Prince Harry on charity work: turning up once a year isn’t beneficial to anybody

Prince Harry on charity work: turning up once a year isn’t beneficial to anybody

Prince Harry spent Halloween in Chicago with Michelle Obama visiting a school before attending the Obama Foundation Summit where he participated in a talk on the Royal Foundation and the ways that youth can be the drivers of community engagement and development.

Embed from Getty Images

I watched the entire conversation and recommend it if you have the time as I enjoyed hearing from Chantelle Stefanovic and David Peterson as well as Harry. I’ve pulled some of Harry’s comments below – I cut out his filler words and stuttering this time as I know many of you don’t like when I include that. My headings are not the exact questions from the interviewer, Mellody Hobson, but rather a general idea of what she was asking.

Did Harry always embrace his royal role and responsibility?

    “No, I don’t think I understood it. I think what happened to my mum probably put me a step back, thinking, well, how could someone who did so much for the world and did so much for everybody else could be treated like that by a certain institution? So, it’s takes a bit of getting used to, but, as I said, once you understand the privileged position that you’re in, you’ve then got to spend the rest of your life earning that privilege and giving back and also getting the trust and respect of the general public and also using that position for good.”

The younger generation has turned Harry from a pessimist to an optimist.

    “The younger generation of the world has turned me into an optimist because they are the best connected, best the most passionate generation that, I think, that we’ve ever had. And what we need to do is be able to create a platform so that they can be heard, because they have the solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.”

William, Kate, and Harry have way less charities than other royal family members, how does the trio focus on their charities versus the other royal family members?

    “My grandmother had to re-write the rule books, to a certain extent, my father, my mother have also done it their way, and now we’re the younger generation coming through trying to do it our way, because the world has changed so much. We believe that by streamlining and by bringing people together in order to affect real, positive change it is the only way forward. And it worked for previous generations when we would always say yes to becoming patron of a charity, that we believe in and that we’re incredibly passionate about, but I think in today’s world you have to be involved with things that make sense to where your passions lie rather than potentially turning up to a charity once a year. I don’t think that’s necessarily beneficial to anybody. But our mental health campaign, Heads Together, back in the UK is a classic example of where we were able to bring together 8 charities within the mental health sector [he’s given a new mic], we were able to bring together 8 mental health charities that had been working in the sector for many, many, many years, but being able to bring them together and say ‘right, you guys have never sat ’round a table together and discussed the main issues. What we want to be able to do now is, through our foundation, create a platform in which your expertise and your experience is elevated and therefore you tell us what needs to be done around mental health within the UK and globally.’ And they said if you can remove the stigma, that makes our life a lot easier. So that’s exactly what we did, we tried to remove the stigma and tried to normalize the discussion around mental health.”

In the past, royals lent their name to create a halo around an organization, but the younger royals want more direct action and involvement. The interviewer cuts Harry off after he starts to push him on why he thinks the royals have to be more hands on in today’s world.

    “I think in today’s world you have to be, I think you have to be much more hands on, and also… If you end up working individually for let’s say 200 charities, in today’s world, I think that kind of dilutes the impact that you can have. What our foundation is all about, and what our platform is all about, is encouraging people to come together, to work together, so that there’s less competition within that sector, whether it’s financially or otherwise, and saying right guys you’re all doing the same thing please let’s get ’round a table, talk to each other, work it out and come up with a long term strategy.”

Why haven’t people brought charities together before, why does the world need another charity in The Royal Foundation?

    “So that’s my motto is exactly that, why another charity? Our foundation is not another charity, we’re not trying to take up any more space. I think we all agree the charity sector is quite full at the moment. But as I said, what we’re trying to do is use our platform to be able to bring people together to affect change.”

Why haven’t other people brought people together to affect change?

    “Because I genuinely believe that we as a foundation will never be able to compete with some of the other big foundations financially, as weird as that may sound but that’s a fact, what we do have is a unique ability to be able to put our name, and everything that that comes with, to a really good purpose, to a really good cause. And, as I said, there are many good organizations out there that have never come together and that would never sit ’round a table and discuss the topic of which they’re all involved with, but we’ve proven that, we’ve made that possible.”

The trio have leveraged their name to bring people together because it’s hard getting people to work together.

