Poll Results: Canada Tour 2016 + Prince Harry in new video for Heads Together

Poll Results: Canada Tour 2016 + Prince Harry in new video for Heads Together

Here are the poll results from our Canada Tour 2016 polls. Thank you to everyone who voted! According to the KMR readers, it seems Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s 2016 Canada Tour was not the rousing success that KP wanted it to be, and paled in comparison to the 2011 Canada Tour. Also in this post, Prince Harry in a new video for Heads Together, and my thoughts on that organization.


The 2016 Canada Tour “Success or Failure” ended up in a draw, with 34.84% of those voting thinking the tour wasn’t a success or a failure. I would agree with you guys, the good moments balanced out the bad moments in the tour and overall I was left with a feeling of “Meh” – but Canada was pretty and the kids were cute.

The overall sentiment was meh-bad, with 30.22% of voters thinking the tour was mostly a failure and 23.76% thinking it was a complete failure. 6.34% of voters thought the tour was a complete success and 4.84% thought it was mostly a success.

As far as which Cambridge tour people preferred, well, that title went to the 2011 Canada Tour with 41.13% of the vote, and the New Zealand/Australia tour coming in second with 29.96% of the vote. The 2016 Canada Tour only received 5.21%.


The favorite and second favorite outfits from the tour were easily predictable: the Jenny Packham bespoke blue arrival dress, and the Preen red “Finella” dress worn on day 3 (with 36.24% and 24.37% of the vote, respectively). Third place and below got so few votes it’s not even worth mentioning.


The red and white Alexander McQueen dress worn on day 2 ran away with the Least Favorite poll with 32.61% of the vote. A distant second and third were the Really Wild red cashmere sweater worn to go fishing with 13.13%, and Holland and Holland “safari jacket” worn at Great Bear Rainforest with 12.31%.


The G. Collins & Sons Tanzanite & Diamond Drop Earrings worn on arrival had no competition in the Favorite Earring category, winning with 42.71% of the vote. The Soru Jewellery “Baroque Pearl Double Sided Earrings” worn on day 3 came in second with 11.11%, while Kate’s favorite Kiki McDonough Lauren Leaf earrings worn to the children’s party came in dead last with only 2.43%.


Favorite shoe was a closer race, with the Tod’s burgundy leather fringe pumps worn on day 5 winning by a slim margin with 24.78% of the vote. A close second with 23.02% of the vote were the J. Crew avery tweed heels worn on the last day of the tour. Only 0.88% of those polled liked the Monsoon wedges worn to the children’s party.

At least Kate got rewarded in the polls for branching out with her shoe selection. That’s good to see. Kate needs as much positive reinforcement when it comes to wearing anything that’s not a nude, black, or navy pump.


Heads Together released a new video congratulating the people who learned this week that they have a ballot place to run the London Marathon. The video features some new footage of Prince Harry talking in the grounds of Kensington Palace, as well as A LOT of old footage reused from the first Heads Together video released back in April.


Here’s what Harry says in the video:

    “Congratulations if you’ve got a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon. I hope the first timers amongst you are more excited than scared. Everyone runs the marathon for a different reason, and for fantastic causes. If you already have a place and are undecided who to run for William, Catherine, and I would like to invite you to run with Heads Together. As charity of the year for 2017 London Marathon, our runners will be raising money for some of the nation’s leading mental health charities, and will be starting conversations with their friends, families, and colleagues about the importance of talking openly about mental health. If you are already running or planning to run for another great cause there will be lots of other ways to show your support and help make it the marathon for mental health. Together we can start the biggest ever national movement to end stigma on mental health and change the conversation for everyone. The three of us can’t wait to cheer you on. See you at the finish line.”

The end bit with the headband… Harry is adorable.

There’s been something Heads Together related sticking in the back of my mind for a couple days now, though, which I thought I’d bring up.

To the question, “Where will my money go?”, on the Heads Together website FAQ page, the answer is: “If you are successful in getting one of our Heads Together charity places in the London Marathon 2017, all the money you raise will go directly to the charity you chose on your application form.” Which is all well and good, but what happens with the money raised by sales of The GCHQ Puzzle Book? Where does that money go?

While searching the Heads Together site for the answer – which I did not find – something else occurred to me: Heads Together doesn’t say what their goal is other than promoting the London Marathon and that they want to “change the conversation around mental health”. Their About Us section mentions that they want to “build on the great work that is already taking place across the country, to ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that stigma no longer prevents people getting help they need”, but no where on the site does it say how they plan on achieving this or any sort of specific goal (aside from the London Marathon stuff).

We get on William, Kate, and Harry all the time for not having a clear goal with their involvement with mental health, but Heads Together doesn’t either. How can the royals be expected to state their goals with Heads Together if Heads Together itself doesn’t even state their goals? Is their goal just to raise money for their charity partners via the London Marathon? Okay, but that goal ends in April 2017. Does Heads Together have any long term goals?

To make a really terrible pun, Heads Together needs to get their heads together and make some long term, tangible goals and state them clearly so that they know what they are working toward and William, Kate, and Harry know what they are working toward. If they don’t, and the only thing they care about is “changing the conversation”, then don’t take money from people because it’s just going to… what, pay the people who make the website and promo videos? It’s not going to actually help anyone in any tangible way.

