Quiet 2014 blamed for fall in Royal Collection Trust revenue

The lack of a major royal event to drive sales has been blamed by the Royal Collection Trust for a substantial fall in its retail income.

The Trust, which looks after the Royal Collection of artwork amassed by Britain's monarchs, saw income from retail, catering, publishing and photographic services fall by 19% or £3.5 million to £15 million during 2014-15.

The annual report stated: "This decrease is largely due to the absence of a special royal event to help drive sales.

"Commemorative china constitutes an important part of the overall retail offer, especially for the wholesale market, and this in particular saw a reduction in sales volumes this year."

In recent years official china was produced to mark the birth of Prince George in 2013, and the marriage of his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011 was also commemorated by similar memorabilia.

A range of official china was produced to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and in May this year more china, celebrating the birth of Princess Charlotte, was unveiled - but there has been no major royal event in 2014.

The Trust's overall income fell by £6.1 million, or just over 11%, to £48.8 million, but it also received a £2 million donation towards the cost of the Diamond Jubilee state coach.

Income from admissions to royal residences like Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Clarence House also fell by just over a million pounds to £32.5 million, with visitor numbers dropping by 65,000 to 2.52 million.

The Royal Collection of artwork is held in trust by the Queen as Sovereign for her successors and the nation, but is not owned by her as a private individual.

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