Golden Jubilee year saw a 30% rise in visitors to the official residences of The Queen, as recorded in the Royal Collection Trust's Annual Report 2002-2003. With the successful opening of the two new Queen's Galleries in London and Edinburgh and an increase in admissions across all sites, visitor numbers rose by 442,000 to 1.918 million in 2002/3. Two new shops at The Queen's Galleries, the company's first off-site shop on Buckingham Palace Road and the success of Golden Jubilee merchandise contributed to a 78% increase in retail income and a 28% growth in spend per visitor.
Annual turnover rose by 50% (£8.1 million) to a record £24.246 million. As a result, the Royal Collection's trading subsidiary, Royal Collection Enterprises, made a total contribution of £6.375 million (2001/2: £3.891 million) to the Royal Collection Trust in 2002/3. The Royal Collection Trust funds all of the Royal Collection's activities, including curatorial, conservation and educational work, loans and travelling exhibitions, and major capital projects.
Against the backdrop of the third challenging year for the tourism industry, admission numbers at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace rose to 336,000 (2001: 311,000), with the special display of over 200 State gifts proving extremely popular with visitors of all ages. The inaugural exhibition of Royal Treasures at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, was seen by over 229,000 visitors, while Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse experienced a good recovery after the difficult market conditions of the previous twelve months, attracting 958,000 (2001/2: 880,000) and 260,000 (2001/2: 209,000) respectively.
Over the past year resources for children visiting the Palaces with families or school groups were expanded with a series of new activity trails, and part of the old coach house at Holyrood was converted into an Education Centre for talks, object-handling sessions and practical workshops. Material from the Leonardo da Vinci: The Divine and the Grotesque and Fabergé exhibitions was added to the Royal Collection's interactive electronic catalogue (the e-Gallery). The system is currently available at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, and at Holyroodhouse, and plans are underway to develop a Website version by the end of 2003. As part of a continuing commitment to improve the public's enjoyment and understanding of the Palaces and the Royal Collection, adult and family audio tours will be introduced for the first time at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Buckingham Palace this summer.
Touring exhibitions and loans to venues throughout the world remain an important way to make the Royal Collection widely available and to show works of art in new contexts. Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci completed its Golden Jubilee tour of the UK, attracting record audiences. Thirty-one drawings by Leonardo were lent to Leonardo da Vinci: Master Draftsman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Her Majesty The Queen contributed the largest group of works to La 'celeste galeria' dei Gonzaga at the Palazzo Te in Mantua, including outstanding paintings by Domenichino, Correggio and Giulio Romano. Among the many loans made within the UK were the 58 portraits by Rudolf Swoboda lent from Osborne House to the National Gallery's exhibition An Indian Encounter: Portraits for Queen Victoria.
The Royal Collection Trust Annual Report 2002-2003 is available as a PDF file fromhttp://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page604.asp. For further information, please contact Public Relations and Marketing, the Royal Collection, telephone: 020-7839 1377, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
1. The Royal Collection is held in trust by The Queen as Sovereign for her successors and for the Nation, and is administered by the Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. It is the only collection of major national importance to receive no Government funding or public subsidy. Monies raised from admissions and merchandise are dedicated to the conservation, display and interpretation of the Royal Collection and to projects that increase public access.
2. Royal Collection Enterprises is responsible for the management and financial administration of access by the public to the official residences of The Queen. It also generates revenue through the development of retail merchandise, the sale of photographic reproduction rights, publishing and other commercial initiatives