Research Finds Royals Don’t Contribute As Much to Charities One Might Think

Many fans might know that high-ranking members of the royal family do not have full-time jobs. Rather, royals like Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge take on patronages and support various charity organizations. They can often be seen visiting these patronages and attending events to promote them.

While many charities would love to have the support of the royal family, a recent research shows that charity organizations can still do well even without being patronages. In fact, according to the research, royal patronages don’t seem to do any better than their peers.

Royal family
Various members of the royal family | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Royals have a variety of patronages

As highlighted on the royal family’s website, every senior member of the royal family has a list of organizations they support. These organizations are generally apolitical entities and often related to causes such as animal welfare, sports, health, and more.

Royals also support causes close to their heart. For example, William and Kate are mental health advocates, so they are patrons of charities that promote this subject.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles is an advocate for the environmental. Queen Elizabeth has also supported a lot of organizations that work for the well-being of families and children.

Research finds royal patronages don’t help charities as much

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While the list of royal patronages runs in the thousands, a recent research shows that all the time royals spend supporting these organizations might not actually mean much for them in the long run.

According to Giving Evidence, after analyzing all the charities patroned by members of the royal family, the research found there is no evidence that “Royal patrons increase a charity’s revenue.”

“Charities often seem to think that a Royal patron will visit them, or enable events at palaces which they can use to attract press coverage or donors,” Giving Evidence wrote. “In fact, most UK charities with Royal patrons did not get a single public engagement with their Royal patron last year: 74% of them got none. Only 1% of charities with Royal patrons got more than one public engagement with them last year. Some got many more, but they are mainly charities set up by the Royals.”

While Giving Evidence does point out royal patronages could have benefits on “staff morale” and on “beneficiaries,” the ultimate finding of the research is that revenue is not significantly affected by having a royal as a patron.

The research also finds royals don’t focus on supporting charities that need them the most

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Giving Evidence also noted there is inequality in which charity organizations get patroned by royals. For example, many patronages fall under the category of ‘environment and animals’ as well as ‘culture and sport,” but there are not a lot of royals who patron charities that need them most, such as those that support underprivileged people in the U.K.

As Giving Evidence wrote, “The sectors with fewest Royal patronages are housing, employment, social services, and religion. They are disproportionately large: their revenue is (on average) nearly 30 times larger than the average UK charity. And they are disproportionately in London, the South East and South West of England – where the Royals’ main residences are. More deprived regions seem under-represented.”

At the end of the day, there are fans who admire royals for their dedication to charity work. However, there are also critics who believe the tax money used  to fund the royal family does not give average citizens much in return.