On the 22nd of August, 1861, the British royal yacht arrived in Dún Laoghaire carrying Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. This was the monarch's third trip to Ireland, the first having been on the 2nd of August 1849, and the second in 1853. The eight-day visit was to be extremely important for the Irish tourism industry and is credited with putting Killarney on the Irish tourism map. The royal couple brought 3 of their children with them. Their eldest son was already in Ireland where he was undergoing military training at the Curragh in Co. Kildare. Whilst in Dublin the family stayed at the Vice Regal Lodge, which is now known as Arás an Uachtaráin.
On the third day of the visit, the family left Dublin for Killarney where they were welcomed with a lavish banquet and a fireworks display. The Queen was taken on excursions to take in the impressive views of the Killarney countryside. She remarked that the beauty of the lakes surpassed even her highest expectations. The royal family spent a number of days in Killarney, taking in the scenery and meeting the people. The visit was a great success for the nation, but not so much for those who bore the brunt of the cost, as Henry A. Herbert, the owner of Muckross House, was forced to sell his estate after hosting the royal family due to debts accrued during the visit.
Victoria would not visit Ireland again until the early 20th century, and she would be coming as a widow in mourning.