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Royal Collection Trust predicts £30m loss due to COVID-19

Queen sends message to the public as she arrives at Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle (Ref:132615-21)

Windsor Castle is set to reopen to the public this month but the Royal Collection Trust (RCT) admitted COVID-19 has posed the ‘greatest challenge’ in the charity’s history.

The Royal residence has been closed for more than three months due to the ongoing public health crisis.

But on Thursday, July 23, it will open its doors alongside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh, and Royal Collection Trust shops.

The RCT, which manages the public opening of the Queen’s official residences, said it is anticipating to make a £30million loss by the end of 2020/21.

A spokesperson for the Royal Collection Trust said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has posed by far the greatest challenge to Royal Collection Trust in the charity’s history.

“The closure to the public of Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh has had a very significant and serious impact on our finances, as we are entirely funded by visitor income from admissions and related retail sales.

“In the short term, the impact has been significant. Income expectations for the financial year have been revised from the £77 million originally forecast to around £13 million.”

The Royal Collection Trust has taken out a £22million loan to enable it to continue operating but the spokesperson added it is ‘inevitable’ staff costs will need to be reduced.

A number of safety measures are set to be introduced to ensure the safe reopening of Windsor Castle.

These include:

  • The introduction of timed tickets at all sites in order to manage visitor numbers. Visitors must book tickets in advance through www.rct.uk/tickets as capacities will be limited.
  • Markers and signs to help visitors maintain social distancing, with staff on hand to manage the flow of visitors in queuing areas and indoor spaces.
  • The introduction of one-way routes in some areas.
  • Hand sanitiser stations along the visitor routes.
  • Enhanced cleaning regimes.
  • Perspex screens at all till points, with payment by card only.
  • All front-of-house staff fully trained in COVID-secure procedures.

The Palaces, Galleries and Royal Collection Trust shops will reopen five days a week with the venues remaining closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The online ticket office reopened on Wednesday.

Visit www.rct.uk/tickets to book.

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