Queen facing ‘pressure’ to move from Windsor says Myers
The Queen has introduced today the Buckingham Palace Sloe Gin, sold by the Royal Collection. The spirit, which presents a coronet on its front label, is made with hand picked whole sloe berries steeped in the Buckingham Palace gin.
The Royal Collection Trust (RCT), which manages the royal palaces and the Queen’s art collection, will receive all profits from sales of this sloe gin.
The beverage costs £30 a bottle and is available for sales from today in the RCT shops and online.
Last July, the Trust launched a £40-a-bottle Buckingham Palace gin, made from ingredients coming from the garden at the Queen’s residence in London.
The sales of the new gin comes at a difficult time for the RCT, which has seen its revenues dipping due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Queen news: The RCT has launched a new sloe gin
Queen news: The two different Buckingham Palace gins on sale
Its annual report revealed in October the Trust has agreed on a £22 million loan from Coutts to plug the financial hole created both by the forced closures during the lockdowns and the lack of tourists.
At the time, the RCT was expected to lose £64m of income in 2020/21 alone as a result of the pandemic.
To face the crisis, the Trust also had to implement a pay and recruitment freeze and change its exhibitions programme.
A large part of the RCT revenue comes from visitors of the royal palaces.
Queen news: Buckingham Palace is now open to guided tours
Due to the national lockdowns and social distancing measures, these palaces – including Clarence House and Windsor Castle – had to keep their doors shut for the most part of 2020 and early 2021.
In late March, the Trust announced it was reopening its doors to visitors with a series of planned initiatives.
This month, royal fans will be granted access to the gardens of Buckingham Palace at a time the Queen’s London residence is usually not open to the public.
Queen news: The Queen launched last year the first Buckingham Palace gin
Queen news: The Queen’s official residence in London is Buckingham Palace
The guided tour of the gardens will allow visitors to “discover its highlights on a guided tour led by one of our expert wardens.”
Visitors curious to see the State Rooms, where the Queen meets foreign dignitaries and holds state banquets, will be able to take part in COVID-safe guided tours inside Buckingham Palace on weekends from May 21.
And from July, visitors will be allowed into Buckingham Palace Garden without a guided tour and will be able to enjoy “unprecedented freedom”.
The RCT website read: “Explore Buckingham Palace Garden with unprecedented freedom this summer, and discover for yourself for the very first time its sights before enjoying a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to picnic with views of the Palace.
Queen news: Royal residences in the UK
“You will be free to wander around the garden’s winding paths at your own pace and experience the beauty and calm of this walled oasis in central London.
“Among the many features to discover are the 156-metre Herbaceous Border, the Horse Chestnut Avenue, the Plane trees planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and the famous lake with its island that is home to the Buckingham Palace bees.”
Buckingham Palace has been the Queen’s main residence over the past seven decades.
There, she traditionally receives the Prime Minister for their weekly audience, holds meetings with diplomats and foreign leaders and carries out investitures.
Queen news: The RCT looks after exhibitions, the royal palaces and the Queen’s art collection
However, on March 19 2020, shortly after the first national lockdown, the Queen moved from London to her Berkshire home in Windsor and has yet to return to her working residence.
Among other exhibitions organised by the RCT, this month the Trust will reopen its Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace’s showing.
Launched at the end of the second national lockdown in December 2020, the exhibition featuring some of the paintings normally exposed in the Picture Gallery at the Queen’s London palace had to be shut down a few weeks later when Prime Minister Boris Johnson put under strict lockdown London due to a rise in COVID-19 infections.