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Royals and the United Nations: what roles do they have?

The United Nations is the biggest international organism currently in existence, as it unites representatives from more than 190 countries and different international organisations, like the EU and the African Union. 

Its purpose as an intergovernmental organisation is to “maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and serve as a centre of harmonising the actions of nations.”

All these stated goals make it a perfect environment for members of royal families to work, which is why the United Nations has many prominent royals among its ambassadors. 

Starting with the United Nations Secretary General’s Office, both Queen Mathilde of the Belgians and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands have roles, the first as an Advocate for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the second in her role as the Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. 

Queen Rania of Jordan also has a role within the United Nations, as she is an Honorary Chairperson for the UN’s Girls’ Education Initiative. 

Other prominent names in the royal world include Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar, a wife of the former Sheikh, who is also an Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals, with a specific focus on female education, and Princess Haya of Jordan, a UN Messenger of Peace. 

These are just the royals who have a declared role in the United Nations proper; if we look at the many agencies the UN has, we find that even more of them are involved. 

For instance, Queen Letizia of Spain is a Special Goodwill Ambassador for Nutrition at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation), while both she and Queen Mathilde are honorary patrons of their national UNICEF branches. 

Speaking of UNICEF (United Nations International Children Emergency Fund), Queen Rania of Jordan and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg have roles as Eminent Advocates. 

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck of Bhutan are both Goodwill Ambassadors and Patrons of the United Nations Population Fund, which aims to end sexual violence against girls and to promote reproductive health and education. 

And this is just a small part of the many roles that members of royal families all around the world have covered over the years within the United Nations and its many agencies – a clear sign of the importance that this international body has gained since its foundation and the many branches of work that it pursues all around the globe.