76 thoughts on “Poll Results: Canada Tour 2016 + Prince Harry in new video for Heads Together

  1. I want to know what they mean by saying ‘change the conversation on mental health’ all the time. It means nothing!

    I’m so frustrated with this whole Heads Together rubbish it’s doing MY head in.

      1. I wonder if they keep it so broad so in the future they can relate pretty much any change to their goal. It’s not a very good business/organizational strategy, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    1. I don’t understand why each celebrity has to have their own charity or foundation. there have to be thousands of mental-illness focused charities already in existence, whose efforts directly help people. Why don’t W&K&H highlight one of those charities for two or three months, and then pick another? Maybe proceeds from the marathon can go to a London shelter that takes in mentally ill off the street, or a day care center that focuses on kids with autism, or a hospital combatting depression. Why does everyone feel the need to reinvent the wheel? I imagine most of these celebrity charities fold after a few years. We know some of them serve as slush funds for the wealthy, so supporter beware.

    2. Apparently there will be a BBC documentary for the Heads Together initiative. The documentary will have the three royals and people who have been helped by the Heads Together campaign. The documentary will also have a strong focus on the 2017 London Marathon—which is Heads Together’s “big reward?”.

      As for the broadness of their mission/goals, I agree that it is probably that way so they can steer their campaign anyway/anywhere they want. It does not have to have a direct focus on just one or two areas/issues. It can go to whatever William and Kate are “passionate” or “excited” about.

      However, I see this coming back to be a major problem for them. If it hasn’t already. Since everything is so vague/broad, everything appears to have a lack of focus. Nothing they do really carries any weight.

      1. I hope the documentary is searching, rather than the usual formulaic puff pieces that accompany things ‘royal’. It would be good to see a documentary looking at:
        1. How difficult it is to operate charities in an environment where austerity is in full force ie closure and/or cuts to public services.
        2. How these charities approach mental health for their various constituents (youth, older people etc) and how they measure success.
        3. A critical look at what royal patronage brings to these charities.
        4. Involvement of royals in real terms.

        I’d like to think the objectives would be to pose questions about the state of British society at this particular time and how institutions such as royalty navigates difficult issues in difficult economic times.

        I suspect it will be none of the above, just an obsequious homage to prop up the royals via Heads Together. I’d like to proved wrong though the BBC has a tried and true line in orelock tugging to the royals.

      2. Another problem with the vagueness or broadness of their mission/goals is that they seem so lost their engagements have no focus. They keep repeating same information at every mental health engagement. Also, they always have to have some “fun” aspect to them. William and Kate can’t do something like the Invictus Games Symposium, it’s too serious.

        One thing that they haven’t addressed, that ties into their “stigma” kick, is a lack of education/understanding. They need to talk about bring education, not only to the schools, but to law enforcement, hospitals, the general public… If people are educated and able to understand the importance of mental health (the issues, illnesses, history…), then that will help end—or at least decrease—the stigma surrounding the topic.

  2. Ah, Mr. Rhiannon is in fine form. It’s always lovely to see him in action. I will say that I’m a bit taken aback about the goal and funding for HT. The goal seems to be fluff. It troubles me that there is no clear action or funding. Thanks for highlighting this. I try to do my research on a charity before donating time or money. To be honest, this doesn’t sit well with me. I see it as you are raising money to employ people who get the message out. I appreciate you researching this, KMR.

    I love the poll results. We all have our hits and misses for Canada 2016. Hopefully, WK will have more substantial tours…soon.

    Have a great day everyone. I’ve been kissed by insomnia, so it’s gonna be along day for me.

    1. I agree the goals are fluff, rhiannon. They need concrete markers of success. However, the issue with concrete goals is that you might not achieve them! The Cambridges seem so afraid of failure in every aspect of their life. I think it’s why they are so boring. The funny part is that by not taking risks, they are just failing anyways. I would’ve loved to see goals and a narrative that is more substantive from them.

      On another note, I also had a case of insomnia last evening, let the IV drip of coffee begin 😉

      1. Good point, Lindsey. I am glad KMR brought this to our attention. I am not going to lie that I am disappointed by this. If this were any other business, they would be raked through the coals for it.

        I am on my 4th cup of English Breakfast tea. Had 2 cups of black tea. I am literally vibrating.

    2. Jen, I agree with you and unfortunately have become suspicious of a lot of organizations. I trust some and will gladly donate, others are far too full of double talk, like all money goes to victims and then something about including administrative costs. I won’t give anything unless it’s made perfectly clear to me that every penny goes into the welfare of the people involved. I know there are administrative costs but still I just can’t trust them since I don’t understand. KMR you did an awesome service by your in depth research and commentary.

  3. If you look on the Royal Foundation web site, there is a page for Heads Together. It’s probably another program of the Charities Forum which is supposed to facilitate the various charities working on similar goals together. The Coach Core program was confusing when it was first put together. So, guess HT follows the pattern.

