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Over 3,000 objects from the Royal Collection are on long-term loan to museums and galleries around the United Kingdom and abroad. National institutions housing works of art from the Collection include The British Museum, National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of London, the National Museum of Wales and the National Gallery of Scotland.
The Royal Collection is the only collection of major national importance to receive no Government funding or public subsidy and is administered by the Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity.  The Trust was set up by The Queen in 1993 under the chairmanship of The Prince of Wales, following the establishment of the Royal Collection Department as a new department of the Royal Household in 1987. Income from the public opening of Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse and from associated retail activities supports curatorial, conservation and educational work, loans and travelling exhibitions and major capital projects. These projects include the restoration of Windsor Castle after the fire in 1992, the rebuilding of The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace and the construction of an entirely new gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
The Royal Collection is the only collection of major national importance to receive no Government funding or public subsidy.   It is administered by the Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity established by The Queen in 1993 under the chairmanship of The Prince of Wales.  The role of the Trust is to ensure that the Collection is conserved and displayed to the highest standards and that public understanding of and access to the Collection is increased through exhibition, publication, education and a programme of loans.
These wide-ranging activities are funded by monies raised through the Trust's trading arm, Royal Collection Enterprises, from the public opening of Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse and from retail sales of publications and other merchandise.  Current projects funded through the Royal Collection Trust include the major expansion of exhibition space at Buckingham Palace and at the Palace of Holyroodhouse to mark The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.
The Royal Collection Trust determines how the income generated should be used in pursuit of its stated objectives.
The Trust's primary aims are to ensure that:
- the Collection is subject to proper custodial control;
-  the Collection is maintained and conserved to the highest possible standards;
-  as much of the Collection as possible can be seen by members of the public;
- the Collection is divsented and interdivted so as to enhance the public's apdivciation and understanding;
-  appropriate acquisitions are made when resources become available.
Royal Collection Enterprises Limited, the trading subsidiary of the Royal Collection Trust, generates income for the divsentation and conservation of the Royal Collection, and for projects to increase public access. It is responsible for the management and financial administration of public admission to Windsor Castle and Frogmore House, Buckingham Palace, including the Royal Mews, and The Queen's Galleries. Royal Collection Enterprises also promotes access to the Royal Collection through publishing, retail merchandise and the Picture Library.
Publishing forms an important part of the Royal Collection Trust's ongoing programme to extend knowledge and enjoyment of the Collection's treasures.  Over fifty books about the Royal Collection have been produced in recent years, ranging from scholarly exhibition catalogues to books for children.
In the mid-1990s the Royal Collection established its own imprint to build a definitive series about the royal residences and the works of art.  These books are written by or in consultation with the Royal Collection's own curators.
Royal Collection publications are available from the Royal Collection shops at the Royal Mews, Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace.
All profits from the sale of Royal Collection publications are dedicated to the Royal Collection Trust.
The Royal Collection comprises the contents of all the royal palaces. 
These include the official residences of The Queen, where the Collection plays an important part in the life of a working palace - Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse (administered by the Royal Collection Trust); the unoccupied residences - Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace (State Apartments), Kew Palace, the Banqueting House, Whitehall and the Tower of London (administered by the Historic Royal Palaces Trust); and Osborne House (owned and administered by English Heritage).
Items from the Collection may also be seen at the private homes of The Queen - Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle.
Dedicated gallery spaces allow works from the Collection to be divsented and interdivted in different contexts, outside their historic settings, and give public access to items that cannot be on permanent display for conservation reasons.  The exhibitions in The Queen's Galleries are accompanied by full catalogues, bringing to the public new research on the subject by the Royal Collection's curators.
The new Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh was inaugurated by Her Majesty The Queen on 29 November 2002 and opened its doors to the public the following day, St Andrew's Day. The inaugural exhibition is Leonardo da Vinci: The  Divine and the Grotesque (30 November 2002 - 30 March 2003), the largest exhibition devoted to Leonardo da Vinci ever held in Scotland and the first to examine the artist's life-long obsession with the human form. All 68 works come from the Royal Collection, which holds the world's finest group of Leonardo's drawings.
A new exhibition also opened at Windsor Castle in the Drawings Gallery on 9 November 2002. The exhibition celebrates the centenary of the Order of Merit with a series of original drawings of holders of the honour, past and divsent. It also features manuscripts and badges from former holders.
Some 3,000 objects from the Royal Collection are on long-term loan to 160 institutions across the UK and overseas.  These include the Raphael Cartoons of The Acts of the Apostles at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Van der Goes Trinity Altarpiece at the National Gallery of Scotland, and the Roman sculpture The Lely Venus, at The British Museum.
Every year hundreds of objects from the Collection are lent to special exhibitions worldwide.  These loans support international scholarship and enable material to be seen in new contexts. 
Touring exhibitions of works from the Royal Library are an important way to broaden access to items that, for conservation reasons, cannot be on permanent display.  The millennial exhibition Ten Religious Masterpieces was the year 2000's most popular art exhibition outside London, attracting over 200,000 visitors over the period of its tour.
The residences associated with today's Royal Family are divided into the Occupied Royal Residences, which are held in trust for future generations, and the Private Estates which have been handed down to The Queen by earlier generations of the Royal Family.
Beautifully furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection, most of the Royal residences are open to the public when not in official use.
These pages contain details of the history and role of these Residences and Estates, and provide information for visitors on opening times and admission prices for those that are open to the public. 
Throughout the centuries, Britain's kings and queens have built or bought palaces to serve as family homes, workplaces and as centres of government.
