At a reception to mark the 150th anniversary of the Metropolitan and City Police Orphans Fund, the Duke of Cambridge revealed that he has been writing letters to officers and family members of emergency services personnel.
“I’m trying to write as much as I can to people involved in the emergency services,” William told the Fund’s President, Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick. He revealed that he writes to those who have experienced a traumatic event or to the family members of personnel who have been killed in service.
“He writes quite often to families and sometimes to officers themselves, and it’s really very much appreciated,” Dick said.
“He clearly has a passion for supporting people in public service, whether it’s defence, military or emergency services. And with his background experiences, he knows a bit about the challenges these people will face. So many people commented to me you can see the empathy when he is talking to people. It really means a massive amount to them; they know it means something to him.”
William gave a speech at the reception, paying tribute to those who serve:
“Over the past 150 years – as the oldest police charity in the world – the Fund has provided care to the children of police officers in their hour of greatest need.
“Our society is defined by how we look after those who keep us all safe. It matters deeply that we help the families who play such an important role in supporting them.
“I am therefore immensely proud that the Metropolitan and City Police Orphans Fund provides such comfort and reassurance to the children of police officers who have so sadly lost their lives or livelihoods.”
The Duke met with families who have benefited from the Fund, including a young girl named Emma, who lost her father, a Scotland Yard close protection officer, to cancer a few years ago.
He asked her if she keeps a memory box for her father, saying, “It’s very easy to not talk about it, but you must always talk about it—it’s very important. And if you talk about it, you always keep him alive.”
Dick said, “We are lucky to have him as our patron, we are very proud of it. It means a lot to the individuals. Just the fact that he is taking an interest, he speaks not just to these families, but to the wider city, that he’s on our side, he’s with us and thinking about us.
“We in the police see ourselves as very much a family and we want to look after our families on all occasions but particularly if somebody is lost in service.”
The Metropolitan and City Police Orphans Fund is thought to be the world’s oldest police charity and supports the “children of serving and former officers of the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police who subscribed to the Fund whilst serving and who are either deceased or retired on pension and are so incapacitated as to be unable to contribute materially to the family upkeep,” per its official website.