Tributes have been pouring in for the “respected and loved” former household manager at the Queen’s official residence in Northern Ireland.
David Anderson, who has passed away at the age of 58 after a short illness, held the post at Hillsborough Castle for 25 years, serving during many key political moments.
He served many guests including the Queen, four prime ministers and 12 secretaries of state.
He was awarded an MBE and was also made a member of the Victorian Order.
Mr Anderson left in 2009 to take charge of the running of Montalto House outside Ballynahinch.
While Hillsborough Castle is home to the Royal family during visits to Northern Ireland, it is also the residence of the secretary of state.
Shaun Woodward, a former Labour secretary of state, said Mr Anderson “embodied decency to his very core”.
He added: “David Anderson was an extraordinary man, a loyal colleague, a true friend. He ran Hillsborough with enormous skill and care.”
Another former NI secretary, Peter Hain, said Mr Anderson “in many ways was Hillsborough Castle”.
He added: “At a time when prime ministers and secretaries of state relied on it as a family home, a negotiating space, a summit venue or a Royal visit, it was David who always made it work with panache, wit and seemingly effortless behind the scenes work.”
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams also extended his condolences to Mr Anderson’s family, adding: “David was always hospitable, efficient, and supportive. I got to know him as a thoroughly decent man.”