    “It’s hard working together as a family, and it’s hard working together when you are scraping for the same money within the same sector, as a lot of people know, but through some of the initiatives that we’ve created – Invictus Games, as an example, that brought together 10, 12 different service charities to be able to share expertise, share knowledge, share experience specifically around mental health so that they are all standardization across the board to make sure that whatever the best practice was everybody was sharing that, therefore if there is a wounded soldier that’s left the forces, that’s been lost in amongst the chaos of everything else, if they stick their head above the parapet and they go to Help for Heroes, one of the charities in the UK, if that’s not for them, like you go to your supermarket everybody chooses the supermarket they want to go to, it’s the same with the charity sector, if you’ve got 101 choices to choose from, every single person is uniquely wired and therefore their cure or their fix will be specific to them, but what we’re able to do is bring everybody together once again ’round a table and say right, you’re now part of a group, you’re part of something, and therefore anybody that comes in gets the opportunity or option of 12 of you rather than 1 of you.”

How does the trio decide what topic to focus the Royal Foundation on?

    “Early intervention, where possible, is definitely the key. Impact is definitely, has to be the priority. None of us want to spend the rest of our lives connected to charities of which we’re just making people’s lives better, far rather identify a problem and try and fix it before it becomes and even bigger problem.”

The Royal Foundation has shown it can be successful by listening. Harry goes off into a tangent about media coverage.

    “For us, we put the people at the core of everything we do, at the heart of everything we do is the people or the organizations. Yes, fine, in the media most of the time all you’ll hear is our names or what so-and-so is wearing, and all that kind of stuff, but actually our focus is always them. And if that is showing other people how it should be done, then that’s fine. We can’t control who writes what, but it can be quite frustrating when you’re trying to be as positive as possible about a certain issue, and trying to make the focus X, Y, or Z but everybody else is more interested or concerned about something else.”

Isn’t that coverage still bringing attention to the charity that it wouldn’t have otherwise received?

    “Um. [mouth noises] No, I think as long as the focus from our perspective is the people on the ground and the organizations of which we are supporting on that day, whatever they want to write about they can write about. But we will do everything we can to make sure that the core of the issue and the charity and their name and the support they’re after is all focused around that.”

Why did Diana receive the moniker “The People’s Princess”, and what did Harry learn from that that informs him?

    “I think she had a lot in common with everybody, but also she certainly listened. In a very, very short space of time she was like a vacuum going around, sucking up all the information, all the criticism, all the issues, all the positives, all the negatives from everybody, and then putting her name and her platform toward some of the biggest issues of which had never been talked about. We do, in society we suffer from this illusion, or this reality, where some problems become so big that nobody wants to get involved. She was the one that changed that. I will always look up to her as being my ideal role model because everything she did and the way she did it was having an impact, it was making a difference. … She re-wrote the rule book. She pushed the boundaries more than every before and she was successful and I think that all of the people that she was working with would be incredibly grateful for her pushing those boundaries, but it’s not always easy but in today’s world I think the boundaries need to be pushed more and more.”

[Transcribed from the video below]

I quite like the idea of helping people help themselves, and now that Harry has explained a bit better what the Royal Foundation is trying to achieve with all their ‘listening trips’ to various organizations, that makes sense. However, Harry is wrong in that the Royal Foundation ‘is not another charity, we’re not trying to take up any more space’ because the Royal Foundation does take in money and doesn’t distribute all that money to their charity partners. Like, the Royal Foundation could very well be taking money away from their charity partners, and in effect be competing with them for capital. Also, a very easy way to force the media to write about more than just Kate’s clothes? If Kate actually made a statement at her engagements about the charity. Then the media would cover her statement, too, and not just her clothes.

Before attending the Summit, Harry and Michelle Obama visited Hyde Park Academy. They spent over an hour talking with young people about the importance of young people staying inspired and the power of students using their voices to change the world.

Prince Harry and Michelle Obama October 2017 s
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

Here is a brief video of the conversation. At the end of the video, Harry comments that he doesn’t eat pizza anymore (because Meghan made him stop?) but he had Chicago pizza the night before.

88 thoughts on “Prince Harry on charity work: turning up once a year isn’t beneficial to anybody

  1. I love seeing Harry working with Michelle Obama, their joint endeavours really seem to bring out the best in him. Stately, military, informed Harry.

    That said, I cringed at some of the answers he gave during the Q&A. Too many empty platitudes and a lot of answers fell flat. Why are he, his brother and sister in law taking on less patronages and committing to less hours? Well… Because we’re more advanced than the previous generations and this means one event per month is *quite* enough. Goodness, he came across as nearly petulant as William. Whinging about the dratted media, waffling on for at least two separate questions about how important young people are, so much more important than *old* people.

