Half-term activities at Royal Collection Trust properties

Royal Collection Trust
Royal Collection Trust

Royal Collection Trust has announced its family activities programme through February half-term.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Throughout the half term week, families visiting The King’s official residence in Scotland will be able to try their hand at writing a letter with a quill. After children have completed their letter or drawing, a member of the Learning team will show them how to fold their letter up and seal it.

On a Secret Letters and Codes activity day during half term, families can discover what writing was like in the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. Children will be able to have a go at decoding a section of one of Mary, Queen of Scots’ secret letters and make a cypher wheel to create their own code. Two professional storytellers will also explore more of the early life of Mary, Queen of Scots during storytelling sessions.

Exclusive family tours are also available in February, which are specially designed for children and led by members of the Learning team. These tours will take place before the Palace is open to the public and give visitors a memorable ‘behind-the-ropes’ experience. The tours will be interactive for families, including stories about people who have stayed at the Palace and the objects on display.

Exclusive Family Tours will run on 16 February and 17 February at 09:00–10:00. The Letters and Quills craft activity will run in the Family Room on 12 February and 15 –  16 February. The Secret Letters and Codes activity day will run on 17 February from 10:00–15:00 with drop-in storytelling sessions taking place in the Great Gallery at 11:00 and 12:00 and lasting 20 minutes.

Windsor Castle

Families visiting Windsor Castle this half term can explore how The King and other members of the Royal Family support many different charities and organisations through Royal Patronages. This year marks the 200th anniversary of one of those organisations, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which is a charity that saves lives at sea.

Every day during half term, children can enjoy some creative crafting at the Castle’s Pug Yard Learning Centre. Inspired by the work of the RNLI, children can create a memento to take home, such as a rocking lifeboat or a winter sea collage. While touring the State Apartments, children can also follow a family trail to learn more about Royal Patronages and charities supported by the Royal Family and hunt for the charity ‘mascots’ hidden throughout the State Apartments.

Families visiting the Castle during half term will also be able to view the special display in the Waterloo Chamber celebrating the centenary of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. This will allow visitors to get up close to some of the tiny treasures usually contained within the Dolls’ House and appreciate the attention to detail that the craftspeople involved lavished on every miniature item. The items range from a tiny grand piano, to a miniature vacuum cleaner and sewing machine.

Activities will take place daily (10 – 18 February, 10:00–15:00)

The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

This half term at The Queen’s Gallery, families can explore the art of portraiture through a special Fascinating Faces craft activity. Children will be able to create their own portrait, taking inspiration from Hans Holbein’s portrait drawings of famous Tudor figures such as Sir Thomas More, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour on display in the exhibition Holbein at the Tudor Court. These drop-in sessions will be led by an expert in portraiture who will guide children through making portraits, helping them experiment with different materials and techniques. As well as this, families visiting the exhibition can admire the towering suit of armour worn by Henry VIII alongside grand paintings of him and his family.

Fascinating Faces craft activities will run daily (16 – 18 February, 11:00–15:00).

Click here to find out more about the Royal Collection Trust.