The Royal Family: Goodwill and Charity

12 Dec

The Royal famiy is known for many things.  One of which is their involvement with goodwill and charitiable organizations.  Their influence is felt around the world.  Most of the world associates goodwill with the late Princess Diana and her children, Prince William and Prince Harry, but it has extended to our very own pop culture.

The royal family can trace their goodwill and charity patronage back to the 18th century.  George II is the first recorded royal to be involved with the Society of Antiquaries, which continues to exist today.   The Queen holds patronage to at least 600 charities.  Altogether, royal involvement with goodwill and charities extends to over 3,000 charitable organizations.[1]

As mentioned, Princess Diana was outspoken and very visible when it came to helping others.  She was an advocate for AIDS victims and those who were injured from land mines.  Princess Diana didn’t just vocally support these groups, but she was physically involved.  She was seen and photographed all over the world spending time with those suffering from AIDS and walking land mines in flack jacket and helmet.  Other charities that she supported were Centerpoint, The Leprosy Mission, The Royal Marsden Hospital, and The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.[2]  Her death had tremendous impact because of the woman she was and what she did to make a positive difference in the world.

Her sons have carried on her legacy by giving of their time and service with such organizations as BeatBullying, Helping Heroes, Prince’s Rainforest Project,  The Countryside Foundation for Education, and Walking with the Wounded  . [3]

Hollywood seems to have taken note, and whether influenced by the royals or not, has made it’s own dent on the world of goodwill.  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie together are members of over 65 charitable organizations.  They have both traveled the world for humanitarian efforts in third world countries, donating their time, money, and other resources.  George Clooney is another Hollywood royal who is very visible and outspoken for helping those suffering from poverty.  He contributes to over 30 organizations, founding Not On Our Watch  alongside Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle and Matt Damon.

Are we doing enough today as a society to give to those who suffer in any capacity? Are we willing to donate of our time and money?  Are we too hypocritical when it comes to those in need?  Is Hollywood too hypocritical?  Things to consider this time of year when the spirit of giving is the strongest.

34 Responses to “The Royal Family: Goodwill and Charity”

  1. Comic Relief December 12, 2012 at 8:25 AM #


    I’m really impressed with this article, I thought I knew what you were going to focus on and I have to admit I obviously didn’t. I’m floored by the results, because blindly giving for the benefit of others is a blessing that even that celebrity can’t fully comprehend.

    • littlebells December 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM #

      Thank you CR. 🙂 it makes me wonder what direction you thought I was headed. hahaha!!!

  2. Comic Relief December 12, 2012 at 8:27 AM #

    One of the less wonderful reasons SOME less sincere celebrities engage in public charities is to….

    • Counter claims of celebrity self-absorption
    • Diminish the appearance of narcissistic ambition
    • Neutralize reports of selfish manias and personal tirades
    • Release individuals from the likely appearances, responsibilities and character evaluations that naturally plague those in the severe and grueling public eye.

    Yet I don’t believe any of us can judge how ultimately sympathetic any of these individuals actually or really are.

    These individuals place themselves at the crossroads of personal fortune and charitable opportunity, and allow faith, fate or chance to dictate the outcomes of their uncommon giving to other individuals.

    • littlebells December 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM #

      It is really hard to know what goes on behind closed doors, but I do agree that the reasons you provided are pretty accurate for many high profile actors. I have always found that those whose names remain out of the spotlight for the goodwill they do are more genuine. yes, you do see the Brad Pitts and George Clooneys in the media, but their causes are so international that it is hard not to miss them.

      I think it is sad when anyone has to constantly bring up all the good will and charities they belong too. There is no need to toot your own horn. Genuine service does not seek attention.

      • ozzie20 December 13, 2012 at 8:45 PM #

        For me, charity is on the same level as spirituality. It’s something very personal and private so I respect any celebrity who keeps it on the down low. However I do respect Angelina, Brad, George and others that do work publically for the same reason that LB said.

  3. Comic Relief December 12, 2012 at 8:28 AM #

    I’ll try to avoid character assassinations, but during the recent election a prominent celebrity challenged the current sitting president to release his college transcripts to assure he would give a vast amount of money to the charity of the President’s choice.

    • The challenging celebrity obviously had that sum of money, but one had to wonder why this proposal was so conditional.

    • One had to wonder, in what way was the challenge, equal to the charitable gift to others?

    • If the challenging celebrity actually had the money why did he not just give away the sum without the challenge?

    • What strange alchemy existed between celebrity attention, visibility and speculation and what actually balanced out the impact of potential generosity to far less successful or less fortunate individuals?

    • Open Book December 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM #


      Yes, this person shall remain nameless. If I may ask a question, how do u feel about actors who have not attained success in their craft using charities to bolster their careers?

      • Comic Relief December 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM #


        For now, I’ll save LB the trouble, do you have anyone in mind?

