Windsor Castle and Palace of Holyroodhouse to close to visitors

The Royal Mews and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh will also be shutting for the next few months from Saturday.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh are to all close their doors to visitors.

The Royal Collection Trust announced the tourist attractions would shut temporarily from Saturday.

Royal Collection shops will also close as a precaution because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Windsor Castle
A decorated dining table laid with silver gilt from the George the IV Grand service in the state dining room at Windsor Castle (John Stillwell/PA)

The Trust said in a statement: “The safety and wellbeing of our visitors and staff are our priority.”

Members of the public who have prebooked tickets will be refunded.

It added: “The last day of operation will be Friday 20 March. Ticket sales for visits from 21 March until 1 May 2020 will be halted, and anyone who has booked to visit between those dates will automatically be refunded.

“As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we are unable to confirm a date on which the palaces, galleries and shops will reopen, but will monitor Government and Public Health England advice.”

The Queen will be moving to Windsor Castle on Thursday as she socially distances herself on the advice of the Government and her Medical Household.

Her official residences, including Buckingham Palace, welcome more than three million visitors in each financial year.

Royal memorabilia
Official china celebrates the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Rick Findler/PA)

The admissions bring in a total income of more than £48 million every year for the Trust, which maintains and displays the collection of royal artefacts held in trust by the Queen for her heirs and the nation.

It is not yet known whether the summer opening of Buckingham Palace, which runs from July until September, will go ahead.

Retail sales for the Royal Collection shops and the online store, which sell official royal commemorative china and other items, raised £21.7 million in 2018/2019.

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