    The partners are:
    The Anna Freud Centre
    Best Beginnings
    CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably
    Contact (a military mental health coalition)
    The Mix
    The Anna Freud Centre

    There’s no way to know if the Royal Foundation grants anything to these charities until their accounts are released, usually 6 mos after the end of the calendar year.

    The web sites:

    1. I watched the “What are we hoping to achieve” video on the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together page. 1) Why is that video not on the Heads Together website? 2) They still didn’t say anything of substance!

      My god, don’t launch a campaign before you clearly outline your goals. I would never give money to Heads Together or the Royal Foundation. If I wanted to help the charities that these two organizations help, I’d donate straight to the charity I wanted my money to go to. Cut out the middle man. Because they’re not doing sh-t.

      1. You think more critically than a lot of people, KMR! I wouldn’t be surprised if many people just see the Royals and donate to the cause without doing much research. Especially big donors who want to gain social status or influence.

      2. Was heads together a charity before the trio participated or was it something their team initiated? If it was the latter, that could be why there is no real path to a long term goal or clear purpose

        1. Heads Together was “initiated” by the Royal trio and put together by their Royal Foundation. It did not exist before the royals got involved.

    2. Well poop, you just answered my little rant above before I even posted it. I know better, I should read all the comments before posting. 🙂

  4. You raise a good point KMR. How are Heads Together measuring the effectiveness of their campaign? How are they ensuring that “people feel comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing” and the stigma around mental health is being reduced? Talking about it simply won’t do.

    Just to clarify, William, Kate and Harry aren’t running the marathon? What a shame 🙁

  5. I think it would be great if Kate, Will, and Harry ran a little…even the last mile. Pippa, after all, regularly runs for charities. I can see Harry doing it, as he does the walks for the wounded, but not so sure about Will and Kate. Kate seems to never want to look sweaty and would prefer to wear wedges instead of running shoes in public. I think Will would have run some in his gap year days, but since meeting Kate, he too wants to have a bit of separation from the crowds. To be fair, security may not encourage them but obviosuly if they are all at the finish line, then their security team is confident everything will be fine.

    Harry seems very comfortable in front of the camera, and I’m glad he is the star of this video as his enthusiasm and cheerfulness is contagious.

    I agree with all of you that the charity’s mission is too broad. I’m worried that means the money is not used efficiently, and too much would be unaccounted for in the hands of “middle men”. I often find it far better to give directly to a cause than though an umbrella organization.

    1. An easy way to get around the security would be to not announce it first have it be a surprise. I think this would be a great morale booster for their Heads Together team and would show that they have some real skin in the game.

        1. Haha–just like that hike up to the Buddhist monastery, she won’t do it unless Natasha is alongside her to freshen her hair and make-up along the way!

  6. Well first tours generally generate more interest – so I suspect another visit to Oz & NZ would get fewer accolades. This would be particularly the case if the venues were very remote and the number of flag wavers and press were restricted. I guess bringing the kids but putting embargoes on any information about them is bound to backfire. Add a largely uninspiring set of clothes – both of them – and it becomes a meh all around. Oh and no apparent boost to the profile of charities that got 15 minutes of time. In summary – the royal family got a scenic holiday and the taxpayer a big bill.

    1. Plus, people still bought into the hype. They were starting to show what they’ve now become. If they wanted “private time” it was okay because they were still in the honeymoon stage. The flashing was just a once happening that was poor dress choice….Now we know otherwise.

  7. Well first tours generally generate more interest – so I suspect another visit to Oz & NZ would get fewer accolades. This would be particularly the case if the venues were very remote and the number of flag wavers and press were restricted. I guess bringing the kids but putting embargoes on any information about them is bound to backfire. Add a largely uninspiring set of clothes – both of them – and it becomes a meh all around. Oh and no apparent boost to the profile of charities that for 15 minutes of time. In summary – the royal family got a scenic holiday and the taxpayer a big bill.

  8. My concern with giving lies with where the money actually goes. Heads Together, as KMR so poetically opines, “does sh*t”, prattling on and on, dotted with a few photo calls of the trio wearing naff headbands and coming across as vacuous. And yes, why don’t the three of them each do a portion of the marathon?

    My larger question is what are the short, medium and long-term plans of Heads Together? No rhetoric please, just nuts and bolts targets.

    My specific questions are:
    1. How much money has been raised by HT?
    2. Of that, how much is allocated per year?
    3. How are funds allocated to this group of charities?
    4. What do they do with those funds?
    5. What percentage of funds goes to ongoing administration?

    Personally, I think the royals need to get real and stop faffing around ‘looking’ as if they are engaged (for self-preservation) when actually they do next to nothing. Either they are actively involved, or go back to shopping and polo and whatever else they do.

    1. Jen, Well put.

      I find the way Heads Together has been rolled out and promoted by the young royals as amateurish. Don’t they have access to top notch talented program managers to advise them? Don’t they care enough about Heads Together to be transparent so that people will want to participate?

      The entire program seems like another exercise in looking like they are busy to justify their lifestyle funded by taxpayers. I just don’t get any sense of sincerity by way of doing hard thoughtful work for the program. I know Harry is the best ambassador for the program because he’s adorable, but it still doesn’t move me.