    I wanted him to shine. I have loved the work he’s been doing lately with Invictus (he really knows how to thrive in an auditorium filled with Heads of State, and when he speaks about veterans and military issues, it is moving and inspired). And I LOVE how supportive he is of Meghan – I think they’ll make quite the team! But somehow whenever he talks about himself he can’t help but heap on the accolades, and just seem a bit… overly self congratulatory. And when will one of Charles’s sons take to publicly praising their father’s work as much as they do their mother’s? He is asked about both of them often enough.

    In all, I am hopeful for Harry’s future role in the BRF. I see him clearly in love with a strong, confident woman and I think he’ll be happy in marriage. And he grows in his role every year, good on him! But at times, he reminds me so much of his entitled brother and I am forced to remember that they are probably more alike than not.

    Apologies if this seems overly bleak; I was not impressed with Harry’s answers at this event. Side note: I wish he’d done up that last button. It was out of sorts in the same way as a lot of his words.

  2. I thought Chantalle was amazing! I loved that she said she had to inspire herself!
    I stated before I had several issues with what Harry had to say but before I get into those, I will say he was his best when talking about the military and how they act as a family. He was also good when he talked about Chantalle.
    Now for the issues. No, the RF and the younger royals are not the most hands on in the group. You might want to give your father’s involvement with The Prince’s trust a look.
    I loved that she brought up how few charities they have and asked about it and he gave the laughable response if we don’t just want to visit them once, we want to make a difference!! Sure, tell that to the charities kate only visits once or twice.
    Also very telling to me, Mr. hands on charity couldn’t even say how they pick their charities! She asked 3x and even to the point of saying “ I don’t mean to beat a dead horse”’ he evaded or answered in generalities. She asked do ya’ll veto or something?! Might want to think of something next time or it looks like you’re not that hands on after all
    On a superficial note, I wish both he and William would not do the 2 button undone thing they’ve been sporting lately. You’re not at a club
    Last note. I’ve seen peeps grumbling that he shouldn’t have done this because it’s he Obama’s. I just want to say this is a 501 c 3 charity which means that it can no way be seen as being political or they lose their tax exempt status. I see this as similar as to them visiting him at Invictus

    1. Sarah: “Also very telling to me, Mr. hands on charity couldn’t even say how they pick their charities! She asked 3x…”
      They don’t pick the charities that are funded by the Royal Foundation.
      Grant-making policy from the 2016 accounts narrative: “Decisions on grants are made by the Trustees. …The Royal Foundation actively looks for projects or partnership opportunities where is can demonstrate added leverage or gearing from its involvement. Except for The Endeavor Fund…the Royal Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funds.” Neither Will nor Kate nor Harry are trustees.

  3. I have to say that another way to get media pay less attention to Kate’s clothes would be to rewear the old ones she has more often. Because she nearly always turns up in new clothes, it gives me the impression that’s where she wants the focus to be and that’s what counts for her when preparing for her engagements: to find something new to wear. I can’t think that’s what the majority of people expect from a royal duchess, particularly now when environmental awareness is rising its head strongly.

    1. Kate’s a vapid mannequin who’s all about her clothes.

      I doubt she wants to be more than that. Decorative. A Victorian-era wife.

      1. Exactly. She has literally stated she likes to be cared for on several occasions, despite being an adult woman with children she should be caring for. It is a twisted and emotionally stunted way of thinking. She can’t care about others because she feels she needs to be cared for. She is not going to change at this point unless forced to and so far that has not happened. Hopefully Meghan steps up and puts her to shame, but she may not really care then either.

    2. +1 Grace. If Kate doesn’t want clothes to be the focus of an engagement, re-wear the countless items in her many closets. Also she could say something meaningful at the engagement that throws the light on the charity. While we are talking clothes, Harry and William could wear less tight pants; we really don’t need to see their wares.

      1. But Kate *does* want the clothes (and her bum) to be the focus of the engagement. To say otherwise is disingenuous or downright dense, Harry.

        The boys are trying to look like the plebs, hence the natty ‘common’ attire, with their skinny pants and fat bulges and their open shirts telegraphing ‘relaxed, casual, open and approachable’. Uh huh. From aristo to gigolo.