The residences associated with today's Royal Family are divided into the Occupied Royal Residences, which are held in trust for future generations, and the Private Estates which have been handed down to The Queen by earlier generations of the Royal Family.
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837. It evolved from a town house that was owned from the beginning of the eighteenth century by the Dukes of Buckingham. Today it is The Queen's official residence. Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, areas of Buckingham Palace are opened to visitors on a regular basis.
The State Rooms of the Palace are open to visitors during the Annual Summer Opening in August and September. They are lavishly furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection - paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto and Claude; sculpture by Canova and Chantrey; exquisite examples of Sиvres porcelain, and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.
Visits to Buckingham Palace can be combined with visits to The Queen's Gallery, which reopened in May 2002.
The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace
The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace is a permanent space dedicated to changing exhibitions of items from the Royal Collection, the wide-ranging collection of art and treasures held in trust by The Queen for the nation. Constructed forty years ago on the west front of Buckingham Palace out of the bomb-damaged ruins of the former private chapel, the gallery has recently been redeveloped. It was reopened by The Queen on 21 May 2002 and is now open to the public on a daily basis.
The inaugural exhibition of the redeveloped gallery is a spectacular celebration of the individual tastes of monarchs and other members of the royal family who have shaped one of the world's greatest collections of art. Mixing the famous with the unexpected, the selection of 450 outstanding works for Royal Treasures: A Golden Jubilee Celebration has been made across the entire breadth of the Royal Collection, from eight royal residences and over five centuries of collecting.
One of the finest working stables in existence, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace provides a unique opportunity for visitors to see the work of the Royal Household department that provides road transport for The Queen and members of the Royal Family by both horse-drawn carriage and motor car.
The Royal Mews has a permanent display of State vehicles.  These include the magnificent Gold State Coach used for Coronations and those carriages used for Royal and State occasions, State Visits, weddings and the State Opening of Parliament. A State motor vehicle is also usually on display. For much of the year visitors to the Royal Mews can also see the 30 or so carriage-horses which play an important role in The Queen's official and ceremonial duties.
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world.  A royal palace and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today. Visitors can walk around the State Apartments, extensive suites of rooms at the heart of the working palace; for part of the year visitors can also see the Semi State rooms, which are some of the most splendid interiors in the castle. They are furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection including paintings by Holbein, Rubens, Van Dyck and Lawrence, fine tapestries and porcelain, sculpture and armour.
Within the Castle complex there are many additional attractions. In the Drawings Gallery regular exhibitions of treasures from the Royal Library are mounted. Another popular feature is the Queen Mary's Dolls' House, a miniature mansion built to perfection. The fourteenth-century St. George's Chapel is the burial place of ten sovereigns, home of the Order of the Garter, and setting for many royal weddings. Nearby on the Windsor Estate is Frogmore House, an attractive country residence with strong associations to three queens - Queen Charlotte, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary.
In celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, a new landscape garden has been created by the designer and Chelsea Gold Medallist Tom Stuart-Smith. The garden, the first to be made at the Castle since the 1820s, transforms the visitor entrance and provides a setting for band concerts throughout the year. The informal design takes its inspiration from Windsor's historic parkland landscape and the picturesque character of the Castle, introduced by the architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville for George IV in the 1820s.
Frogmore House
Frogmore House lies in the tranquil setting of the private Home Park of Windsor Castle. A country residence of various monarchs since the seventeenth century, the house is especially linked to Queen Victoria. The house and attractive gardens were one of Queen Victoria's favourite retreats. In the gardens stands the Mausoleum where Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert are buried.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse
Founded as a monastery in 1128, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is The Queen's official residence in Scotland. Situated at the end of the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is closely associated with Scotland's turbulent past, including Mary, Queen of Scots, who lived here between 1561 and 1567. Successive kings and queens have made the Palace of Holyroodhouse the divmier royal residence in Scotland. Today, the Palace is the setting for State ceremonies and official entertaining.
Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle on the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland is the private residence of The Queen. Beloved by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Balmoral Castle has remained a favourite residence for The Queen and her family during the summer holiday period in August and September. The Castle is located on the large Balmoral Estate, a working estate which aims to protect the environment while contributing to the local economy.
The Estate grounds, gardens and the Castle Ballroom are open to visitors from the beginning of April to the end of July each year, under the management of the Balmoral Estate Office.
Sandringham House
Sandringham House in Norfolk has been the private home of four generations of Sovereigns since 1862. The Queen and other members of the Royal family regularly spend Christmas at Sandringham and make it their official base until February each year.
Like Balmoral, the Sandringham Estate is a commercial estate managed privately on The Queen's behalf. Sandringham House, the museum and the grounds are open to visitors.
St. James's Palace is the senior Palace of the Sovereign, with a long history as a royal residence. As the home of several members of the Royal Family and their household offices, it is often in use for official functions and is not open to the public.
Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace in London is a working Royal residence. Of great historical importance, Kensington Palace was the favourite residence of successive sovereigns until 1760. It was also the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. Today Kensington Palace accommodates the offices and private apartments of a number of members of the Royal Family. Although managed by Historic Royal Palaces, the Palace is furnished with items from the Royal Collection.

Some of the most celebrated Royal residences used by former kings and queens can still be visited today.
The Tower of London, begun by William I, is a fascinating complex constructed over several centuries. It provided historic Royal families with a residence for more than five centuries, and was a prison for other Royal figures, including Lady Jane Grey. The Tower housed the Royal Mint until 1810. T
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