Palace of Holyroodhouse reaps the rewards of Royal wedding as visits soar

THE Palace of Holyroodhouse benefited from a Royal wedding windfall last year with visitor numbers up by 14 per cent on 2010.

The Queen’s official Scottish residence welcomed 267,000 visitors – an increase of 33,000 – on the previous 12 months, according to the annual report of the Royal Collection Trust, which is published today.

A further 53,000 people visited The Queen’s Gallery, which adjoins the Edinburgh palace – up 23.5 per cent from 43,000 in 2010/11. The Trust is charged with the maintenance and care of the properties with all proceeds helping to finance the conservation of the Royal Collection.

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Edinburgh was a hive of Royal activity last year for the April wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. Dozens of people gathered at Festival Square to watch the ceremony on the big screen, while staff at the Palace of Holyroodhouse handed out balloons and wedding cake as the ceremony was broadcast to visitors.

The News has previously reported how visitor numbers to the Royal Yacht Britannia have rocketed since Will and Kate’s marriage. The Leith attraction saw a 28 per cent increase in visitor numbers in one month alone.

As well as highlighting a boom in popularity, the report by the Royal Collection Trust said: “Following the recent success of tours of Holyrood 
Abbey, guided tours of the palace garden were successfully added to the range of options open to visitors.

“As the first step towards the possible development of additional facilities for visitors, a comprehensive archaeological study was made of the range of buildings in Abbey Strand.

“[The] study has established that the two houses on Abbey Strand, located at the foot of Canongate and just outside the precincts of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, are among the oldest secular buildings to survive in Edinburgh.

“In addition to the physical record, the study drew on primary and secondary sources to document the history of the buildings. During 2012, a master plan process will explore ways of reincorporating the buildings in conjunction with The Queen’s Gallery and the café.”