The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry is the Patrons’ primary charitable vehicle, and hopes to become a leading philanthropic investor, effectively using its time and resources to create lasting change in targeted areas and geographies, based on need and on the interests of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Originally founded as ‘The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry’ the organisation received charitable status on 8 October 2009. On 29 September 2011, the Duchess of Cambridge became a formal Patron alongside the princes and the name was changed to ‘The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’ in July 2012.
The Foundation has an experienced group of Trustees which includes baroness Shackelton of Belgravia, Sir David Manning, Guy Monson, Tessa Green, Edward Harley and former Private Secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. The trustees are chaired by The Queen’s former Private Secretary, the Right Honourable Lord Janvrin.
In a speech in 2012, the Duke of Cambridge said, ‘We are incredibly excited about our new Foundation. We believe that it will provide a unique opportunity for us to use our privileged position to make a real difference in the future to many areas of charitable work. We feel passionately that, working closely together with those who contribute to our Foundation, we can help to make a long-lasting and tangible difference.’
The foundation represents a culmination of the young royals’ charitable work thus far and will be the primary force behind any future charitable activities they embark on. This includes using the profile and leverage of the organisation to ‘create a multiplier effect in resources, outcomes and knowledge’ and investment and partnerships with organisations that have a demonstrated track record of proven impact.
Early priorities of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have focussed on the areas which are of greatest interest and investment to the royal trio and which fit within the four arms of the organisation – Armed Forces, Young People, Conservation and Mental Health.
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The foundation’s focus here will be the welfare of those who serve their country in the Armed Forces, with the particular focus on service men and women who return broken in body or mind. Initiatives so far have included:
Endeavour Fund: Founded in 2012 the Endeavour Fund supports ‘the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women, to help rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through sport and physical challenges’. The Fund offers financial support and funding for sport and adventure challenges as well as advice, mentoring and support for emerging initiatives.
Invictus Games: The inaugural Invictus Games were held in London in 2015. The Games use ‘the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.’ This legacy will be further developed through The Invictus Games Foundation, which manages the process and delivery of future games.
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The foundation aims to support young people the same age as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and younger who are in need of support at a crucial moment in their lives or are disadvantaged in some way. Initiatives so far have included:
Coach Core: ‘Inspiring young people to build a career in sports coaching, giving them the qualifications, skills and expertise to be successful and more employable, whilst also becoming role models for their students and the wider community.’
Full Effect, Prevention of Youth Violence in Nottingham: ‘Identifying and supporting young people at risk of and affected by youth violence in St Ann’s, Nottingham through a combination of early intervention, mentorship, and training.’
Palliative Care – Family Support: ‘Supporting the families of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.’
M-PACT Plus – Prevention of Addiction: ‘To provide early support for children, parents and families affected by parental drug and alcohol misuse.’
Outdoor Residential Trips: ‘The Royal Foundation has supported Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) to build the case for outdoor challenges and experiences as an integral part of both primary and secondary school education.’
Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge: ‘In 2011 The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry made its first grant in support of the Challenge to enable Fields in Trust to create an online toolkit for local communities to nominate sites to protect in their local areas. The grant also covers the costs of protecting the first five sites and then the 500th, 1000th, 1500th and 2012th fields to inspire others to support.’
Secondary School Education in Uganda: ‘The Royal Foundation has supported ARK to improve secondary education in impoverished communities in Uganda, where less than 25% of children are able to attend secondary school.’
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Conservation is a cause that has long been close to both young princes’ hearts and so it is no surprise that this is a key focus for their Royal Foundation. Initiatives so far have included:
United for Wildlife: Led by the Duke of Cambridge, United for Wildlife is a collaboration between The Royal Foundation and seven of the largest field-based international conservation organisations: Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, IUCN, The Nature Conservancy, WCS, WWF, ZSL.
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Though not outlined in the foundation’s initial charter, Mental Health has become a primary focus for the young royals who have announced key partnerships in this area via their Heads Together campaign.
Heads Together partners The Royal Foundation with ‘inspiring charities that are tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health challenges.’ Partners of the Heads Together Campaign include: The Anna Freud Centre, Best Beginnings, CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably, Contact (a military mental health coalition), Mind, Place2Be, The Mix and YoungMinds.
You can learn more about the work of The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at their website. You can also keep up with the great work of the organisation on Twitter, and Instagram.