        1. If they dressed so dapper like Charles or Philip with a modern spin on it! They’d look great, put together, and modern. Not sloppy…

          1. Yep, Ellie. My mother was a tailor, and cut and drape are everything- so simple. Sadly, the boys decided to toss exquisite tailoring for dubious fashion. I wonder all the time about who is influencing them in this PR ugliness. It’s as if they reject all that is good and beautiful about having such privilege for some weird notion of commonality/commonness. It’s ugly because to me it comes across as condescending.

            Let’s face it- the boys are not thinkers. PR is driving their future, IMO. They really look like they are not their own men, unlike Charles.

  4. KMR, you made the very point I was going to make re. the trio choosing which charities from the group under the RF – and others – to fund. Some time ago, a person from one of those charities made a comment to a newspaper that reps from these charities were kept away from big donors at some gala dinner; the donors were captured by the royal reps as they wanted money going into te RF rather than individual charities. The RF is competing for that pool of money and then deciding, on the interests of the trio at any point in time, who gets what. Not a great deal.

    Sorry, but a couple of other things don’t ring true. First, William and Kate barely do anything for their limited number of charities so if the rationale for taking on fewer and doing more is the aim, they have failed miserably. They do next to nothing compared to their elders and should be ashamed of their indolence and arrogance.

    Second, Harry needs to be less self-congratulatory re. this idea of getting charities together, as if the trio with no knowledge, little work history between them and not much ticker for hard work as a rule know more than professionals who have worked day in and day out for years. They have turned up several times, spouted the same words over and over like a mantra but it’s all superficial stuff, plus headbands. Harry needs to stop drinking his own KoolAid. He still presents, unwittingly, as an over-indulged trust-fund baby.

    We now also know that the Mental Health initiative was only going to run for a limited period of time (up to the London marathon) and has continued ONLY because the trio garnered good press. I suggest charities grouped together under the RF moniker because they were more or less guaranteed RF money as well as more coverage. Since the RF money has not been overly generous with grants thus far and there is any guarantee of being awarded a certain amount each year, the charities would still need to fund raise separately.

    1. I think the comment from the charity rep was actually from a tumblr blogger who claims (and seems to be the real deal) to work with a charity connected to HT…

      1. I’m not familiar with Tumblr blogs – maybe a reporter picked it up and ran with it? But yes, the person was attached to one of the HT charities and at one of the fund-raising galas. He/she went on to say that although mental health issues had been raised, their organisation could not keep up with the demand for increased services, lamenting that the RF had not yet allocated money at that stage. This was turning into a real headache for the charity, along with lack of access to big donors who were being wooed by the RF to place their donations there.

    2. Jen: “We now also know that the Mental Health initiative was only going to run for a limited period of time…”
      There was a lot of discussion on KMR. Go back to KMR’s 25 April 2017 about what the HT campaign and Marathon money and, 9 Oct 2017 about the data from surveys & apps for mental health.

    3. @Jen – I completely agree with your second paragraph! If William and Kate want to do more for fewer charities, then DO IT. Basically, they are just doing less for everybody, except themselves. I actually wondered if Harry was making some unconscious dig at Kate when he said it didn’t do any good to ‘just show up once a year’ in the panel discussion. I don’t think he’d call her out publicly, but that is exactly what she does do – and sometimes even less than yearly. I do feel like Harry is better than the lazy duo because a lot of what he does isn’t officially counted…which bugs the crap out of me. But he could certainly stand to do more as well.

      Anyway, overall, they all need to do more, not less. And if they are doing more behind the scenes or on these “learning panels/listening meetings” or whatever, then that needs to be more visible…and then they need to follow that up with action. Just going around listening to people who are doing the actual work just isn’t enough, IMO.

      @Wisdomheaven – lovely to see you here. Welcome 🙂

  5. New Here! Sorry for the long post :/

    I HATED how Melody moderated. She would ask long winded questions and then tack on two more questions at the end which threw everyone on the panel off at times, including Harry. I also found her pushiness about Chantal’s backstory to be off-putting. I think she also put words in Harry’s mouth by saying how pioneering the Foundation was which Harry tried to demur a couple of times. I mean she was obviously impressed with Harry’s work, which is another credit to Harry because Melody is an incredible person, but I wasn’t a fan of her moderating overall.

    I also wished he would have given an answer about how they choose charities, but I suspect that it really depends on each royal to be honest. Harry’s charities get the most support and money from the Foundation and I think A LOT of that has to do with the fact that Harry is the most elementally involved with his charities and they have had the most measurable outcomes. Full Effect is a project that Harry founded and was the first to be funded by the Foundation.