        • Open Book December 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM #

          Ok let me just come out with it. I have a problem with actors who use charities to boost their careers because they are being trashed in the media and haven’t attained any critical success in their careers. Don’t get me wrong, actors don’t need to have an Oscar to give to a charity. It’s fine if their star is rising and things are going good and they choose to donate their time and give to a charity that to me is more sincere. Compared to an actor who is being called a whore, home-wrecker etc. (in the media) and have yet to prove themselves critically as an actor using a charity to help their career. That to me looks self-serving and diminishes the sincerity of other actors who give without these motives.

          • littlebells December 13, 2012 at 8:28 PM #

            I agree OB. I think most sensible people have great BS detectors. I’m pretty sure I know who you are talking about, but I’ll make this general: showing up for an event and lending your image without any intent to contribute anything more once the cameras have stopped rolling means sh#t. To me it doesn’t mean you care. Someone who is truly dedicated to a cause or charity finds ways of serving. No, one does not have to be as involved as Princess Diana, but there have to be efforts outside the spotlight.

            Some actors/musicians who have done some great things under the radar are Denzel Washington and Jon Bon Jovi. Denzel is a founder of many organizations and in 2009 (?) gave a substantial amount of money to The Fisher House, which houses families from overseas whose sons and daughters have been injured in battle and are recuperating in a US hospital. Never saw that on the news. Then there is Bon Jovi, who has a restaurant called Soul Kitchen.

            Do I personally know how active they are in the charities they represent? No, but from what information is available and the fact that I have never seen any of this on the news, points to: they are genuine.

            • ozzie20 December 13, 2012 at 9:00 PM #

              Lol, I know both celebrities you are talking about, lol! The one CR was talking about made the news over here and it got alot of laughs!

              I think that any celebrity who announces how much money they’re giving to charity is kind of tacky. I feel they come off as wanting to show off the money they have and get a kick from everybody knowing about it and fawning over them for doing it. It becomes more about they’re ego than the charity whether they realise it or not. That being said, the charity is getting the money and gets noticed so it’s still a win/win for them.

              As for the second celebrity, well I can’t stand anyone who uses charity as an image overall after bad publicity. Its even less genuine than the other celebrities who show off their money. Unless they continue to do work with the charity after the image overall, they don’t get much respect from me again. Usually they just dump the charity when they no long need it.

  4. Comic Relief December 12, 2012 at 8:30 AM #

    I think one of the things that really shocked people about Diana, was how much she gave despite how much she was supposedly shamed in the public. The more her credibility was brought into question the more she put herself out there.


    It’s no surprise her legacy has endured despite her ejection from the royal family and her untimely celebrity provoked death.

  5. Open Book December 12, 2012 at 10:28 AM #

    LB-Great, fantastic wonderful job.

  6. Open Book December 12, 2012 at 6:24 PM #

    Princess Diana was amazing. She took up being an advocate for AIDS victims at a time when others shunned the thought. There still wasn’t much known about the disease when she held and comforted those afflicted. She really gave of herself and gave new meaning what it meant to be a Princess of the Royal family.

    • ozzie20 December 13, 2012 at 9:13 PM #

      Yes, she did help to change the stigma about HIV+ and AIDS. I don’t think anyone before had any kind of contact with the victims but she came along and held they’re hands, hugged them. It’s lovely to see her sons carry one with her charities. I know Wills and Harry have an AIDS charity. I haven’t seen any photos of Will (but he will have acted the same way without the shadow of a doubt), but Harry acted the same way Diana did.

      Anyway, that’s one of the reasons we like the royals, especially Diana. She became “The People’s Princess” which no one could ever take away from her!

      • ozzie20 December 13, 2012 at 9:32 PM #

        While looking for the first part of the documentary below, I have found photos of Will acting the same way as Diana. I knew he would be like that but I’ve only just found them. Typical me, always late with finding out these things, lol!

        Anyway, I love that they show the same love, affection and devotion to charities and people in need. Diana may not have had a long time with them but she did instill in them to do good and their duty.

    • ozzie20 December 13, 2012 at 9:36 PM #

      Thanks for the link OB! I didn’t know about some of their charity work, especially with the younger ones. It’s very nice to see!

  7. parisienne December 12, 2012 at 7:41 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    LB, great article! I know that some people use charitable organizations to boost their own morale. Diana felt that she wasn’t understood nor loved/accepted by the Royal Family. She turned to charitable giving not only to help those in need but boost her own morale. She gave love, she got love in return.

    • Open Book December 12, 2012 at 11:20 PM #


      This is true. Diana did all those things and then some. She came off her throne, rolled up her sleeves and got involved. This is what made her giving heartfelt. In other words she didn’t announce two weeks in advance she was going to be in a event with successful actors to raise money for those hurt by Sandy to get the maximum amount of publicity for her career that had currently stalled. U know who I’m talking about. What I like about her Twilight co-star (who also gives to charities) is how inconspicuous he is. Although, he has numerous films in the works and career is on the upswing, he makes time to pop-up without a lot of attention or fanfare to help raise money for a cause. By doing this he highlights the cause rather than him.

