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Royal wedding and baby china helps boost Royal Collection sales

UK News | Published:

The Royal Collection Trust has reported a record £21.7 million in retail sales.

A bumper year of royal celebrations including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding led to record retail sales for the Royal Collection Trust, its annual report showed.

Commemorative china was produced to mark the birth of Prince Louis, Harry and Meghan’s marriage, Princess Eugenie’s wedding and the 70th birthday of the Prince of Wales.

Royal wedding
Harry and Meghan on their wedding day (Jane Barlow/PA)

The report said: “Merchandise celebrating royal events drove record sales on site and online.”

It added: “Commemorative ranges of china were produced to mark the birth of His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge, the weddings of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and of Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank, and the 70th birthday of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.”

Prince Louis
Prince Louis’s arrival was marked with a range of official commemorative china (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Queen’s official residences also enjoyed a record 3.3 million visitors in the last financial year, compared to 2.96 million the year before.

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Admissions income including Gift Aid rose by £7.5 million from £40.8 million to £48.3 million.

Tim Knox, the new director of the Royal Collection Trust, wrote: “It is with great pleasure and pride that I look back on the past 12 months, a year in which we welcomed a record number of visitors to the palaces, achieved the highest-ever level of retail sales and staged an unprecedented 22 exhibitions around the UK.”

Royal wedding exhibition
The wedding outfits of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which were on display in the Grand Reception Room at Windsor Castle (Steve Parsons/PA)

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Princess Eugenie's evening gown
Princess Eugenie talking to curators as she views her evening wedding gown, part of a display of her wedding outfits at Windsor Castle (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

While many pieces of art were moved elsewhere in the palace and to other royal residences, more than 150 works of art and “extraordinary objects” which furnished George IV’s the Royal Pavilion in Brighton will return on loan to their original seaside home.

  • 3,800 works of art surveyed before Buckingham Palace refit could begin
  • More than 3,300 items of furniture, ceramics, chandeliers and sculpture removed from the East Wing
  • More 150 works to go on loan to George IV’s the Royal Pavilion in Brighton
  • 53,319 objects were checked throughout the year
  • 1,018 decorative arts items conserved
  • 488 prints and drawings conserved or mounted
  • 1,911 books, manuscripts and archival material conserved
  • 271 paintings conserved.

The Pavilion’s contents were moved to London after Queen Victoria sold the building in 1850, and were used by Prince Albert to furnish the East Wing.

The trust maintains and displays the large collection of royal artefacts from artwork to furniture held in trust by the Queen for her heirs and the nation.

Royal Collection work
A portrait of Nicholas I of Russia, commissioned as a gift for Queen Victoria, being installed as part of the Russia: Royalty and the Romanovs exhibition (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The report showed that in the last year 27,028 object records and 41,739 images were added to the collections management system; 53,319 objects were checked; 1,018 decorative arts items were conserved; 488 prints and drawings were conserved or mounted; 1,911 books, manuscripts and archival material and 271 paintings were conserved.

The removal of more than 3,300 items of furniture, ceramics, chandeliers and sculpture from the East Wing of Buckingham Palace provided the opportunity to conserve a number of pieces, including a large Russian Korgon porphyry vase and pedestal, presented to Queen Victoria by Emperor Alexander II.

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