17 July 2017
9 April 2021. Following the death of His Royal Highness, there will be changes to opening hours for the gardens at Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle. For further information, please read our FAQs page
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has appointed Sue Wilkinson MBE as a Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity responsible for the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, Banqueting House and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. Her appointment will take effect from 1 August 2017 and will be for an initial three year term.
Sue has held a number of prominent roles within the arts and education. She is currently Chief Executive of the Reading Agency. Prior to this she was Director of UK Academic and Government Alliances at Elsevier. Sue read history at Clare College Cambridge, trained as a teacher and did a post-graduate course in museum education at the University of Leicester. As Director of Policy at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) she created the ground-breaking quality and impact framework, Inspiring Learning for All, which is now used in museums, archives and libraries all over the world. While at MLA she worked with public libraries and their partners to deliver a wide range of programmes, and with local museums to establish, and secure funding for the Renaissance in the Regions programme. She was awarded an MBE for services to museum education in 2014. Sue is also a trustee of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Sue joins the Board of Trustees at a busy time for Historic Royal Palaces. At Kensington Palace, the charity has staged a major new exhibition, ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’, which opened in February and continues to attract record numbers of visitors. A ‘White Garden’ tribute to the Princess in the palace grounds will be in full bloom throughout the summer. Hampton Court Palace continues to welcome thousands of families to the popular Magic Garden – a spectacular Tudor themed play garden inspired by the palace’s history and stories, which opened in 2016. Meanwhile, work has begun on the restoration of Kew Pagoda, which the charity plans to permanently re-open in 2018, returning 80 spectacular ornamental dragons to the iconic Georgian landmark. In Northern Ireland, a major project to transform Hillsborough Castle, opening it up to the widest possible audience, is well underway.
Historic Royal Palaces
Established by Royal Charter in 1998, Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace the Banqueting House, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and Historic Royal Palaces manages them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Historic Royal Palaces raises all its own funds and depends on the support of visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers.
Historic Royal Palaces’ Cause is to help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.
The charity has a turnover of around £90m, welcomes over 4 million visitors to its sites every year, employs over 1,000 people, is supported by 260 regular volunteers and has almost 100,000 Members.
Trustees of Historic Royal Palaces give their services on an honorary basis. Expenses incurred by them, in the performance of their duties, are reimbursed.Visit gov.uk news