our courses

Royal Collection Studies



Royal Collection Studies 2022


This course has now been completed


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, the course provides an overview of the patronage and collecting of the Kings and Queens of England/United Kingdom, from the 15th century onwards.  Teaching includes lectures and tutorials, as well as visits to both the occupied and unoccupied palaces in and around London.

The course 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 and the objects collected.  Group discussion and exchange is an important part of the course, and content includes architecture and interiors, decorative arts, paintings, sculpture, and works on paper.

The course is held when the Royal Family is not in residence and WINDSOR CASTLE is the central focus. Several visits are made before or after opening hours.  Regular visits are also made to other palaces and there are several object-focused study sessions.

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 figure of George IV informs visits to the State Apartments of WINDSOR and to 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.

The course is directed by Helen Jacobsen, and lecturers and tutors include the director and curators of Royal Collection Trust, curators at Historic Royal Palaces, and other key specialists.  Alumni have been drawn from all over the world across a variety of disciplines.  The course is intended primarily for those professionally engaged in relevant work and some scholarship assistance is available.


Course Director, Royal Collection Studies

Dr Helen Jacobsen

Course Administrator, Royal Collection Studies

Sara Heaton

Enrolment and fees

The cost of the course is £3050.  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 will be available for a supplement of £610. Single rooms are only available for those not receiving scholarship assistance unless there is a specific medical reason.

All successful applicants from the 2021 courses have been offered deferred places for 2022. While this means there will be fewer places available for courses in 2022 we still encourage you to apply. Please contact the Course Administrator, Sara Heaton, on if you are interested.


The deadline for applications is 24 January 2022.  All candidates will be notified by end of March 2022 if they have been awarded a place.  Payment of fees in full will be due by 30 April 2022, 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.

Please note when making your application that this is an intensive and physically strenuous course. There is plenty of walking, standing and climbing stairs and your fitness must be of a level that will not impact on the enjoyment of the group or take up disproportionate amounts of the organisers’ attention. You should have a good level of spoken English.  Whilst we are happy to cater for vegetarian and gluten-free needs, other specialist diets cannot always be accommodated.

All candidates awarded a full scholarship either wholly from The Attingham Trust, or financial support 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.

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 before 15 November 2021.

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.

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

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