§ Mrs. Clwyd
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what additional measures he is considering to increase public access to the royal art collection.
§ Mr. Brooke
I am responsible for public access to the historic royal palaces, namely the Banqueting house Whitehall, Hampton Court palace, Kensington palace, Kew palace and the Tower of London, where items from the royal collection are on display. These palaces, which contain about a third of the paintings in the royal collection, receive more than 2 million visitors per year. Important schemes to improve and increase the display of the collection in those palaces, such as the opening of the state apartments at Hampton Court palace, have recently been completed and further schemes are in hand. In addition, Osborne house, for which I am responsible and which receives some 185,000 visitors per year, also contains items from the royal collection.
Public access to items from the royal collection displayed in the occupied royal palaces, namely, Windsor castle, Buckingham palace, St. James's palace and elsewhere, is a matter for the royal household.