Royal Patronages Review

Published

Following His Majesty The King’s Accession in September 2022, a major review of more than 1,000 Royal Patronages and charity Presidencies has been undertaken. To mark the first anniversary of Their Majesties’ Coronation, the conclusions will be shared with relevant organisations in the coming week.

The King and Queen will continue to serve as Patron to many of the charities and institutions with which His Majesty was affiliated as Prince of Wales, and respectively Her Majesty as Duchess of Cornwall. In addition, Their Majesties are pleased to continue the patronage of a great variety of charities and organisations previously supported by Queen Elizabeth II.

Other Members of The Royal Family will also take on the patronage of a number of organisations previously supported by The late Queen, to add to their existing portfolios.

Background:

Members of the Royal Family are proud to maintain close associations with more than 1,000 charities, military organisations, and professional and public service bodies, both in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth.

Many of the organisations are well known, while others may be smaller bodies working in a specialist area or on a local basis only. Royal patronage highlights the vital work of these organisations and allows their many achievements and valuable contributions to society to be more widely recognised and promoted.

Among the more than 800 organisations retained by Their Majesties and Members of The Royal Family, The King continues his longstanding involvement with the Royal British Legion by becoming Patron, a role Queen Elizabeth II held throughout her reign from her Accession in 1952.

Of the charities held as Prince of Wales, His Majesty will retain patronages which highlight causes including supporting communities, conservation and culture. They include the Wildlife Trusts, a grassroots nature organisation; Youth United Foundation, which brings uniformed youth organisations together so they can learn from each other, share best practice and collectively support more young people; and the Heritage Crafts Association, a national charity preserving traditional heritage crafts.

The King will continue his patronage of the Commonwealth Forestry Association, which promotes the conservation and sustainable management of the world's forests, and His Majesty will become Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society, which is committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens globally. In addition, His Majesty takes on the patronage of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which champions the power of higher education to improve lives.

Among Queen Elizabeth II’s charities which have been retained, The Queen will take on the patronage of the Royal Literary Fund and become Patron of the Royal Academy of Dance, having previously been Vice-Patron. Her Majesty will also become Patron of the Royal Voluntary Service, having previously served as their President, and will take on the Presidency of the Sandringham branch of the Women’s Institute.

Other organisations representing a range of charitable interests from across the United Kingdom include:

  • Army Benevolent Fund (The Queen)
  • Braemar Royal Highland Society (The King)
  • Camerata Ireland – The All Ireland Chamber Orchestra (The King)
  • Dogs Trust (The King)
  • The Jockey Club (Their Majesties jointly)
  • Samaritans (The King)
  • WaterAid (The King)
  • Welsh National Opera (The King)

    The extensive assessment of patronages began following His Majesty’s Accession and covered the organisations of which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was Patron and those organisations to which The King and Queen were connected through Patronage or Presidency as The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

    A further review will be carried out to consider the patronages held throughout the fourteen other Commonwealth Realms, where His Majesty is Head of State.

    Number of patronages held by Queen Elizabeth II:

    The late Queen was Patron of 492 organisations at the time of Her late Majesty’s death. 376 are due to be retained by Their Majesties or other Members of The Royal Family.

    Number of patronages held by His Majesty as Prince of Wales:

    441 organisations affiliated with The King, as Prince of Wales, were included in the review. 367 have been retained by His Majesty or passed to other Members of The Royal Family.

    Number of patronages held by Her Majesty as Duchess of Cornwall:

    100 organisations affiliated with The Queen, as Duchess of Cornwall, were included in the review. 91 have been retained or passed to other Members of The Royal Family.

Army Benevolent Fund

The Army Benevolent Fund is the national charity of the British Army, supporting soldiers, veterans and their families for life. Her Majesty The Queen has represented the charity as Vice Patron since 2020, and will now take over patronage from Queen Elizabeth II.

Association of Commonwealth Universities

The Association of Commonwealth Universities brings universities, students and educators together from around the world to promote higher education as a cornerstone of stronger societies. His Majesty The King will continue the work of The late Queen as Patron.

Professor Colin Riordan CBE, Secretary General, ACU, said: “We are absolutely delighted that His Majesty The King will be the new Patron of the ACU. Sharing our passion for the transformational power of higher education, His Majesty will be an outstanding advocate for the ACU’s mission to connect Commonwealth universities to work across borders and boundaries to build a fairer, more sustainable world. We look forward to working closely with The King as our Patron, including on issues such as access to education and international collaboration, which we know are close to his heart.”

Braemar Royal Highland Society

Established over 200 years ago, the Braemar Royal Highland Society is responsible for the annual Braemar Gathering Highland Games. His Majesty will be taking forward the patronage from The late Queen, who regularly attended the Braemar Gathering as Patron.