  8. parisienne December 12, 2012 at 11:53 PM #

    Do you mean that person that is being torn apart on twitter right now and told that she should get off the screen and go crawl in a hole never to be seen in forever? That one? You don’t say!

    The thing that separates her from her co-star besides intelligence is genuineness. She’s not genuine. AT ALL. EVER. He on the other hand comes across as well mannered/spoken and kind. I could go on and on but this is not the place nor the time.

    The other thing that Diana had in common with her co-star is genuineness. Diana was genuine. I think that the members of the Royal Family see their jobs as their “duty” and not something that should come from their heart. So when Diana came along it was refreshing.

    • parisienne December 13, 2012 at 2:04 AM #

      I meant to say *the* co-star not her co-star. My bad.

      • Open Book December 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM #

        Yep! That is the one. Here’s the thing. I keep going back to the cause and the victims. Don’t get me wrong money is helpful. But there’s no amount of money that can take the place of free hugs, acknowledging, listening or letting someone know they matter. Sure anyone can make these gestures. However, I will never forget and I’m sure the victims of the Colorado shooting massacre won’t forget their visit from Christian Bale. It was done on the fly, on his watch, without any fanfare or publicity, which highlighted their value. Also, I won’t forget the breast cancer survivor who looked overjoyed to hug and tell her story of survival to Robert Pattinson at the Stand Up to Cancer fundraiser. Again, out of the blue, no fanfare, he just shows up and makes the survivor the star. Yes! That to me is priceless.

    • Open Book December 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM #

      ITA! Well said!

  9. Comic Relief December 13, 2012 at 6:13 AM #


    “She turned to charitable giving not only to help those in need but boost her own morale.”

    That’s fantastic, I did not know this.

  10. ozzie20 December 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM #

    Hi everyone!

    Sorry, I’m late. I’ve been dealing with a “Fix it, fix it, fix it…fix it, fix it!” By the sound of things, I may disappear again but I will be back!

  11. littlebells December 13, 2012 at 8:05 PM #

    Hi Ozzie!

    Sorry I am late too! Great comments from everyone so let me go back an get caught up. 🙂

    • Comic Relief December 13, 2012 at 8:12 PM #


      I don’t want to speak for anyone, but I think everyone is waiting for your responses. Until then thanks for such a provocative article.

      • littlebells December 13, 2012 at 8:29 PM #

        HI CR!

        I’m working on it! 🙂

    • ozzie20 December 13, 2012 at 8:32 PM #

      LB! Big hugs! 🙂

      I should have no interuptions now (fingers crossed!). Lovely article LB! It’s a great reminder for this time of year and this article has cheered me up too.

      Hopefully, everyone will be able to see this. I can’t find the first episode (I’ll keep looking) but it’s an amazing documentary!

      • ozzie20 December 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM #

        I still can’t find the first part of this but I did remember that it’s not the only one he’s done. Harry’s Mountain Heros. It’s not fantastic quality but it will do if anyone is desperate to see it. I haven’t seen it myself so I’ll have to watch it later as I’m off to bed now!

  12. littlebells December 13, 2012 at 8:36 PM #

    CR, I’m glad that all of you have enjoyed this topic.

    Most of you have already said so much about Princess Diana, and I don’t want to repeat anything. I would like to add that I think she did a remarkable job as a mom, insofar as setting a tremendous example of what it means to truly give.

    Where much is given, much is required. She had the resources and the availability to go and do so much goodwill that many of us will never have the opportunity. However, I don’t think she would have ever made anyone feel less than stellar if their only charitable contributions are through PBS funding or sending in a check twice a year to Red Cross, etc…

    I know one of you, when you aren’t running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, gives of your time everything Thursday night to serve others.

    Ok, I have more thoughts but I need to step out for a bit. I will come back tonight.

  13. parisienne December 13, 2012 at 8:53 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    I know that Diana had the resources and all to do what she did and that she passed her enthusiam for others down to her sons but as I mentioned before she, IMO, used the charity just as much as they used her but again she was GENUINE.

    In a roundabout way I’m glad that she had the problems she had because she gave so much.

  14. Open Book December 14, 2012 at 4:03 PM #


    Sorry I missed the discussion last night. I wanted to say one last thing before ending this discussion. IMO when someone finds themselves in a bad way either due to poverty, illness or natural disaster etc…. I find its easy for society to ignore or let them slip through the cracks because most people gravitate toward those who are successful rather than those who are not. So when a celebrity who is very recognizable and successful in the media genuinely takes notice and turns the spotlight on someone who might otherwise go unnoticed can do wonders to lift their spirits and empower them.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: