Historic Royal Palaces Trustee

Body: Historic Royal Palaces
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Culture, Media & Sport, Education
Location: Board meetings are held in one of the Palaces, and this will include Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland.
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The post is not remunerated but reasonable and properly documented expenses will be repaid.
Time Requirements: The time commitment is typically the equivalent of about one full day per month although more might be required from time to time.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Culture Secretary appoints Sue Wilkinson MBE as a Trustee of HRP for three years from 1 August 2017.

Date: 17/07/2017

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    17/07/2017 at 12:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport wishes to appoint a Trustee with knowledge of education, outreach and public engagement to the Board of Historic Royal Palaces.   The successful candidate will contribute to the governance of the charity and the delivery of its objectives.

Historic Royal Palaces

Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) is the independent charity charged with the management of six royal palaces and their associated contents and landscapes. It helps everyone explore the story of how monarch and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built.

As custodian of some of Britain’s most iconic historic buildings, HRP is responsible for the care, preservation and presentation to the public of the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House at Whitehall, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. It welcomes over 4 million people every year.

The five London palaces are owned by Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Crown and are held for the benefit of the nation by Government through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Hillsborough Castle is owned by Government and is The Queen’s Royal Residence in Northern Ireland.

HRP was established by Royal Charter in 1998. Under the Royal Charter, HRP has two primary aims:

  • to manage, conserve, renovate, repair, maintain and improve the palaces to a high standard consistent with their status as buildings of royal association and historic and/or architectural importance; and
  • to help everyone learn about the palaces, the skills required for their conservation and the wider story of how monarchs and people together have shaped society by providing public access, by exhibition, by events and education programmes, by the preparation of records, by research and by publication, and by such other means as are appropriate.


Since 1998, HRP has been responsible for the five London palaces under contract with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Responsibility for Hillsborough Castle is under contract from the Northern Ireland Office.

HRP is a public corporation and receives no public revenue funding: all costs are met by self-generated income. Current annual turnover is around £90 million, the majority being from visitor admissions.

HRP has over 900 employees and in excess of 300 volunteers.  HRP has an extensive record of development and achievement in recent years and ambitious plans for the future at all its sites. Comprehensive strategies are also in place for Learning and Engagement and Digital.

Further information about HRP is available on our website; www.hrp.org.uk.

Person Specification

The Role

The Board of Trustees consists of a Chairman and eleven Trustees who are appointed by either HM The Queen or the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Once appointed, all Trustees must act in the best interests of the charity.

The Board of Trustees is ultimately accountable for the organisation and for ensuring that the Charter aims are met.  It delegates authority within agreed limits to the Executive Board and provides oversight, monitoring, support and advocacy.  Trustees retain the authority to contribute to and approve strategic and annual operating plans, and other major projects and strategies.  The Executive Board, comprising the Chief Executive and seven Directors, is responsible for preparing strategic and annual operating plans and for the day-to-day operation of the organisation.

Historic Royal Palaces has a fundamental charitable commitment to help everyone learn about the palaces in their care and the stories that they hold.  It shares its work with the public on-site, off-site and on-line, and in many ways – for example through formal and informal education programmes, outreach activity, and as an Independent Research Organisation.  We work in partnership with schools, arts and theatre groups, community organisations and many more.  We are award-winning and regarded as internationally-leading in this field in the heritage sector, and we want to build further on this record of achievement.

The Person

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • An understanding of the importance of education, outreach and public engagement to the delivery of Historic Royal Palaces’ cause.
  • Achievement, at senior leadership or strategic level, in learning and public engagement.
  • Ability to make a significant contribution to the overall strategic direction and governance of HRP, and to think strategically so as to be able appreciate the complex organisational balance between charitable aims and financial and commercial pressures.
  • Commitment to Historic Royal Palaces, its cause and fields of interest, and heritage generally and have awareness of current and future trends and ideas in learning and engagement as they affect HRP.
  • Ability to engage constructively with Trustees, the Executive Board, staff and stakeholders on the range of issues necessary to achieve our aims and be able to connect with people effectively at all levels.
  • A firm commitment to promoting diversity in all its aspects,
  • An understanding of the principles of non-profit governance and a willingness to support fundraising appropriately.

Additional Information

Time commitment and location of meetings

The time commitment is typically the equivalent of about one full day per month although more might be required from time to time.  This includes seven half-day Board Meetings, an annual strategic review session, other sub-committee meetings as necessary, plus time to study papers, and to attend events.  Board meetings are held in one of the Palaces, and this will include Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland.


Trustees give their services on an honorary basis and receive no remuneration, except for expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of such services.

Term of Appointment

The initial term of appointment is three years.

Start date

The appointment is expected to start in May 2017.

How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • a CV of no more than three sides of A4;
  • a supporting statement of not more than three sides of A4, setting out how you meet the criteria – make sure you refer to the contents of this document;
  • completed OCPA 2017 Monitoring Form and Conflicts of Interests Form.

Completed applications should be sent to: publicappointments@culture.gov.uk  Please put HRP Trustee in the subject title.  Alternatively, they can be posted to Stephanie Legg, Public Appointments Adviser, 4th Floor, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ.

For queries in relation to HRP or further information on the role, please contact Rachael Gilleard, Head of Governance at HRP, on 0203 166 6610 or Rachael.Gilleard@hrp.org.uk

If you have any questions regarding the Public Appointments process please contact Stephanie Legg, in the DCMS in the Public Appointments team on 020 7211 2314 or Stephanie.legg@culture.gov.uk

Ministerial Message to Candidates
HRP-Role-Spec-Education-Outreach-Public-Engagement (2)
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