our courses

Royal Collection Studies



Royal Collection Studies 2023


3 – 12 September 2023


The Royal Collection is one of the world’s leading collections of fine and decorative art, with over one million works from six continents, many of them masterpieces. Working in partnership with The Royal Collection Trust, this ten-day residential course offers participants the opportunity to study the magnificent holdings of paintings, furniture, metalwork, porcelain, jewellery, sculpture, arms and armour, books and works on paper and to examine the architecture and interiors of the palaces which house them.

Based near Windsor, the course also examines the history of the collection and the key roles played by monarchs and their consorts over the centuries. Combining a mixture of lectures and tutorials, visits to both the occupied and unoccupied palaces in and around London and close-up object study, Royal Collection Studies aims to give experienced professionals in the heritage sector a deeper understanding of this remarkable collection.

The course is intended to be interactive, with participants asked to contribute and participate in group discussions. As with all Attingham courses, the group is encouraged to engage with current curatorial debates, questions of display and interpretation and, in this instance, the issues surrounding a working collection. During the course, members find that they build an invaluable network for the ongoing exchange of ideas and expertise.

Royal Collection Studies is organised on broadly chronological principles, developing an understanding of the changing function and character of the British Royal Collection. The course is held when the Royal Family is not in residence and Windsor Castle is the central focus. The course begins at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and includes visits to past and present royal residences such as the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, The Queen’s House in Greenwich, Kew Palace, Brighton Pavilion and Buckingham Palace. Study of the later 19th century is concentrated at Windsor and illustrates the involvement of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in artistic and practical affairs, as well as the important 20th-century input of Queen Mary.

Established in 1996, Royal Collection Studies is organised by The Attingham Trust on behalf of The Royal Collection Trust. The course is directed by Dr Helen Jacobsen, and lecturers and tutors include the Director and senior curators of The Royal Collection Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, and other key specialists.  Past participants have come from all over the world and include museum and historic palace directors and curators, heritage site managers, decorative arts specialists, conservators, academics and architects. Some scholarship assistance is available.


Course Director, Royal Collection Studies

Dr Helen Jacobsen

Course Co-ordinator, Royal Collection Studies

Sara Heaton

Enrolment and fees

The cost of the course is £4,300. This includes accommodation, breakfast, dinner and most lunches. Tuition, admissions, guide-books and travel by private coach during the course are also included. Participants stay at Cumberland Lodge, a former Royal residence situated in Windsor Great Park and now a comfortable and well-equipped conference centre. All bedrooms are for single occupancy and have en-suite facilities.


The deadline for applications is 12 February 2023.  All candidates will be notified by the end of March 2023 if they have been awarded a place.  Payment of fees in full will be due by 30 April 2023, 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 other countries other than the USA and Australia

Applicants who are unable to meet the fees are first encouraged to approach their institutions for full or partial financial assistance before applying for the course. Some scholarship funding through The Attingham Trust is available thanks to the generous support of various individuals and charitable foundations. 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.

Any queries can be directed to Sara Heaton:

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: www.americanfriendsofattingham.org/courses/royal-collections

Scholarships for applicants from Australia

For applicants from Australia seeking scholarships, please refer to: www.coplandfoundation.com.au by 28 November 2022


Please note that The Attingham Trust is a registered educational charity. Our courses are provided occasionally, on a not-for-profit basis and to a limited group of participants. This trip does not, therefore, constitute a ‘package holiday’ for the purpose of the Package Travel Regulations
The Council of The Attingham Trust reserves the right to adjust fees if there is a substantial change in the exchange rate, as these were assessed on the basis of assumptions made in November 2022. Should this prove to be necessary, members will be informed by 1 April 2023.

Contact Us

Get in touch
Send A MessageSupport Us