The Duke of Cambridge spoke of his passion for charity work today, during a keynote speech at the Charity Commission Annual Public Meeting at the The Royal Institution of Great Britain.
The second-in-line to the throne called for a “big shift” in the charity sector, asking for charities to work more closely together to tackle the major issues of the day. Prince William said that the growing number of good causes has led to the “siloing of expertise”, with organisations focusing too much on “individual interests”.
The Duke said: “Instead of setting up more individual charities working in the same fields, I wonder if we could do more to explore ways of combining forces, working and innovating together?”
William, 35, also praised the British people, commending their “almost unsurpassed” generosity and their “largely unseen, but all priceless” acts of compassion.
Furthermore, Prince William signalled a change in how the Royal Family will work with charities when he is King, stating that charities should be linked together by their causes, instead of dealing with hundreds of separate patronages.
However he praised the work of his grandparents, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, describing them as two “of the most tireless public servants of this country.” Indeed, together they hold more than 1,000 patronages between them.
William also said his family did not support good causes because “it looks good,” but because “charity is not an optional extra in society”.
The future King praised both of his parents, recognising Prince Charles’ devotion to the Prince’s Trust, and revealing that his earliest childhood memory is of his mother, the late Princess of Wales, taking him to a homeless shelter: “As a young child, I recall evening after evening my father’s diligence and compassion as he applied himself to answering thousands of letters and reading endless reports in order to stay on top of his ambition to do all he could to help the underprivileged.
“Without my realising it, what my parents were doing was instilling in me and Harry a lifelong habit to put charity at the heart of our lives.
“From my father, I learned how central charity was to his life his sense of purpose,” he said. “The Prince’s Trust is not an arms-length organisation for my father.
“He cares deeply about The Prince’s Trust because it is a living projection of his values.
“I remember being taken by my mother to a homelessness shelter at a young age, her explaining to me why the people I met there matter, why no society can be healthy unless we take other people seriously.” HRH pic.twitter.com/F1nOPyfZgg
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 23, 2018
“I remember being taken by my mother to a homelessness shelter at a young age, her explaining to me why the people I met there matter, why no society can be healthy unless we take other people seriously.”
The Prince then defined how he sees charity, describing its “roots in the doctrine of Christian love”, and explaining that it is not an “optional extra” but something that is necessary to sustain society that would otherwise be left an “empty shell.”
“I hope, for my part, that I can continue to be of service to you all, too, in the years to come,” the Duke finished.