HRH The Prince of Wales visiting the exhibition 'Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist, with Martin Clayton (curator, left) and Dr Ron Philo (centre), co-author of the catalogue.

Established in 1987, Royal Collection Trust is a department of the Royal Household and the only one that undertakes its activities without recourse to public funds.  It incorporates a charity regulated by the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, The Royal Collection Trust, and its subsidiary trading company, Royal Collection Enterprises Limited.

Royal Collection Trust has over 600 staff and a Management Board of nine directors.  It is responsible for the care of the Royal Collection, and manages the public opening of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen and the official London residence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

The Royal Collection Trust has six Trustees, who meet three times a year under the Chairmanship of HRH The Prince of Wales. The Trust has the following charitable aims:

  • That the Royal Collection is subject to proper custodial control and that the works of art remain available to future generations;
  • That the Royal Collection is maintained and conserved to the highest possible standards and that visitors can view the Collection in the best possible conditions;
  • That as much of the Royal Collection as possible can be seen by members of the public;
  • That the Royal Collection is presented and interpreted so as to enhance public appreciation and understanding;
  • That access to the Royal Collection is broadened and increased (subject to capacity constraints) to ensure that as many people as possible are able to view the Collection;
  • That appropriate acquisitions are made when resources become available.

The income from the public opening of Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and from associated trading activities, is received by The Royal Collection Trust and devoted to these charitable purposes. When reviewing future activities, the Trustees ensure that these aims continue to be met and are in line with the Charity Commission’s General Guidance on public benefit.

During 2015-16 Royal Collection Trust accomplished the following:

  • 2.6 million visitors to the Palaces and Galleries
  • 49,600 schoolchildren visited Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse
  • 215 loans made to 54 exhibitions in the UK and nine other countries
  • Over 80,000 visitors to four travelling exhibitions in the UK and abroad
  • 2,057 conservation treatments
  • More than 250,000 records of works of art online

The Royal Collection Trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (2713536), and is a charity registered in England and Wales (1016972) and in Scotland (SCO39772). Registered office: York House, St James’s Palace, London SW1A 1BQ.