The charity which looks after the royal palaces and artefacts is seeking voluntary redundancies as it forecasts a £30 million loss this year.
The Royal Collection Trust manages the palaces including Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace as well as the huge collection of artefacts which are held in trust by the Queen for her heirs and the nation.
Usually its main source of income comes from the summer openings of the Queen’s London home, as well as Windsor, the Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
However the palaces had to remain closed this summer “because of the operational challenges of social distancing”.
The RCT employs 650 people, and voluntary redundancy is open to all of them.
A spokeswoman said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has posed by far the greatest challenge to Royal Collection Trust in the charity’s history.
“The closure to the public of Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, and the Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh has had a very significant and serious impact on our finances, as we are entirely funded by visitor income from admissions and related retail sales.”
The spokeswoman said they were forecasting to make £13 million, revised down from initial figures of £77 million.
The RCT will suffer losses of £30 million this year.
The spokeswoman added: “While we have taken out a £22 million loan to enable us to continue to operate in the near future, we need to do so with a lower cost base to recover our financial position.
“Inevitably this must include a reduction in staff costs, which is our greatest single expense.
“As an initial step, we will implement a pay freeze, begin a process of consultation about the reduction of employer pension contributions and offer a Voluntary Severance Programme to employees.
“Once this Programme has closed, we will be able to take an informed view on the requirement for any additional restructuring.”
In May there were warnings from Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel, the most senior official of the royal household, in an email seen by The Sun, of pay freezes because of losses of revenue.
The palace openings first began after the fire at Windsor Castle in 1992, as the Queen faced a large bill for repair work.
It cost £8 for adults to visit in the summer of 1993. According to the BBC, all advance booking slots for palace visits booked up in a week – for the next three years.
The plan originally was just for the palace to open until 1997, but the RCT, which was set up to look after tourism at the London palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, continued the summer events.
The Queen and Prince Philip have been in Windsor Castle since the middle of March and may remain there for some time, though it was reported they could have their summer break in Balmoral.