      Where are the numbers? For the past few decades, every reputable institution has been using numbers to explain money raised and spent to define program parameters. Mealy mouthed slogans just don’t work in giving credibility.

    2. Well said. But transparency isn’t something the RF is good at, or wants to be good at. KMR has done a great job of showing how little they work (number of engagements, time spent at engagements). Imagine how bad their charities look.

      Heads Together 2016
      Amount raised: £30,000
      Amount distributed to affiliated charities: £0
      Number of staffers whose salaries are partially paid out of this slush fund to make us look good: 12

  9. ….ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing“.

    Ye gods. *What does that even mean?!*
    I’d like to knock some heads together. This stuff just enrages me.

    Good questions, KMR. You are right- are they there to disburse monies as they see fit? What is their cut?

    And Heads Together is trying to head a ‘movement’? Ludicrous. Why don’t they just call it, HeadCases Together. I think the name of the organisation is awful and their motivation is suspect. Who thinks these things up for the lazies?

    1. Lol! I like that–“Headcases Together.” Appropriate given I don’t see that they are addressing anything substantial or relevant to real mental health issues.

  10. Prince Harry has set up charities before: Sentebale and the Invictus Games. You know the goals for those charities. You understand what they are trying to achieve. Prince William and Kate Middleton seem to love being vague because it is easier to find a way out. It is easier to make this a short-term campaign, rather than a long-term (or lifelong) goal.

    You did raise some good questions. After the 2017 London Marathon what will Heads Together do? I for one never really understood how the 2017 London Marathon fit into their campaign. Everything about the campaign seems to be a constant work-in-progress. Nothing about the campaign seems to be concrete.

    If I remember correctly, the Heads Together campaign launch was put together last minute. Or at least very hastily—almost like they forgot about it. Prince Harry was in Orlando, working for his charity the Invictus Games, but Prince William and Kate Middleton were home. Yes, you could argue that Princes William & Harry and Kate Middleton could have worked on the campaign launch before Harry left for the Games. However, I feel that Prince William needs everything to be on his time table.

    Regarding where the money goes, all valid questions—they need to work on their transparency. All charities could work on their transparency. Although, I believe their is a charity out there (I can’t remember which one) where you actually get to pick where exactly you want your money to go: education, health, economic structure, etc… You get to pick.

    The Heads Together campaign, their website included (it is awful to navigate), need to figure out their long-term goals and how they will go about achieving them. The vagueness is not really working for them. If they set specific goals and how they will go about achieving them, then the engagements they do won’t seem so unimportant? (I don’t think that’s the right word, but I can’t think of anything else). Their Heads Together engagements seem to forgo structure—mainly their Heads Together launch and their engagement for World Mental Health Day.

    I remember seeing a video of the campaign launch, where the three of them were at a roundtable discussion. We do not know what was discussed. However, if I wanted good press and to be seen as someone who is taking this topic seriously, I would have let the press in. (Just like Kate should have done when she went to the Netherlands for the Learning Exchange Seminar). Sadly, that would require The Cambridges to partake is a greater effort and actually express to people that they have actually learned something on the issue. The repetitiveness of the words “taboo” and “stigma” do not show anyone that they have learned anything. Yes, getting rid of the stigma is important, but there is more to this issue than that.

    Their desire, mainly Prince William and Kate’s, to completely control the press is hurting the charitable message they want to get across. They really need to figure out a balance—like Prince Harry. He dislikes the press, but he knows—and understands—that he needs them in order for his charities and campaigns to be successful. Just look at his efforts for the 2016 Orlando Invictus Games.

    Sorry for this being so long. I could write more, but I’ll just cut it off here.

    Thank you for creating such a wonderful blog.

    (P.S. This has nothing to do with this post, but Prince Harry issued a statement regarding The Sun’s article. The article was about how Prince Harry has “strong views” regarding the governments policy issue around the prosecutions of soldiers. @GertsRoyals has a copy of the statement. It’s a very good statement. I hope you talk about it—even though this is a Kate Middleton blog Prince Harry is doing amazing work and I hate that it is really being ignored. Not specifically by you, because it’s not, but it seems to be ignored by the press and others. So when you write about him I get really happy.)

    1. I just remembered this:

      (Regarding Kate Middleton’s trip to the Netherlands) Getty Images has three/four videos of her at the Learning Exchange Seminar. The audio is turned off, all you hear is static. At first I thought it was my computer, but when I clicked on another video—from her trip—I found that the audio was fine. The audio on the roundtable discussion videos was turned off because that was what the royals (mainly what Prince William or Kate?) wanted.

      Which I find weird because this seminar had two of her patronages: Place2Be and Action on Addiction attending. You would think that this would be a major event for her. Seeing as how we are told she wants to be seen as a working charitable royal, not someone who is lazy and spoiled.

      What else is weird is that we were given no statements or quotes from anyone who attended the discussion. We know absolutely nothing, other than the roundtable actually took place. And we only know that because we have pictures and the random press release.

      I am concerned by this. Anyone else?

