Royal Collection Trust Annual Report Published

Release date: 
Monday, 1 July 2002

The Queen's Golden Jubilee is being celebrated by the Royal Collection with three major public projects, as recorded in the Royal Collection Trust's Annual Report 2001-2002.  The first of these, the highly acclaimed new Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace, has attracted a capacity audience since its inaugural exhibition, Royal Treasures: A Golden Jubilee Celebration, opened to the public on 22 May.  This week saw the completion of the Jubilee Garden at Windsor Castle, which has transformed the  public  entrance  to  the  Castle  into  a  green  and  welcoming  approach,  and  the year will end with the opening of The Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

The funding for these major capital projects and all other activities is generated by the Royal Collection's trading subsidiary, Royal Collection Enterprises.  This year a total contribution of £3.891 million (2000-01: £4.448 million) was made to the Royal Collection Trust.  Against the backdrop of one of the most challenging years ever experienced by the tourism industry, visitor numbers at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace increased to 311,000 (2000: 300,000).  Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, both traditionally attracting a higher proportion of overseas visitors, were more seriously affected by the Foot and Mouth crisis and 11 September.  Windsor Castle attracted 880,000 visitors (2000-01: 1.1 million) and the Palace of Holyroodhouse 209,000 (2000-01: 250,000).

The continued rise of spend per visitor and a number of carefully focused commercial initiatives helped to soften the financial impact of the downturn in inward tourism.  As part of a strategy to develop additional income streams, off-site sales of Royal Collection merchandise were increased through new distribution partnerships and the expansion of the Website shop.

Over the past year significant changes have been made to enhance the public's enjoyment and understanding of the palaces.  At Windsor Castle guided tours of the Castle Precincts were introduced.  At the Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace, the visitor route and interpretative displays were improved in advance of the introduction of new opening arrangements.  The Mews is now open seven days a week from March until October, bringing it into line with public demand and seeing a 22% daily increase in visitor numbers.

In addition to the nineteen State Rooms, visitors to the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace can now enjoy a walk along the south side of the Palace garden. During the Summer Opening,  the Palace's Ball Supper Room has been used to show changing displays of works from the Royal Collection.  Last year, an exhibition of 19th-century watercolour views of the Palace marked the centenary of the death of Queen Victoria.  This year's Golden Jubilee exhibition will bring together over 200 State gifts received during the present reign.

The first stage in the development of the Royal Collection's e-Gallery was launched with the opening of the new Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace, where seven computer kiosks provide an interactive electronic version of the Royal Treasures catalogue.  More in-depth multimedia treatments are provided for selected items to give access to objects in a way that is not possible through traditional display or publications.  Many objects have a rich array of 'scrapbook' material, including invoices, letters and photographs from the Royal Archives.  The e-Gallery will be constantly added to, and a version will be made available on the Web.

Touring exhibitions remain an important part of the Royal Collection's work to broaden public access.  Following the success of last year's Ten Religious Masterpieces, a group of some of the finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Library at Windsor Castle are travelling to museums and galleries throughout the UK to mark the Golden Jubilee.  The exhibition has already attracted record numbers of visitors, with the first venue, the Lady Lever Art Gallery on Merseyside, recording a 465% increase in visitor numbers.  
Loans from the Royal Collection continued to be made to venues throughout the world, as part of the commitment to make the Collection widely available and to show works of art in new contexts.  Among the loans made within the UK, thirty-four works were lent to Art on the Line at the Courtauld Institute Gallery, and seven outstanding paintings form part of Tate Britain's New Displays.
The Royal Collection Trust Annual Report 2001-2002 is available as a PDF file from  For further information, please contact the Royal Collection, telephone: 020-7839 1377,

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.  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.
Pdf files of 2002 report

Chairman's Foreward and Director's Report (File size 296kB)
Pictures (File size 107kB)
Works of art (File size 72kB)
Royal Library and Print Room (File size 118kB)
Royal Archives and Royal Photograph Collection (File size 75kB)
Royal Collection Database and Information Technology (File size 29kB)
Royal Collection Enterprises (File size 123kB)
Financial Statements (File size 494kB)
Exhibitions and loans (File size 92kB)
Staff (File size 116kB)