About us

We bring six extraordinary palaces and their stories to life

We bring six extraordinary palaces and their stories to life

Who we are

Historic Royal Palaces is an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle. 

Our aim is to help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.

We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers.

More about who we are Find out how you can support us

Our aim is to help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.

Our Cause

The Georgian South Front of Hillsborough Castle surrounded by the gardens. A fountain runs in the foreground.

History of Historic Royal Palaces

Historic Royal Palaces was established by the government in 1989 in order to care for five royal palaces. We later became an independent charity and in 2014 took over the management of Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland.

More about our history

Trustees and Directors

Trustees and Directors

Historic Royal Palaces is governed by a Board of Trustees. Our Trustees promote Historic Royal Palaces’ Cause in the world. They act in the organisation's best interests, ensuring high standards in all the work we do, and that we use our money and resources as effectively as possible.

The Chief Executive, John Barnes, is accountable to the Board of Trustees for the performance of Historic Royal Palaces and ultimately to Parliament for the public assets in our care. He chairs an Executive Board of eight Directors.

Find out about our Trustees and Directors

Annual Reports and Accounts

As an independent charity we publish all our annual reports, accounts and Trustees meetings.

View our reports
Muslin sack-back court dress, detail. Showing a view of the upper front of the dress. White Indian cotton muslin embroidered with trailing sprays of flowers and leaves in silver wire and silver strip, trimmed with silver lace and gimp. Photographed on a black background.

The sack-back was a fashionable 18th-century gown with the fabric at the back arranged in box pleats at the shoulders, falling loose to the ground with a slight train. The dress would have been worn with a wide square hoop under the petticoat.

Collections and Conservation

Our palaces host internationally important collections of fine and decorative art, the majority forming part of the Royal Collection. We manage, conserve, display and research our own collections of royal ceremonial dress, architectural drawings, art, archaeology, furniture, furnishings, architectural decoration and social history. We also work in partnership with the Royal Armouries to display their collections of arms and armour at the Tower of London.

Collections and Conservation

Our Policies

  • Covid-19 risk assessments
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Complaints policy
  • Due diligence and immunity from seizure
  • Conservation and Collection Care Policy
  • Freedom of Information
  • Modern Slavery statement
Learn about our Policies

HRP Pension Scheme

Statement of Investment Principles.

HRP Pension Scheme SIP

Working at Historic Royal Palaces

Find out more about working at Historic Royal Palaces.

Working at Historic Royal Palaces

Tower of London World Heritage Site

HM Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London (the Tower) is one of England’s most evocative ancient monuments. There is a tangible sense of history in every tower and around every corner, making it an endlessly fascinating place for visitors from all round the world.

Learn more and view our heritage management plan

Research at Historic Royal Palaces

The Historic Royal Palaces Research Institute was launched in 2019 to provide a community network for staff undertaking research across the organisation and provide a platform for our academic projects, programmes and partnerships. 

Read more