      1. Hi, thisbis apprarently a quote from People, used on the BrhDuchessKate website:

        “She has initiated a brilliant idea of bringing institutions together that have similar interests,” says Peter Fonagy, the chief executive of the Anna Freud Centre, who joined Kate in Holland. “She’s aiming to help us learn from each other and bring back what there is from each side. The bridge-building could signal a widening of her initiative, he says: “Because of her charisma, because of her interest, she is able to bring together people who would not normally be talking to one another and that brings enormous value.”

        1. Charities work together all of the time. The idea of an umbrella organization is not a new concept. Kate Middleton did not create the “brilliant” concept of an umbrella charity/organization (charities coming together with a common cause/goal/mission).

          I agree that sometimes charities do not talk to each other and some are unwilling to work with each other. But that could be they have fundamental differences on how to run their charities. That can create major problems.

          However, “Because of her charisma, because of her interest, she is able to bring together people who would not normally be talking to one another and that brings enormous value”. —On some level this might be true. Charities might be willing to work with Kate’s patronages for good promotion. But weren’t Place2Be and Action on Addiction working together long before Kate got involved?

          Kate was announced to be patron of Place2Be in April 2013. During the same month she attended The Willows Primary School, announcing the launch of MPACT-Plus (which brought together Place2Be and Action on Addiction). That program was a project that was in the works long before Kate became patron. She had nothing to do with it.

          Also, it’s People Magazine. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into what they say, they always make William and Kate (especially Kate) come out smelling like roses. I don’t know why Kensington Palace go to them. They are a U.S. publication, the U.S. has nothing to do with ensuring that the monarchy continues.

          By working with People Magazine, Prince William and Kate are saying that they want to be seen as celebrities. Celebrities (i.e. Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, etc…) use People Magazine. Royalty should not.

          **Note: An exception to this is Prince Harry when he was promoting the 2016 Orlando Invictus Games. He was appealing to the U.S. audience to get them to watch the games. The Games were being broadcasted by ESPN, a U.S. sporting network(s). If the U.S. audience did not know about the Games or he only promoted them through U.K. media (which he did as well, he did not leave the U.K. press out) then the Games would not have been as successful as they were. He knows his audience.**

        2. Daisy! THAT was the post that prompted a commenter on Duchess Kate Blog to say she thought Kate should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in mental health.

          I read it days ago and I’m still laughing.

        3. Oh my goodness, life is sunny and simple at the DuchessKate blog…

          Nobel Peace Prize? Have some standards, please.

          It’s disappointing that executives from these charities feel the need to talk up Kate when there is just no evidence of deep involvement on her part in mental health initiatives. It reeks of obsequiousness.

          My only takeaway from Kate’s mental health ‘work’ is her shopping spree after a ‘full day’ of editing the Huff Po which in Kateland equalled 45 minutes of photo ops.

        4. Why do they keep parroting all this crap like Kate is some paragon of mental wellness advocacy? It make me SO ANGRY because it’s just PR fluff – people believe it, this is why W&K are so well liked, because they have people say this rubbish when it has NO basis in reality, but everyone buys it.

        5. Darn it Daisy, post a warning next time! The charisma and interest quote almost made me spill a perfectly good glass of wine

      2. My bad the other charity attending the Learning Exchange Seminar, during Kate’s trip to the Netherlands, was the Anna Freud Centre, not Place2Be.

        It was my mistake.


    2. Great points Carrie, and some good sleuthing too. I think many on this site agree that the way W&K go about their “work” might ultimately undo the reasons for their existence. Will’s paranoia about the press and insistence on privacy will render his family irrelevant, and then what will they do when they want to move the tennis court another 65 feet?

      1. Kate and William might have to – gulp – use their ‘own’ money when the public well runs dry.

        On a serious note, I agree that the Cambridge’s preciousness about their privacy plus their limp work ethic will render them both irrelevant and not worth the staggering amount for their upkeep.

  11. Yes, KMR, they do need to get their heads together and figure things out better. Raising money for causes, but not giving any idea as to how that money will be spent is not doing any good. Surely, there are watch groups that monitor such non-profits and will report on how the money that is raised is actually used. I’d look into any of those non-profit watchdogs before forking any money over.

    I realize the importance of making sure that people feel more comfortable/safe in admitting they need help with mental illness, but if I hear it one more time in regard to Heads Together, I think I will scream. Find a different approach. You can still make the point you want to make without spitting out the same words.

    Harry is adorable. What else can I say?

    The polls regarding the recent Canada trip were fun and the results were a bit surprising to me in regard to Kate’s wardrobe. Yes, I thought that horrible red and white McQueen dress was the least fave, but I hated the red evening dress. It did better than I thought it would. Live and learn.

    Have a good day, all.

  12. The cynic in me looked at the Royal Foundation website and wondered if Heads Together and United for Wildlife were created to direct more funds directly to the foundation itself, rather than to the charities these “efforts” are partnered with. They certainly direct more attention toward the royal trio than to the charities they are “serving”, and, by doing so, seem to be trying to justify the existence of the royals rather than serving worthy organizations.

