It has recently come to our attention that the Royal Collection Trust (RCT) let 130 people go due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The news was reported last December by The Times and the Art Newspaper. The restructure also affects the positions of Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures and Chief Surveyor, held by Desmond Shawe-Taylor, and Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art, held by Rufus Bird.
“The posts of Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures and Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art will for the time being, be lost and held in abeyance. The Director of the Royal Collection, Tim Knox, will assume overall responsibility for the curatorial sections, supported by the Deputy Surveyors of Pictures and Works of Art” said an RCT spokesperson.
The post of Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures dates to the reign of Charles I and was held by Shawe-Taylor since 2005. Anthony Blunt and Sir Kenneth Clark previously held the position.