofy husband stepping into the world that I love so much.

  • Zangbanboom,A bit offensive that comment,When exactly did the Royal family kill more people than the nazis?????? and if they are irrelevant why did you post a comment in the first place , idiot!!!

  • Ismael Comics,

    I saw that armor too, I think it’s the Red Viper’s armor!!, they didn’t use the helmet, alas…

    Nope just double checked the Viper’s armor, which was a leather jerkin with several hues of brown from light to medium. The armor on display for the queen had a reddish hue, I did notice though the shoulder straps were of the same shape as Oberyn’s, whereas his were smooth and of a darker brown, those in the video had a subtle reptilian pattern, like the breastplate. Furthermore I noticed David was paying special attention to it while talking with Michele and commented on it at that, he didn’t do so with any other piece of wardrobe, except for Dany’s dress.

  • The Queen: I very much enjoy Game of Thrones. I find the whole treating Northerners like scum to be quite relateable.

    Prince Philip: Where are all the leprechauns and men with mono-brows? I thought this was supposed to be Ireland, for God’s sake?!

  • GaryD,

    A million in The Irish Genocide alone, God only knows how many uncounted throughout the rest of the British Empire

  • wight,

    And The Irish Genocide was such a catchy name that we stuck with it! Because it was actually called that, with capitals and everything. And how many uncounted deaths! All by The Queen herself, with a small knife. What a monster.

  • Zangbangboom:
    F**k the queen and the whole British monarchy!

    They are irrelevant today and back in the day when they were relevant all they did was colonized and enslaved half of the world. They for sure murdered way more people than the Nazis ever did however in our movies and shows today they are never the bad guys and somehow we have to respect them!!!

    Well duh! That’s what happens when you win and live. You get to make movies and leave out the parts where you were naughty!

    Have you learned NOTHING from GoT?

  • Zangbangboom:
    F**k the queen and the whole British monarchy!

    They are irrelevant today and back in the day when they were relevant all they did was colonized and enslaved half of the world. They for sure murdered way more people than the Nazis ever did however in our movies and shows today they are never the bad guys and somehow we have to respect them!!!

    I imagine if you had given the Nazis more time they could have upped their numbers on the genocide front. The point is the Nazis were incompetent and even with the help of the highly educated German population and their martial traditions they couldn’t hold their gains in Europe let alone the Soviet Union.

    Besides the Windsors were German imported royals who were once called Battenbergs. During WWII, one of them was even a Nazi sympathizer.

    The British haven’t had a locally grown royal family since they killed their last half-French one.

    I suppose you are a fan of the form of self-determination where the locals only kill each other? Remember the Khans? Tamerlane? Ivan the Terrible? Mao? Pol Pot? Stalin? Sherman? Custer? Lincoln?

  • Wight, Last comment on this but really, Irish genocide 1 million???? get a grip!!.Also the Royal family has not run Great Britain for hundreds of years, ‘IF’ any wrong doing has occurred in that time it would be politicians who were to blame not the Royal family. I wish people would learn their history before posting stupid inaccurate comments.

  • Shock Me,

    Yes. You could also say there is more German blood in today’s generation of the Royal Family than most British people like to admit. :)

  • wight:
    ,

    A million in The Irish Genocide alone, God only knows how many uncounted throughout the rest of the British Empire

    Oh surely you mean the The Great Potato Famine of the 1840s , so now the Royals are to blame for a natural disaster , and to Zanggangboom as for the Nazis wasn’t it the IRA that was supporting the Nazis during the second world war? Even the Republic of Ireland’s government thought that was disgusting and they distanced themselves from the IRA.

  • smitzzz,

    there was no famine

    Ireland exported 50 ships of food a day to England

    England faced famine unless it could import vast amounts of alternative food. But it didn’t grab merely Ireland’s surplus food; or enough Irish food to save England. It took more; for profit and to exterminate the people of Ireland. Queen Victoria’s economist, Nassau Senior, expressed his fear that existing policies “will not kill more than one million Irish in 1848 and that will scarcely be enough to do much good
    http://www.irishholocaust.org/officialbritishintent

  • Walter Harrow:
    This must have been amazing for Maisie and Sophie (and Kit too). A few years ago they were nothing, now they are in the biggest show on TV and have just met the Queen

    Wow…yes they were nothing…except living, breathing, human beings, worth every bit as much then as they are now…but I guess in today’s society unless you are famous or infamous, there really is not much difference anymore, you are nothing…sigh…

  • Moving on, it was I guess a sign of the positive impact GoT has had in Northern Ireland and the cultural impact the show is having, something that we can see in real time given the Information Age we live in “, where everyone and everything is becoming interconnected, for good or bad…

    I’m mostly glad for the crew and cast who got to meet her and if they are happy and enjoyed it, why not, good for them!