    Interesting to compare the websites of the Royal Foundation and the Prince’s Trust. Which better states its mission, defines its goals, reports outcomes, and not only includes ways to become involved but ways to receive help? Easy to guess what I think. Visually, I admit to preferring the Royal Foundation’s site, but know that mega bucks have been spent on graphic design and images.

    Different subject, but I’m guessing Pippa won’t be running in the marathon in her role as an ambassador for the British Heart Foundation. Too bad because it would be a perfect fit for her and that charity. Perhaps it’s because of her wedding that she won’t, but it also wouldn’t do to compete for media coverage with the royal foundation.

    1. There are also charities The Royal Foundation says it supports, but they have not actually been supported by them in years. The Royal Foundation says it supports: ARK, Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge and Hiring Our Heroes. Sadly, I can’t remember the last time any one of these causes was supported by The Royal Foundation.

      If you click on the link for some of these “projects,” you will find that the information hasn’t been updated in include recent years (last update was 2011 or 2012). The royals only seem to be able to support only a few (that’s being generous to some royals – aka William and Kate) causes at a time. They don’t appear to be able to balance multiple charitable causes at once.

      Right now they are on a mental health kick. That might change within the next year. We were told in the beginning, 2012, that children’s hospices was Kate’s main cause. Then it went to addiction. Now it is mental health, which to be fair she was stuck with the longest of the three.

      Prince Harry seems to be able to balance: mental health, veterans, mentoring children, sport, HIV/AIDS, conservation, etc… just fine. Either he needs to leave the Foundation and start one of his own. Or he needs to leave The Cambridge’s press office and have his own press team. Or he could do both…he should do both.

      Either way, Prince Harry seems to have figured it out. He works hard at it. He understands his role. His brother and sister-in-law need to take notice. They can’t keep bringing Harry down so they can look good. Prince Harry puts effort into the causes/charities he supports. We’ve seen what Harry is capable of through Sentebale and the Invictus Games.

      The Royal Foundation (and Heads Together – to a lesser extent), which I believe we were told is not taking in a lot of money, needs to be reorganized (from the ground up). They need to reevaluate their: mission, goals, services/projects – everything needs to be reworked.

      1. Thanks for your insights, Neal and Lizzie.

        It seems that royal patronage is fickle if charities enjoying patronage have had no input for four or more years. The various charities are merely a vehicle for the royals to show their faces for their own PR purposes with the narrative of ‘passion’, ‘keenness’ rolled out with military-like precision to keep the Cambridge’s constantly in the news and linked to the charities.

        You’d think that the younger royals would use The Prince’s Trust as a blueprint since it has a proven track record particularly with disseminating transparency in where funds go. No need to re-invent the wheel. Surely their father or his advisors would prove invaluable in this regard?

        Perhaps British readers could enlighten us to how Heads Together is perceived, offering reasons for lack of fundraising? From a continent away I’d suggest that many Britons are pretty strapped financially, and fallout from Brexit is keeping people anxious about their individual and collective futures. The royals seem to get coverage at the drop of a hat so it’s not as if they struggle to get out the message. Are they perceived as dilletantes?

        I agree that Harry seems to have the measure of work though I’d suggest that he takes advice and puts in some decent hours. William and Kate appear to wing it on every occasion, boast about doing the opposite of what their advisors suggest, and do no prep. Their ridiculous privacy issues are a mechanism to hide their lack of knowledge; the Netherlands round table would have exposed lack of deep knowledge and general skill on Kate’s part, hence the ‘secrecy’ and nil results of the meeting.

      2. RE: ARK
        A grant was given to ARK-UK programs in 2012. ARK partnered with PEAS to develop secondary schools in Uganda and funds were granted to PEAS 2012-13-14. There are now 24 ARK-PEAS schools.

        RFoundation partnered with the vanStraubenzee Memorial Fund in this effort.

        In 2012 ARK received 400,000 from the RFoundation.
        From 2012 through 2014, PEAS received 1,997,00 from the RFoundation.
        The majority of grants from the RFoundaton 2011-2015 has been directed to organizations that focus on disadvantaged children and young people — a little over 6,000,000.

      3. RE: Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge

        From the 2011 accounts, page 11:
        ”The Foundation also received a restricted grant of 1million from the London Marathon Charitable Trust to support the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge for grants within the 33 London Boroughs.”

        The funds distributed were from an outside source for a specified purpose and were not part of the Foundations resources. It was distributed as directed.

    2. Lizzie and Neal, thank you for great info.

      It really irks me that they have to have their own foundation, which may or not be successful, when they have turned down the Prince’s Trust, a very well run organization, which will, in a few years, be without a royal head. Control of publicity is their only aim.

      1. I have a feeling that Prince Harry might take over the Prince’s Trust when Charles becomes king. He has attended meetings and visited places on behalf of Prince Charles over the course of the last three/four years. Remember he went to Transylvania on behalf of Prince Charles.

        The Royal Foundation is poorly run, but just look at the Kensington Palace press office. Their office is poorly managed, and we have been told that everything is at the directive of Prince William (who thinks he is a media genius).

