Letter: Ownership of art and palaces is no secret

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Sir: Answers to Professor Cannadine's questions are already in the public domain ('Royalty in crisis', 22 May). The Royal Collection is held by the Queen in trust for her successors as part of the nation's heritage under the aegis of an independent charitable trust. Its chairman is the Prince of Wales and its external trustees include the Duchess of Devonshire and Simon Jervis, director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

The Royal Collection is displayed in nearly a dozen different locations, where it is regularly on show to the public. These include Windsor Castle, Holyrood House, Osborne House, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and the Tower of London (the Crown Jewels).

The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace has been open for more than 30 years and has attracted upwards of 4.9 million visitors since. The Royal Collection receives no government funding. It is professionally managed, conserved and displayed on the proceeds of admissions to the Royal Mews, the Queen's Gallery, the State Apartments at Windsor Castle and Holyrood House.

Items from the Royal Collection are on indefinite loan to the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the National Galleries in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The Royal Household is directly responsible for administering (with government funding) those palaces used for Head of State purposes and as official residences for the Queen, members of the Royal Family, and their staffs. These include Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

An independent, government-funded agency has responsibility for the palaces that are no longer used for official purposes. These include the Tower of London, the State Apartments at Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace.

Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle are private royal residences: both are regularly open to the public.

Yours faithfully,



The Antique Collector

London, W1

23 May