Peter Fraser, President, Braemar Royal Highland Society, said: “We are delighted that His Majesty has accepted our invitation to become Patron of the Braemar Royal Highland Society - in doing so continuing a Royal link to the Society and the Braemar Gathering spanning back to the reign of Queen Victoria. He follows in the footsteps of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Patron of the Society for some six decades. Since his first visit to the Braemar Gathering in the 1950s King Charles has been a regular attender at the event along with his parents and siblings. He has taken a keen interest in the Society and its activities, in particular the development of the Highland Games visitor centre in Braemar - the Duke of Rothesay Highland Games Pavilion.”

Camerata Ireland

Camera Ireland is an orchestra which brings together the finest musicians from Ireland, North and South, and performs both at home and around the world to great acclaim. The orchestra also develops young musicians through the Camerata Ireland Academy, held every August during the Clandeboye Festival. His Majesty will take forward the patronage awarded to Her late Majesty in 2004.

Barry Douglas, Artistic Director, Camerata Ireland, said: "We are very honoured that His Majesty will take forward the wonderful joint Patronage that Her late Majesty and the then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, began in 2004. Camerata Ireland was founded in 1999 to celebrate the Good Friday Agreement, and therefore this joint support from His Majesty and the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is hugely important. Camerata Ireland is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and will tour around the world, giving concerts in Asia, North and South America and Europe. We will continue our encouragement and mentoring of young musicians from Ireland, North and South."

Commonwealth Forestry Association

The Commonwealth Forestry Association promotes good management, use and conservation of forests and forest lands. Continuing as Patron, His Majesty will champion the Association’s work in countries across the Commonwealth and beyond.

Dogs Trust

The late Queen became the Patron of Dogs Trust – a charity which cares for and rehomes thousands of dogs each year, while supporting owners through advocacy and advice – in 1990. His Majesty will continue the patronage.

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive, Dogs Trust, said: “We are delighted to welcome His Majesty The King as our new Royal Patron. The King’s passion and affection for dogs is clear for all to see, and his support will help us to continue the work we do to help dogs and the people who love them both here in the UK and across the world.”

Heritage Crafts Association

Heritage Crafts is the national charity for the preservation and continuation of heritage craft skills. His Majesty’s patronage of the association as the Prince of Wales will continue.

Daniel Carpenter, Executive Director, Heritage Crafts Association, said: "Few have demonstrated as long-standing and unwavering dedication to the continuation of heritage craft skills as His Majesty, and as Patron of Heritage Crafts his ongoing support will contribute greatly to ensuring that this lineage of skill remains available to future generations, helping them gain fulfilling livelihoods and tackle the challenges of tomorrow."

The Jockey Club

Their Majesties will share patronage of The Jockey Club, formerly represented by The late Queen as Royal Patron for 68 years. The Jockey Club is responsible for 15 of Britain’s best-known racecourses and also runs The National Stud and the charity Racing Welfare. It is committed to investing in a thriving British horseracing industry.

Sandy Dudgeon, Senior Steward, The Jockey Club, said: “We are honoured that Their Majesties have accepted our invitation to become joint Patrons of The Jockey Club. They have shown great enthusiasm and support for equestrian sports over many years and everyone in racing in Britain and overseas was thrilled to see them enjoy success at Royal Ascot last year. Their patronage of The Jockey Club is a recognition of horseracing not only as a sport which provides entertainment to millions of people, but one which is also part of the fabric of British life, contributing so much both financially and in broader terms to the local communities in which it operates.”

Royal Academy of Dance

The Queen has served as Vice Patron of the Royal Academy of Dance, one of the most influential dance education and training organisations in the world, since 2020 and will now become Patron.

Tim Arthur, Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Dance, said: “On behalf of the RAD, I am truly delighted that Queen Camilla is our new Patron. Previously our Vice-Patron, Queen Camilla has been so supportive of our organisation, championing our programmes including Silver Swans, which is designed to encourage older people to dance. The RAD has a long, positive history and relationship with The Royal Family. It was the late Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother, Queen Mary, who was interested in dance – ballet in particular. With an approach from our Founding President Dame Adeline Genée, Queen Mary became our First Royal Patron in 1928. We are truly thankful for The Royal Family’s ongoing patronage of our organisation and look forward to welcoming The Queen as our official Patron.”

Royal British Legion

His Majesty will become Patron of the Royal British Legion, a patronage held by The late Queen for more than 70 years. The RBL is the country’s largest Armed Forced charity, providing support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.

Mark Atkinson, Director General, The Royal British said: “The Royal British Legion is extremely proud that His Majesty The King is our new Patron. As the nation’s largest military charity, this patronage honours the special relationship that exists between the Monarch and the Armed Forces. His Majesty’s commitment to Remembrance and lifelong support to the RBL’s welfare work is greatly appreciated by our entire community.”

Royal Commonwealth Society

The Royal Commonwealth Society champions the importance of literacy, equality and inclusion, the environment and connected communities throughout Commonwealth member nations. His Majesty will take over patronage of the RCS from Queen Elizabeth II.

