Will and Kate bring in the bucks
The Will & Kate Show is making a solid contribution to the royal bottom line.
Figures from the Royal Collection, a charitable trust that manages the tourist operation for the royal residences, saw an $11.2 million rise in revenues for the year ending in April, to $64.4 million.
That includes a 17.8 per cent rise in sales from the royal gift shops, where they sold official royal wedding memorabilia. The Will and Kate items accounted for $1.5 million in the shops, with a “significant contribution” made from Internet sales abroad, including Canada.
“By any measure, 2010-11 was one of the most successful years since the trust was founded (in 1993) and it was the most successful in purely financial terms,” said Jonathan Marsden, director of the Royal Collection.
There was a 4.1 per cent increase in tourist traffic to the royal palaces to 2.1 million. Higher admission costs to Buckingham Palace -- $27 – didn’t seem to deter visits. The total of 413,000 admissions last summer was the highest total since 1993.
That number is almost guaranteed to rise this year with more than half a million expected to view the royal wedding exhibit.
The busiest residence was Windsor Castle, which is open year-round and accounted for 1.047 million visitors, up 6 per cent.
The Royal Collection, which includes artwork and furniture in royal residences, is held in trust by the Queen and is not owned by her as a private individual.