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Historical Royal Palaces

Historic Royal Palaces is the charity that runs the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace.


It receives no government money, so it depends on attracting visitors, and appealing to donors. Both are tough challenges, and success means giving the whole idea of palaces – which can seem remote and intimidating places – a new relevance.


Wolff Olins worked with Historic Royal Palaces to redefine its purpose, its ‘cause’: going beyond protecting the stones (its tangible asset) into telling the story embodied in those stones (its even bigger intangible asset). Since the story included many of the defining moments in the history of Britain, the Historic Royal Palaces story has touched everyone’s lives. We worked with teams of people from Historic Royal
Palaces, in an intensive eight-week ‘lab’, to make the cause transform the organisation. And we created a new communication style through which the organisation can compellingly tell its stories.


Historic Royal Palaces now has an incredibly strong sense of purpose, unifying the people at its different sites, and making for a much livelier visitor experience – which includes ‘history where it happened’ and ‘ask the curator’. A new sense of confidence since the launch of the new brand helped the organisation increase its revenue from visitors by an average of 11.6% per year, recording a total increase in revenue from visitors of £7.2 million at the end of 2008. Historical Royal Palaces welcomed 3 million visitors in 2008, achieving their highest number of visitors since 2001.