Government Houses of the British Empire and Commonwealth

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

South AfricaEdit




Royal and vice-regal residence at the Citadelle of Quebec

Caribbean and the West IndiesEdit

Government House of The Bahamas

South AmericaEdit


Government House of Singapore

British Indian EmpireEdit

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

Middle EastEdit

  • Iraq, Government House of Iraq
  • Israel, Palace of the Commissioner, Jerusalem
  • Kuwait, Government House of Kuwait



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

New ZealandEdit

South PacificEdit

See alsoEdit