Dr Linda Yueh CBE, Executive Chair, Royal Commonwealth Society, said: “We are deeply honoured to have His Majesty The King as Patron. With his long record of support for the Commonwealth and as a champion of the environment, he embodies the values to which the Royal Commonwealth Society aspires, and which inspires our work to make a practical difference in the lives of the 2.6 billion people who make up the Commonwealth family.”

Royal Literary Fund

Her Majesty The Queen will take on patronage of the Royal Literary Fund from Queen Elizabeth II. The Fund delivers financial support for writers as well as education and outreach programmes across the UK.

Edward Kemp, Chief Executive, Royal Literary Fund, said: “The RLF is delighted that Her Majesty will be our new Royal Patron. With her well-known love for literature and passion for literacy, we very much look forward to engaging her in our vital work helping writers and readers.”

Royal Voluntary Service

As one of Britain’s largest volunteering organisations, the Royal Voluntary Service mobilises volunteers to support people in need and the NHS. Queen Elizabeth II was Patron of the charity from 1952, and Her Majesty The Queen will now take over this patronage.

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We are thrilled and honoured to call Her Majesty The Queen our Patron. We know Her Majesty believes volunteers are the backbone of Britain and she is a wonderful champion for RVS and for volunteers across the country. Over the years she’s visited many of our services to meet and pay tribute to our volunteers, and on occasion she has joined them, serving food at our lunch clubs and taking our refreshment trolley out in hospitals. Everywhere she goes, she puts smiles on people’s faces.”

Samaritans

His Majesty The King has been Samaritans’ Patron for more than 25 years as the Prince of Wales and will continue to support the charity’s work providing emotional support to those currently struggling, helping reduce the number of people who die by suicide.

Keith Leslie, Chair, Samaritans, said: “His Majesty The King has been a passionate champion of the life-changing emotional support our volunteers provide for 25 years and we are delighted he will continue as our Royal Patron. As Prince of Wales, His Majesty described Samaritans volunteers as “an amazing credit to this country” and it means so much to have such strong Royal support as we work toward our vision that fewer people die by suicide.”

Sandringham Women’s Institute

Her Majesty will become the President of the Women’s Institute Sandringham Branch, a role filled by The late Queen since 2003 after being a member for 60 years. The WI is the largest women’s organisation in the UK.

WaterAid

As President of WaterAid since 1991, The King has championed the charity’s mission to deliver clean water, safe sanitation and good hygiene to people living in poverty around the world. His Majesty will retain this patronage following the review.

Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive, WaterAid UK, said: “WaterAid is extremely grateful and honoured that His Majesty King Charles III will continue his close relationship as our Patron, having played a hugely significant role over the past three decades in supporting WaterAid’s vision of a world where everyone everywhere has clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene.

“His Majesty The King is a driving force for good on critical global issues such as climate change and sustainability. The climate crisis is a water crisis, with droughts drying up springs and wells, and storms and floods damaging infrastructure and contaminating fragile water sources. We work tirelessly with communities to help provide weather-proof water systems and toilets. We know with the enduring dedication and ambition of His Majesty to connect the world to act, we will end the water, sanitation and hygiene crisis together.”

Welsh National Opera

Welsh National Opera is committed to bringing the highest quality operatic performances to as wide an audience as possible and improving access to the art form for future generations. His Majesty will remain as WNO’s Royal Patron.

Christopher Barron, Interim General Director, WNO, said: “We are delighted that His Majesty King Charles III will continue as Welsh National Opera’s Patron. His Majesty has supported us for many years at performances and behind the scenes, with a keen interest in WNO Youth Opera. His continued support means so much to the Company.”

The Wildlife Trusts

The King will continue as Patron of The Wildlife Trusts, a role His Majesty has held since 1977. 

Wildlife Trusts aim to secure nature’s recovery, increase people’s understanding of the natural world and deepen their relationship with nature through education, engagement and conservation.

Craig Bennett, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts, said: “For more than half a century, His Majesty has been at the forefront of raising awareness and calling for action to tackle the global environmental crisis. From his first landmark speech about the environment in 1970, to becoming Patron of The Wildlife Trusts in 1977, to initiating countless breakthrough environmental initiatives, right through to his internationally acclaimed speech at the UN climate summit in Dubai last autumn, His Majesty has consistently demonstrated foresight, courage and leadership as he has helped communities, charities and businesses grapple with the challenges and opportunities inherent in living more sustainably and in harmony with nature.

It is therefore a great honour that His Majesty has agreed to continue with his Patronage of The Wildlife Trusts. We are very grateful for his support, and the message it sends about the importance of conserving and restoring our precious wildlife”.

Youth United Foundation

The Youth United Foundation was founded by His Majesty as Prince of Wales in 2009 to create a network of the nation’s leading uniformed youth organisations helping more young people access opportunities and skills. The King will remain the foundation’s Royal Patron.

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