It has been announced that the new Director of the Royal Foundation will be Baroness Barran of Bathwick. Diana Barran received her life peerage in this year’s birthday honours and has been a tireless charity campaigner for some years following a career as a hedge-fund manager. She founded the charity SafeLives, a domestic abuse charity and served as its Chief Executive between 2004 and 2017. The work that charity did with regards to mental abuse will engage well with some of the work of the Royal Foundation with mental illness issues. She is also one of the Trustees of Comic Relief and so well used to charities which are very much in the public spotlight.
In becoming a Director and Trustee of the Foundation, the Baroness joins eight other trustees who are responsible in law for the work of the Foundation in four areas; fundraising, governance, strategic direction and oversight. There have been a few issues with charities in recent years, and this is obviously something that must be avoided at all costs. The current Chairman of the Foundation is Sir Keith Mills CBE DL; he has an impressive CV having formed the group which founded the Air Miles and Nectar Card customer loyalty programmes. In addition, he was Deputy Chairman of London 2012 under Lord Coe and Chairman of the 2014 Invictus Games.
The Royal Foundation was set up by Prince William and Prince Harry nearly ten years ago in 2009 and became fully operational two years later when they were joined by Prince William’s wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, and earlier this year the Duchess of Sussex became the fourth patron when she married Prince Harry. The foundation is very much a charitable and philanthropic vehicle for the two royal couples and seeks to work in four areas which are close to them; mental health, wildlife and conservation, young people and the armed forces community. Perhaps the flag-ship of the foundation in that it now runs as a successful independent organisation is the Invictus Games.