Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

What do YOU think about Royal Philanthropy?

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Will YOU be watching the games? The London 2012 Olympics start this Friday!

Of course, front and centre in all of the festivities will be the British Royal Family. Her Royal Majesty the Queen will be at the opening ceremony to officially declare the games open. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are expected to be there as well since they have been named Special Ambassadors for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

Princes William and Harry seem to be taking their philanthropy contributions to a new level. They could bring attention to charities by simply having their names on a piece of paper. However, the two princes have been more personally involved.

Prince Harry, for instance, co-founded a charity called Sentebale with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho. The two joined forces to establish the charity which works to help orphans and vulnerable children within the African country which has the third highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world. The name “Sentebale” means “forget me not.”

This video provides more information about Sentebale’s work:

Prince William has been particularly involved with a charity called Centrepoint which works with homeless youth in the United Kingdom. He became the patron of this charity in 2005, but his involvement goes further back. Princess Diana brought both of her sons to see the work of the organization first hand. Prince William has volunteered his time to work directly with young people looking for housing. He also spent a night on the street in plain clothes with the CEO of Centrepoint to further his understanding of what it is like to be homeless.

Prince William is also a patron of a Canadian charity, Maison Dauphine. This organization provides a safe haven for youth in Quebec City who are dealing with situations of poverty, homelessness, violence, addiction or abuse.

In Canada, the importance of our ties to the British Monarchy is often debated. Canadian comic Rick Mercer gave his opinion on our constitutional monarchy system on an episode of the Mercer Report in 2009. He said:

“When asked ‘Who is Canada’s head of state,’ 75 per cent of Canadians could not answer the question. And who can blame them? The answer is ridiculous. It is the Queen of England. Now for those of you unaware of her work, she’s an elderly lady of German decent who lives in a castle across the ocean. In fact, in order to become a Canadian citizen you must swear an oath of loyalty to the Queen and her heirs. Luckily, I was born here, so I’ve never had to do it.”

 Whether or not YOU believe Canada should still have ties with the British Monarchy, it is important to recognize that members of the Royal Family do a lot of philanthropy work. Between all of the family members, they hold about 3,000 patronages for charities. The Queen alone holds more than 600 patronages, including 18 in Canada.

What do YOU think about the Royal Family’s involvement with philanthropy? Do YOU think the younger royals are making more of a difference? Or, do YOU believe the Royal Family’s philanthropy roles are more about good press than good work? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below.

Centrepoint website: http://www.centrepoint.org.uk/

Maison Dauphine: http://www.maisondauphine.org/english.html

Also, if YOU are like me and YOU love the Mercer Report, here is the clip mentioned above in full:

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