King Charles considering sponsorships after Queen’s death

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London (AFP) – The late Queen Elizabeth II was patron of many good causes, as was her son King Charles III, but he will now seek to redistribute them within the royal family.

The Queen, who will be in state from Wednesday until her funeral on Monday, was patron of 600 causes including the British Red Cross humanitarian group and the Royal Society Academy of Sciences.

Lesser-known but particularly British patronages included the Royal Pigeon Racing Association and Bowls England, the national governing body for outdoor flat green bowls.

Charles, a lifelong conservationist with some 500 sponsorships, said he would delegate some duties after he passed away last week.

“Hands of Trust”

“My life will of course change as I take on my new responsibilities,” Charles said during his first speech as king last Friday, a day after his mother’s death.

“It will no longer be possible for me to devote so much of my time and energy to the charities and issues that I care about so deeply.

“But I know this important work will continue in the trusted hands of others.”

The British Royal Family supports a combined 3,000 groups to shine a light on good causes, provide publicity and raise valuable funds.

Patronage – ties to charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service bodies – accounts for around a quarter of the Royal Family’s activities.

The Queen had already called it quits since her 90th birthday in 2016, when she appointed Kate, the wife of her grandson William, patroness of the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon.

“In recent years the Queen has passed on sponsorships to other members of the Royal Family, the process had already begun,” Majesty Magazine editor Joe Little told AFP.

“Nothing will happen immediately, but (they) will be distributed in the family.”

Environmentalist

Charles’ environmental credentials include campaigns for better conservation, organic farming and the fight against climate change.

He has been chairman of animal charity WWF-UK since 2011 and around 80 of his sponsorships are for green causes, including Surfers Against Sewage.

The new king, 73, could therefore decide to continue supporting the causes that are most important to him or to entrust the management to foundations, according to Little.

Still, the Queen’s former patronages will be shared among other senior royals in a process that could take several years, he added.

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Charles could decide to limit the number of patronages as part of a possible plan to pursue a lean monarchy under his rule.

The Royal Family’s historic patronages date back to the 18th century, when King George II decided to lend his support to the Society of Antiquaries charity, of which the late Queen remains a member.

Similarly, many patronages were transmitted from sovereign to sovereign.

Since her death, organizations have lined up to praise the Queen’s active support during her 70-year reign.

Vocal groups include the Chatham House think tank and Fields in Trust, a charity protecting green spaces founded by her father George VI in 1925, a year before Elizabeth was born.

Every Christmas, the Queen traveled to the Women’s Institute (WI) near her Sandringham estate in eastern England.

However, royal patronage is not without criticism.

‘Nightmare’

The research group Giving Evidence concluded in a 2020 study that there was “no evidence” that royal ties helped charities’ income.

“I’ve heard from some charities that royal patrons are fantastic and help a lot,” Giving Evidence founder Caroline Fiennes told AFP.

“If you can go to a particular meeting abroad and you can take a princess with you, then you can get meetings that you wouldn’t normally get.

But she said she had heard ‘from other charities that it’s a complete nightmare’.

“They don’t like the royal they have (but) they can’t get rid of them. They can’t upgrade them to a better royal,” she added without naming any specific members. .

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