Windsor Castle is among the Royal residences set to reopen to the public in the coming weeks following its forced closure because of the Coronavirus pandemic. From Thursday 23rd July, the Berkshire castle as well as the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will open to the public and to tourists in a bid to help boost the Royal Collection Trust’s financial difficulties.
Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have been in residence at Windsor Castle since 19th March, shortly before the United Kingdom went in to lockdown. It is expected that they will still be in residence at Windsor when it opens to the public. A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace commented, “It is not unusual for The Queen to be in residence when tourists are visiting. It happens frequently.”
It has been reported that in early August, The Queen and Prince Philip will travel to Balmoral Castle for the remainder of the Summer and will remain there well into the Autumn. Current guidelines in Scotland state, “You can travel to your second home and stay there alone or with other members of your household. Activities relating to second homes in Scotland are bound by Scots law and guidance, irrespective of where you are travelling from.”
As well as Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Collection Trust has also said that the public will be able to visit the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace as well as The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh. All RCT shops will also open to the public.
The attractions will open for five days a week for the foreseeable future, remaining closed on a Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Royal Collection Trust is seeking voluntary redundancies among its staff of 650. The Trust predicts losses of over £30 million over the next year due to the closure of its sites throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Buckingham Palace will remain closed to visitors this Summer.
It is unknown at present whether Her Majesty The Queen will return to London at all this year.
For the RCT sites that are opening to the public, timed tickets will have to be ordered online in advance. For more information visit www.rct.uk/tickets