Royal Collection Studies 2018

2nd – 11th September 2018

For information on the 2019 Royal Collection Studies, please check this page in early October.
(Sunday 1 – Tuesday 10 September 2019)

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 an unoccupied palaces in and around London.

The programme is organised on broadly chronological principles, developing an understanding of the changing function and character of the British Royal Collection through a study of the monarchs responsible for its creation. Comparisons are made with other European court cultures and group discussion and exchange is an important part of the programme. The course covers architecture, British and European decorative arts, paintings, sculpture and works on paper, focusing on key objects collected by the relevant monarchs.

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.

As the course 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 course begins at ST. GEORGE’S CHAPEL, Windsor and considers its association with the Order of the Garter. After visits to WESTMINSTER ABBEY and the TOWER OF LONDON, the Tudor and Stuart apartments at HAMPTON COURT are studied in depth. The BANQUETING HOUSE and QUEEN’S HOUSE, GREENWICH continue the Stuart story.

KENSINGTON PALACE gives an insight into the patronage of William and Mary and their immediate successors. The exuberant patronage of George IV informs visits 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 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The course is directed by Rebecca Lyons and lecturers and tutors include the staff of Royal Collection Trust and Historic Royal Palaces, and other specialists.

John Lewis OBE

Rebecca Lyons

Sara Heaton

Rufus Bird
Sebastian Edwards
Charlotte Manley LVO, OBE
Jonathan Marsden CVO
Jemima Rellie
Desmond Shawe-Taylor LVO
Annabel Westman FSA

Enrolment and fees

The cost of the course is £2,770. It includes shared accommodation, meals, tuition, admissions, guide-books and travel by private coach. All participants will stay at Cumberland Lodge, a former Royal residence situated in Windsor Great park and now a comfortable and well equipped conference centre. All bedrooms have en-suite facilities. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of £475. Single rooms are only available for those not receiving scholarship assistance unless there is a specific medical reason.


The deadline for applications is 12th February 2018. All candidates will be notified by end of March 2018 if they have been awarded a place. Payment of fees in full will be due by 31st May 2018, and may be made by bank transfer or with a sterling cheque. Participants are strongly advised to insure against cancellation as no refunds will be made following payment, unless the place can be filled by another suitable candidate. In such a case, an administrative fee of £100 will be made.

Scholarships for applicants from the USA

US Applicants seeking scholarship support should apply directly to the American Friends of Attingham using their specific scholarship form, available online at:

Scholarships for applicants from Australia

For applicants from Australia seeking scholarships, please refer to: before 30th November 2015

Scholarships for applicants from other countries

Some scholarship funding is available thanks to the generous support of various individuals and charitable foundations. Since this amount is limited, applicants who are unable to meet the fees are encouraged to approach their institutions for full or partial financial assistance before applying for the course. Any candidate wishing to apply for a scholarship must complete the scholarship application at the bottom of this form and provide details of his/her current salary.

All candidates awarded a full scholarship either wholly from The Attingham Trust, or in combination with their institution or a separate funding body, are required to make a personal contribution of £150 to support the work of the Attingham Educational Charitable Trust.