The Queen is herself a patron to well-over 600 charities both in the UK and abroad covering a range of causes close to her heart. But a new shocking report from the think tank Giving Evidence claimed the Royal Family has showed little sign of playing a significant role in collecting money to support these causes. The report noted: “An oft-cited component or benefit of Royal patronages is that the Royal visits the charity, attends its events, and/or hosts events for it in Royal palaces or castles
“Our analysis suggests that charities should not seek Royal patronages expecting many public engagements with their Royal patron.”
The think tank found 74 percent of organisations boasting a royal patronage had received no official visit from their patron over the past year.
Giving Evidence reviewed the Royal Family’s visits for the 2016-2019 period, noting the pattern remained consistent through the interval analysed.
The report continued: “It is clear that Royal patrons do far more public engagements with the charities that they founded themselves than for pre-existing charities that they take on
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“Charities that they found are only 2% of the charities of which they are patrons but get 36% of their public engagements.”
Prince Charles was reported to have carried out over 90 engagements with his personal charity The Prince’s Trust in the past five years but none with another organisation he patrons, Plant Heritage.
The report concluded the role of Royal Family members in raising money for chairities they support is “small or zero” but Giving Evidence noted they could not find any evidence of royal impact but did not outright deny its existence.
The think tank added: “In other words, charities should not seek or retain Royal patrons thinking that they will bring the charity money.
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“Given that most patronages involve only a few or no public engagements with the Royal patron, a limited financial benefit may not be surprising
Giving Evidence founder and lead researcher Caroline Fiennes however remarked that “the Palace’s data to be inconsistent, incomplete, imprecise, hard to use, and sometimes wrong.”
Ms Fiennes told the Daily Mail: “Donors sometimes think if a charity has a royal patronage, it is somehow of a better quality than their peers.
“We did not find any evidence to suggest that.”
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But younger generations of royals could take on a different approach to charitable work and limit the amount of organisations supported to fully back a smaller number.
Speaking to Express.co.uk last month, royal commentator Phil Dampier said: “Between the Queen and Prince Philip, they’ve still got about 1,500 patronages so it’s a hell of a lot.
“Over the last five years or so, Will and Kate, and Harry and Meghan have tended to concentrate on a small number of causes like mental health and the environment and conservation.
“They tended to concentrate, not really taking on…they’ve gone for what you might say was quality rather than quantity. Or things that interest them or things they feel they can make a difference in.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see whether that attitude will have to change a bit.”