In between their military duties, Prince William and Prince Harry are to launch a charitable foundation to help the many organisations they support.
This is yet another example of the leadership beyond politics which so typifies the lives of members of our Royal Family. In this, they will find they have the approval and admiration of those Australians who become aware of their activities.
According to a report by Andrew Pierce in the London Daily Telegraph (23/9) Prince William says that he has been inspired to expand his charitable work by the example of his own parents and the dedication of the Queen his grandmother.
“I’m not in their league,” he said. “I’m still warming up.” While there was “always a good reason” to be seen shaking hands at engagements, he insisted that he wanted to develop his “own way” of doing things.
“There’s a time and place for being an ornament as such, or shaking hands and being at an engagement and showing support in that way, but I think there’s an awful lot more from actually doing stuff,” he said in an interview with the BBC.
“My grandmother inspires me, obviously. Her work and her duty and the dedication she has given to herself and to the country has been very inspiring. I think she has done a fantastic job and I look up to what she does.
”According to Andrew Pierce, he was speaking after a meeting of the Princes’ Charities Forum, an umbrella organisation which he set up with Prince Harry to help organisations that they support.
“The forum has been meeting, without fanfare, twice a year for the last three years. It is the forerunner for the foundation, which will be a registered charity, which will be set up over the next few years.
“Some of the organisations the young princes support include Centrepoint, the homeless charity which was embraced by Diana, Princess of Wales, WellChild, which helps sick children and their families, the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Royal Marsden Hospital and the Welsh Rugby Union. Prince Harry is patron of six charities including Sentebale which helps homeless people in the African kingdom of Lesotho.
“Prince Harry was absent from the meeting. Prince William said: ‘His flying is not very good so he has to do more than me.’
“The Prince, who is training to be an RAF search and rescue pilot, is to gradually increase his number of public engagements. He said he would carry them out in his own distinctive style. ‘I wouldn’t say it’s a third way,’ he said. ‘I think it’s just trying to find your own way. This is something that I think is different, worthwhile and, hopefully, of some benefit.’ “He added: ‘You could just turn up and open things – and don’t get me wrong, there’s always a good reason to do that – but it’s about bringing some other things into it as well.’
“The aim of his forum, he said, was to encourage the charities to ‘think out of the box’ and exchange ideas and resources. The project has borne fruit. In the summer Prince William joined a walk-up Helvellyn, England’s third highest mountain.
“It was organised by Mountain Rescue, and the other participants were young homeless people from Centrepoint. The two bodies are unlikely bedfellows, but they share a future king as their patron.”