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  • 5 minutes
  • 15/09/2022
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“Our responsibilities to others is greater than ever.”

Her Majesty’s passing last Thursday, prompted us to reflect on the achievements of her extraordinary 70 years on the throne.

Her time has supported our sense of responsibility to support people, our places and the planet.

Although it is impossible to list them all, we want to share our thoughts on some ways that Her Majesty, and the Royal Family, have led the way in building a stronger, more sustainable society.

Our modern world places such heavy demand on our time and attention that the need to remember our responsibilities to others is greater than ever.

In the Queen’s own words, “Our modern world places such heavy demand on our time and attention that the need to remember our responsibilities to others is greater than ever”. Here we pay tribute to the Royal Family’s focus on charity, the institutions they have created, their environmentalism and their dedication and service across the globe.

A focus on charity

Since Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952, members of the Royal Family have used their profile as a platform to raise awareness of a variety of causes. The Queen herself was patron to over 500 charities during her life. Not only did she attach her considerable prestige to institutions, but also her commitment to serve them. She attended openings, met staff and hosted events and celebrations at her Royal residencies. In the process, she devoted hours of her time to a range of incredibly worthy causes, some household names to us, such as the British Red Cross, and others lesser known, like the Ayrshire Cattle Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Creating new institutions

The Royal Family has also built their own community focused institutions.  Almost half a century ago, the now King Charles III created the Prince’s Trust, an organisation that provides mentoring, grants, and free courses to help young people in need. To date the foundation has helped one million people and injected £1.4bn into society.

Another example is the late Prince Phillip’s Duke of Edinburgh Award. The award empowers young people to develop new skills and encourages them to serve charities in their local community. The foundation won a Social Value Award in 2022.

Keeping green

It’s no secret that King Charles has long been a passionate environmentalist. He opened COP26 with a detailed action plan to halt the effects of climate change. He founded Accounting for Sustainability, a company that is driving the financial sector to adopt sustainable business models, and closer to home, he even runs his Aston Martin on excess wine and cheese by-products!

Similarly, his son Prince William, seems to have inherited his father’s drive to protect the planet. In 2020 he worked with Sir David Attenborough to launch the Earthshot Prize, which gives a one-million-pound grant to five breakthrough environmental projects every year.

Serving the nations

As Head of State, the Queen oversaw an unprecedented period of transition of Britain’s international influence.

She was acutely aware of how social equality was interconnected between nations across the globe. In her 1983 Christmas Speech, she outlined that, “the greatest problem in the world today remains the gap between rich and poor countries. What we want to see is still more modern technology being used by poor countries to provide employment and to produce primary products and components”.

Projects and institutions created by the Royal Family during her reign have reflected this. In 1988 the Duke of Edinburgh Award was rolled out internationally, while Prince Harry’s Invictus Games was created in 2014 to unite ex-service men and women with life-changing injuries around the world.

The greatest problem in the world today remains the gap between rich and poor countries.

Queen Elizabeth’s influence and her family, have supported a host of ways to create opportunities for people and communities and to drive value for society.

Whilst we might not all have the infrastructure to create institutions like the Duke of Edinburgh Award, it’s worth remembering that King Charles started the Prince’s Trust with the £7,400 severance pay he received when he was decommissioned from the navy. There are many ways we can all be resourceful and use our expertise or time to support our communities and charities.

The Queen also showed that by leading with kindness and purpose, you can make a big difference to all.  A look back over her reign shows that she saw the bigger picture. Even seemingly small acts, were delivered with immense consideration to unite people and make a positive impression.

Making a difference

The Royal Family serves as an inspiration for us all to make a difference. The Queen has dutifully shown the impact that can be achieved, and her legacy will live on for many years to come.

Our whole business supports the delivery of greater value to society, so it’s no surprise we sing the praises of such mastery to do good. We believe Social Value should be something high on the agendas of businesses around the globe, and will follow the Queen’s sense of duty in delivering against our cause. You’ll hear more about how we can help you start your Social Value journey from next week, but until then, we respectfully mourn with the nation and celebrate her life’s work.

Long live the King.