        When Prince William and Kate Middleton need to convey a message to the press (when they are on tours or engagements) it is all poorly handled. They keep everyone at arms length. Remember during their India & Bhutan tour, everything (including a walk from the hotel to the car) was choreographed.

        When Prince Harry needs to convey a message to the press (whether on tour or at an engagement) he makes sure the press and the public get “their money’s worth”. In his recent tours he has posted personal photographs or videos. Yes, he does it via Twitter (which annoys the press), but at least it is something. He gives more than he can take. He lets people in, but not too much. He still makes sure there is distance, but only a healthy amount.

        I also think that The Cambridges and Prince Harry (again, to a lesser extent) try to bypass the media completely. Releasing everything via social media (i.e. Twitter). It is a form of controlling the narrative (no Hamilton pun intended).

        If you also noticed, the royal press pack has decreased when William and Kate complete engagements. Their use of social media, when at engagements, has increased. Everything that William and Kate have done is to ensure that they have total control. If you go back through their recent engagements, the media has been fairly quiet. Even when William and Kate were on their Canadian tour, the press was quiet. Everything was a non-story.

        I would really look to Prince Harry as the future on the monarchy. He has found a balance between keeping tradition and being modern (less stuffy, which William & Kate are not). I would look to him to continue to help his father and anyway he can, which might mean taking over the Prince’s Trust.

        1. Great analysis and right on the money.

          It makes sense for Harry to take over The Prince’s Trust; it’s a good fit in terms of work ethic and sense of purpose. Perhaps Harry can integrate his own work into TPT, and gently, diplomatically move away from The Royal Foundation.

          Your words flush out what a dolt William is; such a silly man. The Cambridge narrative is controlled to the point of suffocation and its sameness is tedious. I can well understand editors limiting coverage: too many resources employed for too little return.

          Always nice to have a Hamilton reference.

          1. William has shown little to no interest in TPT, which is so unfortunate because Prince Charles has made it into a wonderful organization and put in his heart and soul.

            I believe that the charity was meant to be taken over by the future Prince of Wales, but I would love to see Harry take it over.

          2. The Prince’s trust wasn’t started by the Prince of Wales title. It was started by Prince Charles who happens to be Prince of Wales, as his personal charity. The 2 are separate things.

            Charles has expressed a wish for the sons to carry it on, but they are going their own way. The Prince’s trust isn’t like the duchy of cornwall which IS tied into the Duke of Cornwall title.

            Charles can be proud of it’s standing because it has a good chance of carrying on without him or a prince at it’s helm.

            These sorts of confusion is why people assume the crown estates once belonged to the royal family simply because they have crown in the title.

  13. People will feel better talking about their mental health when they believe that their issues are resolvable, that they can be helped. When people know that “normal” covers more territory than the average middle-schooler believes, that mental disorders do not define a person, and that mental difficulties are “fixable” then people will lose much of the impetus to attach stigma to mental disorders. In short, Heads Together should do a better job of addressing the substance of the issue, and allow the style (removing stigma, ect.) to take care of itself. At first, anyway. It may be necessary to remind people that laughing at people with disabilities isn’t cool, whether they rely on crutches, stutter, or can only sleep with the light on.

  14. KMR, this is only tangentially related, but I thought it was very interesting and hoped you’d mention it.

    I read on some other site that EACH sent out an email blast this morning about their big annual gala to raise $ for the Nook appeal, and Kate’s name appears nowhere. It is all about how Ed Sheeran is the featured guest.

    I remember reading a rumor a while back that EACH was very unhappy with how little Kate did as their patron, and that they reached out to Ed in the hopes that he would do more. This seems to prove that was in fact true. Info here:


    1. Ha good for them for taking charge!

      I saw where she didn’t do the influential women dinner because she was leaving for the Netherlands the next day!! Get real. For all the talk about how “normal” they want to be, they’d never survive. Real women work the day/night before they leave on a work trip. Yet she had people to prepare for her trip and it’s not like it’s. Long tedious flight.
      I think what they need to say is they want to be normal like their rich aristocratic friends normal and not the normal as 99% of us would describe.

    2. I love when EACH make a statement thanking Kate to being agree to be here for the EACH gala in Norfolk : for me it is passive agressive.

      I don’t have something particular to add about Kate and William.

      I love Harry and his enthousiasm in his work : I find it funny that Kate’s fans saying that she works more than Harry about the number of engagement. I already said that but I repeat : I wonder if at the end of the day, Kate will have more engagement than Harry’s : for now without Harry’s engagement in Carabean, she has more engagements… If it will be the case, it will be interesting to see the reaction of the press : change from the beginning of the year : critics about lack of work of WK to H.

      Anyway, the number of engagement means nothing : preparation, real interest, publicity about causes truly matters.

      1. A lot of Prince Harry’s engagements aren’t counted. I don’t think the Invictus Games were counted, at all. There is a theory that a lot of Prince Harry’s engagements don’t count (make it to the CC) or are bundled up (to count as less) so Prince William and Kate can look good. Make it appear that The Cambridges do more.

