Mobile menu
The Royal Collection

About the Collection

Learn more about art works that make up the Royal Collection

Nymph reclining with a nymph playing a lyre
Canova's 'Fountain nymph' ©

The Royal Collection is one of the largest and most important art collections in the world, and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact. Comprising almost all aspects of the fine and decorative arts and running to more than a million objects, the Collection is a unique and valuable record of the personal tastes of kings and queens over the past 500 years.

Following the execution of Charles I in 1649, the greater part of the King’s magnificent possessions was sold by order of Oliver Cromwell, and the Royal Collection has largely been formed since the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.

The most important additions to the Royal Collection were made by Frederick, Prince of Wales; George IIIGeorge IV; Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; and Queen Mary, consort of King George V.

The Royal Collection is held in trust by The King as Sovereign for his successors and the nation. It is not owned by him as a private individual.

The Collection Online

Over 280,000 records about objects in the Collection can now be found online.

These records form a working database that we are improving and expanding on a regular basis.

Some records currently have minimal information, while others present a more comprehensive view. Some records are illustrated with professional photography, while others are accompanied by more basic images or no images at all.

Royal Collection Trust has an ongoing programme of activities to research, display, loan and publish detailed records of objects in the Royal Collection, in order for a wide range of audiences to learn about the Collection and its history.

Publicly available object records and images are continually under review in order to improve the information presented on an object and/or subject.

If you notice an error, please e-mail us at [email protected]

Where can I see the Royal Collection?

The Collection is housed in 15 royal residences and former residences across the UK. These include Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Osborne House and the Royal Pavilion, Brighton where works of art can be seen by the public in the historic settings for which they were originally commissioned or acquired.

Long-term loans and a programme of touring exhibitions takes the Royal Collection to museums and Galleries across the UK and abroad. See our current loans to exhibitions and use the Collection Near You to find out about locations associated with the Royal Collection.

Decorative Arts

The contents of the Palaces contain many Decorative Arts

Drawings, Watercolours, and Prints

The Print Room contains an outstanding collection of Old Master Drawings

Paintings and Miniatures

The Royal Collection is one of the most important holdings of Western pictorial art in the world


There are at least 450,000 photographs in the Royal Collection

The Royal Library and Royal Archives

A guide to the collections in the Royal Library and Royal Archives