20 Liverymen and guests were fortunate to have a fascinating tour of the Royal Collection conservation workshops on the Frogmore Estate at Windsor. Our visit coincided with the birth of the the son to the Duchess of Sussex and we were welcomed to a heavy security presence.
The workshops are new and we were apparently the first group of visitors. The small professional staff, hitherto accommodated in various buildings around the Crown Estate, were keen to demonstrate their skills and show off the superb environment in which they worked
The workshop has a continuous programme of conservation from Buckingham Palace, Holyrood, Windsor Castle and St James Palace. Major work in progress during our visit was French Polishing of the mighty multi-leaf banqueting table from the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor, reupholstery of the Throne from the Westminster Palace Robing Room, new curtains for the Equerry’s Entrance at Buckingham Palace and restoration of a set of some three dozen George IV chairs. Hearing that one chair could be a five-month project, all the curtains are hand-sewn and the whole team was commandeered to lend a hand in polishing the table in the short window of opportunity between events, we were left amazed at the scale of the operation for the small numbers employed.
After tea two of the conservators gave a presentation on the Collection care and the interiors conservation in the Royal Household.
This was a most enjoyable visit and the Master wound up with heartfelt thanks to the team for giving us this insight into their work
(Unfortunately no photography was allowed so we only have our memories to share at this time)