Royal Collection Studies

6th – 15th September 2015

Established in 1996, ROYAL COLLECTION STUDIES is an annual course organised on behalf of Royal Collection Trust by The Attingham Trust, which has run successful summer schools since 1952.

Based near Windsor it studies the patronage and collecting of the Kings and Queens of England from the 15th century onwards. The teaching includes lectures and tutorials, as well as visits to both the occupied and unoccupied palaces in and around London.

Since the school is held when the Royal Family is not in residence, WINDSOR CASTLE forms the central theme. Regular visits are also made to study the architecture and contents of other palaces, generally outside normal opening hours.

The teaching is organised on broadly chronological principles, developing an understanding of the changing function and character of the Royal Collection through a study of the monarchs responsible for its creation. Comparisons are made with other European court cultures. The school looks at architecture, British and European decorative arts, paintings and works on paper, concentrating on the individual strengths of each period.

The course is intended primarily for those professionally engaged in relevant work. Members of past programmes have been drawn from all over the world. Some scholarship assistance is available.

The School begins at ST. GEORGE’S CHAPEL and studies its association with the Order of the Garter. At HAMPTON COURT, the Tudor and Stuart apartments are studied in depth.

KENSINGTON PALACE gives an insight into the patronage of William and Mary and their immediate successors. The exuberant patronage of George IV takes the school to the State Apartments of WINDSOR and to BUCKINGHAM PALACE, where many early 19th-century interiors and their furnishings survive. Study of the later 19th century is concentrated at Windsor and illustrates the involvement in artistic and practical affairs of Victoria and Prince Albert.

Lecturers and tutors include the staff of Royal Collection Trust and Historic Royal Palaces, and other specialists.

The Course Director is Giles Waterfield.

Enrolment and Fees

ROYAL COLLECTION STUDIES is an intensive residential course based at Cumberland Lodge in the centre of Windsor Great Park. This former Royal residence is now a well equipped and comfortable conference centre.

The School runs from 6th – 15th September. It is open to all. In selecting for the 30 places available, priority is given to those with some specialised knowledge of British architecture, history, or the fine and decorative arts. The programme is very comprehensive and physically strenuous.

The price of the course is £2,500. The fee includes accommodation, meals, tuition, admissions, guide-books, and travel by private coach.

SCHOLARSHIP assistance is available whenever possible and in exceptional cases full scholarships are given. Applicants will be asked to supply a short statement of financial need.

REVIEW: A report written by an attendee on the 2013 course is attached below.

All applicants must use the same application form and send it to Sara Heaton, Administrator, 18 First Street, London, SW3 2LD. Email:
The form is available at the bottom of this page.

US applicants applying for scholarship assistance must also fill out a separate form available from The American Friends of Attingham in addition to the course application at the bottom of this page. Any specific US scholarship enquiries can be directed to Cheryl Hageman, Administrative Director, American Friends of Attingham, 475 Park Avenue South, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016, USA. Email:

Non-US applicants wishing to apply for scholarship assistance must fill out the section in the form at the bottom of this page. Any enquiries can be directed to: Sara Heaton, Administrator, 18 First Street, London, SW3 2LD. Email:

All candidates will be asked to submit a statement giving reasons why they wish to attend, and two letters of reference. The acceptance of completed applications closes on 15 February, 2015, and all candidates will be notified by 31 March, 2015. Full payment of fees will be due by 31 May, 2015.

Participants are strongly advised to insure against cancellation as no refunds can be made once a place has been confirmed.

John Lewis, OBE

Giles Waterfield, FSA

Sara Heaton

Rufus Bird
Charlotte Manley, LVO, OBE
Jonathan Marsden, CVO
Jemima Rellie
Desmond Shawe-Taylor, LVO
Annabel Westman, FSA
Dr Lucy Worsley, FRHS