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Government House featured in new book of official residences

Tuesday 13 October 2020 | Written by Legacy Author | Published in Local

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Government House featured in new book of official residences
The Government House in Titikaveka. Picture: Hanway.co.ck/20101223

Cook Islands Government House is featured in a new book that brings together a unique group of official residences for the first time.

Illustrated with over 250 photographs of the exteriors and interiors of these unique official residences, the 175-page book penned by writer and photographer Jeffrey Hyland brings exclusive group of official residences, including the Government House in the Cook Islands, together for the first time.

The book titled “Government Houses: Vice-Regal Residences of the Crown” also explores the relationship between the Royal Family and these Government Houses from the time of Queen Victoria to the present day.

The Government House in Titikaveka is the official residence of the Queen’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters.

Hyland said: “The Cook Islands was a rare exception in that I wasn't able to source images of the interior of the residence unfortunately - but the entrance gate is featured along with information about royal visits to the Cook Islands.”

He described the Government House as a two-storey colonial-style house with covered verandahs and a formal lawn in front of the house.

Government Houses play a central role in the official and ceremonial life of each of these Commonwealth nations and territories, hosting receptions, investitures and formal ceremonies as well as garden parties and charity events, Hyland said.

“This book on Government Houses explores these unique residences and their relationship with the British Royal Family from the time of Queen Victoria to the present day. Many of these official residences continue to play host to visiting members of the Royal Family on their overseas royal visits today. Queen Elizabeth II has visited more Government Houses than any other member of the Royal Family during her many travels around the Commonwealth.”

Due to its remoteness, royal visits to the Cook Islands have been rare, he wrote in the book.

“Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the Cook Islands in 1974, accompanied by Princess Anne and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips.

“The main purpose of the trip was for The Queen to open Rarotonga International Airport, en route to New Zealand for the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch.”

This book is lavishly illustrated with images of these official residences sourced from all over the world by professional and amateur photographers including the author.

Entries for each of the Government Houses provides an overview of its history and architecture; the unique features of the residence; any special events or visitors with particular reference to royal visits or occupants.