During the forum, Their Royal Highness and Ms. Markle took part in a panel discussion to talk about how The Foundation was founded and their ambitions for its future. Ms. Markle will formally become the fourth Patron of The Royal Foundation after her and Prince Harry’s wedding on 19 May 2018.
The Duke of Cambridge made a speech before the panel discussion.
“Today we want to reflect on what we have built with all of you,” he said. "Ten years ago Harry and I were still serving full-time in the military, but we were starting to look to the next stages of our lives. As we discussed together the best way to set out on our official work, we looked to the values our family had instilled in us.
“Both our parents had provided for us an example of diligence, compassion and duty in all they did. Our grandparents, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, had made support for charity central to their decades of service to the nation and the Commonwealth.
“The task for us would not be to reinvent the wheel. Instead, our job was to follow the example of those who had come before us, hold on to the values that have always guided our family, but seek to engage in public life in a way that was updated and relevant for our generation.
“We were aware that the modern charity sector was very different to the one that previous generations had worked alongside. The generosity of the British people, and the entrepreneurial and creative passion that is at the heart of our communities had seen the number of charities grow from a few thousand in the 1950s to around 180,000 today.
“Social media was changing the way people engaged in issues, making it easier to campaign than ever before, and engaging young people in new and exciting ways. The diversity of our society was creating huge opportunities to get people from all walks of life involved in tackling important challenges. To provide the meaningful leadership and support to the sector that our parents and grandparents had, we would need to think about our roles in a different way.
“We approached the answer to this question by establishing The Royal Foundation, our own foundation which would help us explore big issues that are close to our hearts.”
Under the theme ‘Making a Difference Together,’ the event also showcased the programmes run or initiated by The Royal Foundation, and will include a number of delegates who have been involved in key projects. The Royal Foundation’s programmes to date include Heads Together, the Invictus Games, and United for Wildlife.
Launched in 2011, The Royal Foundation was set up by The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry as the main vehicle to pursue their charitable and philanthropic interests. Once The Duchess of Cambridge became Patron, Their Royal Highnesses established a key focus of working together, as well as convening others to help tackle society’s biggest challenges.
Since then, The Royal Foundation has grown significantly, making a difference in communities across the UK and beyond.