07/27/2011

Will and Kate bring in the bucks

 

China with a heart
Official souvenir items from the royal wedding (like this plate for $64) boosted the royal bottom line.

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.

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