    As for the wider political implications of the continued relevance of the monarchy in the 21st century and the continued observation and maintenance of seemingly archaic customs and institutions, that is a worthy discussion to have “, no doubt and in the end it will fall to the citizens of a particular country that still maintains a monarchy wether or not they continue to wish doing so…and that goes not only for the Brits…

    John Oliver had a funny and interesting bit about the Queen visiting the set of GoT on Episode 8 of “Last Week Tonight” and the whole idea of monarchy in general as well also a cameo from a certain bearded fellow who wrote something called ASOIF….hmmm who could that be?!

  • Timkins,

    And….? do you have any specific point you want to get across?

    This is a fantasy show fan website I get it but when a symbol of cruelty and injustice (the Queen!!!) gets involved as a decent human being I get to call them out! Now that I’ve tried my best to educate you a bit you can stick your head back wherever it belongs!

  • My last comment on this issue and then I will move on from this post for good:

    Only in one night, (one night!!!) during WWII the British Air force dropped more bombs on German civilians than the Nazis did in entire war!

    Nazis were bastards, cruel evil motherf****s but the British monarchy/government WAS WAY worse!

    Millions of people died in India because of British rule and the caused famine (just look it up, its easy!)

    The whole mess in the middle east today is because of the British colonialism! They picked a pen and drew this wired border line with no logic and creating all these fake countries across different ethnic communities and causing never ending conflicts!

  • Of course the British monarchy has been a murderous and chaotic stain on humanity. So were the Nazi’s. I’m quite surprised people are trying to whitewash the British monarchy though. Slavery, religious wars, empire building, white privilege, I can go on…

  • Zangbangboom:
    My last comment on this issue and then I will move on from this post for good:

    Only in one night, (one night!!!) during WWII the British Air force dropped more bombs on German civilians than the Nazis did in entire war!

    Nazis were bastards, cruel evil motherf****s but the British monarchy/government WAS WAY worse!

    Millions of people died in India because ofBritish rule and the caused famine (just look it up, its easy!)

    The whole mess in the middle east today is because of the British colonialism! They picked a pen and drew this wired border line with no logic and creating all these fake countries across different ethnic communities and causing never ending conflicts!

    I think it is fundamentally clear the NAZI leadership was incompetent and vicious and would have killed more people had they the wherewithal. They couldn’t even kill more Soviets than Stalin.

    By the way, the border drawing had a clear and stated logic to it. Throughout Africa, India, China, and the Middle East, borders were drawn with great attention to existing rivalries. This kept the rivals fighting each other rather than the British Raj. The British never even tried for full control. They helped one rival or the other depending on which rival could get them the resources they required.

    This is why we have Catholic and Protestant in Northern Ireland, Highland and Lowland in Scotland, Sunni and Shia in Iraq, Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda, Zulus and Afrikaner in South Africa, and Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim in India and why Pakistan and Bangladesh now exist.

    You can also thank the French and Belgium’s Leopold for the rest of Africa and Southeast Asia and the United States for supporting all of them in retaining colonial possessions.

    Let’s not leave off the Spanish either even if they couldn’t keep their half of the world together. Neither should we forget the Portuguese who managed to keep Brazil together and functioning.

    The British Monarchy has been little more than a political prop and distraction since Cromwell. Even the British and American Governments are just a front operation for the old merchant and banking houses that order the world to their best advantage.

    Take the visit of the Queen to the GoT set as it was intended: A distinguished group of actors visiting a lesser production while staying in character.

  • As an Englishman who LOVES The Queen and GoT, I’m gutted she didn’t sit upon the throne. That woulda been the best poster ever!

    But I respect her for not. She ain’t stupid that one.

    Gods Save The Queen!!! Second of her name.

  • Btw, lol at all the noobs above me whining about the ‘Evil Empire’.

    I wonder how many of them are American…

  • Grey Ghost:
    Btw, lol at all the noobs above me whining about the ‘Evil Empire’.

    I wonder how many of them are American…

    Yeah no kidding. Instead of the British getting the US into trouble, now it works the other way round. I doubt many people are very keen on the American Empire, which seems utterly confounded by the consequences of its actions. The only thing holding it all together is that for many folks the alternatives all seem worse.

    I’d vote for no empires, but some joker always wants to try his hand.