        So while Prince Harry may always have less on the Court Circular, he prepares for his engagements to a far greater extent than his brother or sister-in-law ever do. He also holds a greater interest in his charities/engagements than The Cambridges do.

        So while Kate fans love to point out that she conducts more engagements than Prince Harry, Prince Harry’s actions (via his preparation and genuine interest), speak great volumes than any number.

  15. I’ve been reading this blog for some time now, but this is my first time commenting. I just have to say how much I enjoy all your comments. I’m always struck by the total lack of malice and outright pettiness in the comments here–it’s like we are all genuinely pulling for Kate to succeed–and KMR, I think that must be a testament to your coverage and the overall tone you’ve set. So, bravo everyone, and thank you!!

    I finally decided to comment because I went down the internet rabbit hole on Diana recently, and I was astounded (imagine that word in all caps–trying to respect KMR’s commenting policy:)) by the similarities between how we see Kate currently and how Diana was described in her early (and sometimes later) days. I’m sure some of you have read this 2006 article/excerpt from the Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-404344/Diana-reassessed.html), but it talks about Diana’s penchant for distorting the truth/outright lying, her “sheer laziness,” and even how “at age sixteen, she set her sights on the heir to the throne.” In one passage, it says “she developed an inferiority complex, which she balanced by an almost mystical belief in the power and rightness of her own instinct” which made me wonder if this could also explain Kate’s seeming refusal to get good help–at speaking, styling, engaging–so she can get better at those things.

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment but this is just food for thought. Maybe Kate IS more like Diana than we think, just not in the ways she probably wishes–the grace, empathy, naturalness, etc. Finally, I will just say that the reason I think Diana captivated us all is because she was a woman willing to evolve. She made many missteps and admitted to many regrets, but she at least was out there living. This is what I long for for Kate.

    1. Diana wasn’t perfect, but by 34 no one was questioning her work ethic with charities or her interest in them. Kate has been tangentially linked to the Royal family since university, which was roughly about the same age Diana was when she married. She had ten years before marriage to see what it entailed, which is more than Diana ever got.
      So many excuses are made for why Kate doesn’t work as much, but at her age her character is formed and won’t change. There would have to be a massive threat to her position for any real change to happen. Thinking Kate is going to become a workaholic and take real interest in the charities is like pretending Trump at 59 didn’t know what he was saying to Billy Bush but now is a much better person. Neither scenario will happen.
      So now the PR resort to lies in People magazine to make her look interested about anything. The difference between now and Diana’s time though is that social media can pierce through the PR and official statements and see the truth. Sure they are some naive to the facade, but twitter shows how long the visits are and keeping track of what is or isn’t done is very easy to do.

      There will be a tipping point with the taxpayers one day, and it may come sooner than Will and Kate realize. Charles seems to understand on some level that the BRF needs to justify its existence. These two do not.

      1. I think Charles recognises the precariousness of the monarchy; as a concept it sits on shaky ground in the 21st century. There is little relevance to the royals, and in the case of William and Kate, their lives are devoid of purpose. But they won’t go easily when their lives have been entirely made of privilege and status paid for by others.

        As you say, there will be a tipping point. It’s harder to justify enormous government spending on the Windsors while simultaneously dismantling and limiting access to health, housing and education systems.

        Additionally, all sorts of people set up and run initiatives to help people. You don’t have to be ‘royal’ to do these things, just devoted to causes. While not decrying royal foundations, they sit in a landscape comprising many similar initiatives.

    2. Welcome, Green Tree! I want Kate to do well. I rooted for her in the beginning because of her long wait to marry will. But then, it fell flat. Maybe I was expecting Diana 2.0. Bit she wasn’t even Kate 1.0. Now I feel frustrated.

  16. The Canada tour results were not surprising to me. Personally for me, the best part about the tour was the kids but even that was not used to its fullest potential. All that way for an arrival, a party and a departure. Oh well…next vacation!

    Harry’s video shows him being his usual good hearted self. I still think the headbands are dorky but his laugh saved it all in the end. He’s much better without the Cambridge anchors attached to him. My sincere hope is that he continues to step out on his own in the future.

    Another great post, thanks KMR!!

  17. Long time lurker, second comment here!

    Continued phenomenal work on the blog, KMR! You made some excellent points about Heads Together being more transparent on their goals. That is so important. I know I look to the goals of the organization and how much of the money (should be almost all of it in my opinion) raised goes toward the clients of the program/organization.

    Many thanks for always including Harry! Thanks to your blog I have turned into a big Harry fan based on all the work that he does (and is often overlooked) as well as his natural charm and empathy. I could listen to his voice all day long (I have always loved the British accent. If my Illinois born husband would start speaking in a British accent, he could get away with ANYTHING!).

    1. Speaking of voices have you listened to Charles’s voice?

      Harry and Charles gave similar voices though Charles’s voice is deeper.

      Charles isn’t necessarily a looker, but my goodness that voice!!

      1. Herazeus, I have long been a fan of Charles’ voice. I mean from early days. The man could read the alphabet to me and I’d be sitting there with the goofiest smile on my face floating on a cloud. And Harry is in that same mode. Seriously, love listening to Charles talk.

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