Member Spotlight: Ann Wilson, Historic Royal Palaces

Susie HarwoodBlog

Over hundreds of years, the historic royal palaces have provided the backdrop to glittering banquets, ground-breaking conferences, fabulous celebrations and splendid royal occasions. With stunning spaces such as The Tower of London and Kensington Palace in the portfolio, it’s easy to understand why Head of Sales Ann Wilson, has worked at Historic Royal Palaces for 26 years. Prior to that, she worked in hotels in sales and marketing roles for the Westbury Hotel and Cavendish Hotel at Forte Hotels.

The elevator pitch…

I manage a small team of sales experts focusing on promoting six of the greatest palaces in the world to incentive groups as well as leisure tourists.  Our organisation’s cause is to ‘Stir every spirit and provoke change’. There can be no doubt that any guest visiting or attending an event at the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens cannot fail to be stirred by their stories and settings.   

What’s new?

Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year brings lots of new and exciting opportunities.  At the Tower of London, Superbloom will fill the moat from June to September offering incentive groups a glorious and sustainable element to their event.  At Kensington Palace our Pavilion overlooking the Sunken Gardens is the perfect place to party after a tour of the new Life through a Royal Lens exhibition in the palace – an exhibition exploring the Royal Family through photography.  New spaces are opening for daytime events at Hampton Court Palace and Banqueting House too.

Most memorable moment

Personally, my most memorable experience was being presented to The Queen at Hampton Court Palace during her Golden Jubilee in 2002. However, my most memorable incentive group experience was also at Hampton Court, a surprise for the guests after dinner as they took coffee on the East Front Terrace and the Band of the Coldstream Guards appeared out of the dark, from beneath the yew trees for Beating the Retreat. The guests were all in tears!   

Dream incentive

Whilst I don’t exactly take groups, my dream incentive was our Palace Safari event, incorporating unique experiences, tours, dinners and receptions across three days and all five London palaces. The dream bit would be to do it all again, but then fly everyone to Belfast for a gala in the only Royal residence in Northern Ireland – Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Sun or snow?

Most definitely Sun, but sunny snow is good so long as I don’t have to ski!

City break or country escape?

Having lived in a city all my life – you’d think I’d go for country – but I am most at home in a city exploring museums and art galleries.

The bucket list

I have been most fortunate and ticked off most destinations on my bucket list, so my ‘bucket list’ in life would be to remain healthy, happy and continue to be fortunate enough to be able to go anywhere that takes my fancy!