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Profile of The Royal Collection

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Established:

The Royal Collection was established in 1660.

According to their website: "The Royal Collection is one of the largest and most important art collections in the world, and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact."

"Comprising almost all aspects of the fine and decorative arts and running to more than a million objects, the Collection is a unique and valuable record of the personal tastes of kings and queens over the past 500 years."

The Royal Collection is comprised of "paintings, drawings and watercolors, furniture, ceramics, clocks, silver, sculpture, jewelry, books, manuscripts, prints and maps, arms and armor, fans, and textiles." It is exhibited in its various residences throughout the UK.

History:

The history of the Royal Collection began after King Charles I's execution in 1649, when Oliver Cromwell ordered most of the royal possessions sold. Thus, the Royal Collection took form since the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. 

Over the centuries, other royals added to the collection including "Frederick, Prince of Wales; George III; George IV; Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; and Queen Mary, consort of King George V."

Mission:

The Royal Collection's mission is to preserve and exhibit works of art "in the historic settings for which they were originally commissioned or acquired."

Location:

The Royal Collection is located in London and across the UK. This includes 13 royal residences and former residences such as "Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Hampton Court, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Osborne House and the Royal Pavilion, Brighton."

Please refer to the Royal Collection's website listed below for specific addresses, visiting hours, and directions.

Museum's Conservation Department:

The Royal Collection Department administers conservation and restoration to the collection. Highly skilled art conservators research and analyze the works of art and fine objects with state-of-the-art technology equipment such as raman spectroscopy, X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer, and ultraviolet (UV) scanning.

Famed Artworks in Collection:

The Royal Collection is notable with its collection of "European Old Masters, British portraiture and Victorian painting."

Henry VIII commissioned Hans Holbein the Younger, while Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyck was a favorite of Charles I.

Important works in the collection include Mantegna’s Triumphs of Caesar at Hampton Court. Artists such as Michelangelo, da Vinci, Bellini, Titian, Correggio, Parmigianino, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Jan Vermeer, Hans Holbein, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, and Lucian Freud are represented.

Noteworthy Facts:

"The Royal Collection is held in trust by The Queen as Sovereign for her successors and the nation. It is not owned by her as a private individual."

Employment Information:

"Royal Collection Trust employs approximately 450 staff across a wide range of professions with varied skills, including those in the area of: Conservation, Curatorship, Finance, Human resources, Learning, Marketing, Press, Publishing, Retail, Ticket sales, and Visitor management."

"Each summer, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace open to the public for approximately ten weeks. A team of around 350 temporary staff is recruited every season to welcome over 400,000 visitors from around the world to The Queen’s London home. In our most recent staff satisfaction survey, 98% of summer staff enjoyed their experience, and each year a large percentage of employees return to work again the following season. We also recruit temporary staff to work during the busy summer season at Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse."

"Royal Collection Trust offers a number of paid internships, student placements (for those in education) and volunteering opportunities."

How to Apply for a Job:

In order to be eligible for employment, you must first be able to legally work in the UK. You can then apply online for any of the job positions in which you qualify.

Museum's Contact Info:

The Royal Collection, Director of the Royal Collection, York House, St James's Palace, London SW1A 1BQ. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 8168.

The Royal Collection's website

For Paintings and Miniatures:

The Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, York House, St James's Palace, London SW1A 1BQ Tel. +44 (0)20 7839 8168

Email: pictures@royalcollection.org.uk

The Queen's Gallery Museum Hours:

  • Mondays 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Fridays 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Closed Holidays

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