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The Cambridges: Team Of The Future

2177 words - 9 pages

They go by many names: Will Wales and Kate Middleton, Prince William and Catherine, Their Royal Highnesses, the Earl and Countess of Strathearn, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. British Prime Minister David Cameron marked 2011, the year over two billion people around the globe watched their wedding, as the arrival of “’the team of the future’ for an institution ‘that’s helped bind the country together’ and ‘has produced incredible people’” (Smith). The birth of their first child, Prince George Alexander Louis, now third in line to the British throne, further solidified that standing. The couple has brought new life to a monarchy that, fifteen years ago, had serious public relations ...view middle of the document...

Diana’s care for people passed on to her sons, Princes William and Henry (Harry), who now dedicate much of their time to activism of various sorts as well. Economical magazine The Economist classified charity work as part of “the royal knitting: serving in the armed forces, doing good to the poor and waving to crowds” ("The still centre"). Making light of this fact on a recent diplomatic tour of Brazil, Prince Harry cheekily told the press, “’Planting trees, it’s what we do’” (Lee).
Members of the monarchy tend to choose causes close to their own hearts and interests to which they devote their efforts. Prince William’s choices have demonstrated the influence of both his parents. Like his mother, William has shown great compassion for the suffering. William, who has long been involved with the homeless charity Centrepoint, spent a night on the streets of London in 2009 “to highlight the plight of the homeless” (Han). The prince has visited countless hospitals over his years of royal duty. He even serves as president of Royal Marsden Hospital, a role previously held by his mother. In 2013, he observed several surgeries there, including “a pioneering operation to remove a bladder tumour” ("Prince William follows in Diana's footsteps watching live operations"). William and Harry established The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry in 2009 as their “main vehicle for their philanthropic activities” (“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge”). The foundation focuses on, but is not limited to, work with the British armed forces, young people, and conservation efforts.
Having conservation listed as a main focus of The Royal Foundation should come as no surprise. William and Harry inherited their father and grandfather’s passions for the environment. William has served as the patron of Tusk Trust, a conservation foundation, since 2005 and participated in several international events for them. “While he cares for all the threatened animals in the bush, the plight of the black rhino has become exceptionally important to William” (Leader) and he has spent much time raising awareness about the endangered status. In early 2014, William “launched his new wildlife charity...United for Wildlife, a consortium of seven wildlife NGOs” (Johnson) and partnered with his father, Prince Charles, in a high-profile video hoping to raise awareness in advance of a London summit on illegal wildlife trade. William has specifically acknowledged how his parents’ influence led to his interest in conservation and how he hopes to instill the same values in Prince George, carrying on the tradition and responsibility. His charitable efforts, along with his military career as a rescue helicopter pilot, have helped to define him as a compassionate, connected royal figure, a role the family desperately needed to fill during those tough years in the 1990s. “Short of putting Prince William in a super-hero's cape, the royal household could scarcely do better”...

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