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British RoyalsThe Cambridges

William at 40: his charities and patronages

Government of Belize Press Office

The Duke of Cambridge has been an active and vocal campaigner on behalf of his chosen causes for nearly two decades now, and as he celebrates his 40th birthday, let’s take a look at his patronages.

William has several key areas of focus, though the environment—and the ambitious Earthshot Prize—is the top, but some of his other areas involve homelessness, bereavement, mental healt, and first responders.

On 13 September 2005, Buckingham Palace announced William’s first patronage: Centrepoint, a youth homeless charity that once counted his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales as its patron.

In a statement, William said: “I am delighted to accept Centrepoint’s invitation to become their Patron. I have always been deeply concerned for those people—especially young people—who, for whatever reason, find themselves living on the streets or without a proper home.

“Charities like Centrepoint do such an amazing job in helping to combat homelessness and social exclusion and I just wanted to lend my support to their remarkable efforts.”

William has continued his association with Centrepoint over the years, volunteering and working with the staff and volunteers there. He also slept on the streets of London one night in 2009 to see first-hand what those facing homelessness deal with.

William is also involved with The Passage, another homeless charity, and most recently was spotted on the streets of London helping to sell copies of The Big Issue, a magazine that supports the homeless community into finding stable wages.

In the world of healthcare and first responders, William has always maintained a presence with the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the London’s Air Ambulance Charity and the Metropolitan & City Police Orphans Fund. Since the pandemic, he has also become associated with the National Emergencies Trust and NHS Charities Together.

The afore-mentioned devotion to the environment also sees William involved with organisations like United for Wildlife, Tusk Trust, Fauna & Flora International and Fields in Trust.

In the sports world, William has been a very vocal president of the Football Association and is also patron of the Welsh Rugby Union (and its charitable trust). He has been the President of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts since 2010.

Another cause very close to William’s heart is bereavement and he has been patron of Child Bereavement UK since 2009, involved in the work that his late mother helped oversee as she was present when the charity launched.

In a speech, and a rare public expression of his own grief, William said in 2009: “What my mother recognised then— and what I understand now—is that losing a close family member is one of the hardest experiences that anyone can ever endure.

“Never being able to say the word ‘mummy’ again in your life sounds like a small thing. However, for many, including me, it is now really just a word— hollow and evoking only memories.”

It is evident through his work that William is a dedicated campaigner and advocate for his chosen charities, and as his role develops over the next decade—and with a rumoured high profile project on the horizon focusing on homelessness—it will be interesting to watch what happens next.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.