    Harry himself DOES visit his patronages and charities/projects multiple times a year, in official and unofficial capacities. I remember one of the Full Effect participants talking about how much time Harry spends with them and Chantel (WHO IS AMAZING! Best of the panel IMO) also mentioned that.

    Overall, I actually do agree with the new approach of the trio. I dont read Harry as saying they will not be doing the bread and butter events, but that they will be thinking more about net impact of their actions which makes sense. Frankly, my generation (millenials) do not go to the county fairs, are not apart of various associations or doing the same kinds of things that other generations do for better or worse. If the monarchy is to survive, it has to capture the interest and speak to the lives of the younger generations. I think this will be a process of trial and error. But in no way is Harry saying, in my opinion, that past generations were wrong in how they approached things. The Queen changed SO much of how things were done and ruffled so many feathers in the process.

    Harry’s projects have had pretty big impacts, and I think that is why he has the respect of people like the Obamas who are not ones to suffer fools. Attending and being a presenter at this summit is a huge honor for Harry and global recognition of him as a leader.

    And I also don’t see this as a get out of work card. KP announced that all three would be moving into more full time roles and that has been true for both Harry and William who have both had multiple events almost every day since September. Harry is on pace to outdo William this year in engagements and has performed more and more engagements each month compared to prior years. I think Kate will also be doing more now that she is past the initial stages of the pregnancy.

    All in all, I think Harry did solid on this panel and really gave some much needed context to the Foundation’s work. He was very eloquent at times and other times I agree he was less clear. But its rare (maybe even a first?) for a British royal to do such a live event and I think Harry did pretty well on his feet. The comments from social media on the Foundation page were extremely laudatory and my friend who attended said people really liked hearing from Harry. She also said Harry attended other sessions and was taking notes which is great!

    There is a great instagram video of Harry at the school with Michelle. Michelle liking Harry so much is honestly his best endorsement IMO lol.

    1. I liked Hobson as a moderator at first, and I still like that she pushed Harry for answers when he wasn’t giving them, but I agree that as she went on her questions became longer and harder to follow, which is why I couldn’t type out her questions as headings here. I had to just give a general idea of what she was asking because her questions were too long.

      1. Oy just realized I misspelled Mellody’s name above :/ I agree that I think she was good at pushing Harry, I just wish she would have been clearer at times. There were also points where Harry did pretty clearly answer a question in my view and she would repeat it.

        I also wish Harry would have focused more on his work…he says “we” a lot and I under the foundation is a trio thing, but I honestly rather hear more about his views and how he goes about doing his work.

        Its also…jarring? to see someone like Harry who was born with immense privilege in a way few are on stage talking about poverty and social change with people who really started from the bottom and worked their way up. I loved that Harry acknowledged his privilege so much, but it honestly highlighted to me how utterly out of date the idea of monarchy is.

        I also found his answer regarding the “damage” done by countries to developing nations to be very interesting. Acknowledging the impacts of imperialism??

    2. WH: “Harry’s charities get the most support and money from the Foundation…”
      I posted upthread that the trustees determine which organizations received grants.

      Some of the grants made by the Royal Foundation are funds they have received from donors. The use of the funds are guided by the donor. A donor can specify what the funds will be used for, a time limit for granting the funds and what happens to the funds if they are not distributed. That type of foundation income and distributions/grants are shown in the accounts as restricted funds. The Foundation is bound to follow the guidelines. It is possible that funds have to be returned to the donor if they are not used within a time limit.

  6. I understand Harry’s grief with the way Diana was handled.The royals back then could have made a better way to understand her or embrace her character for the good.That is also one of the reasons Diana became that big, she was supressed or not seen as a good member for the royal household by the “instution”, like Harry said.
    Although, I don’t like Harry’s negativitiy towards many things. He talks about his family(Grandmother,Grandfather,father), as if they would be that hatred institution.I don’t like that.
    I can understand his bitterness in some ways, but I don’t like that he still talks that way about them.and that they(William,Harry,Kate) today want to make everthing “different” and “better”. I don’t believe that.
    He and his brother are much to negativ persons for it, even if Harry can be charming at times.

  7. Harry praising W&K always bothers me because it’s just like–they take credit for things he does, ,for his activity, instead of doing their own damn jobs too. Him tied up with them isn’t good for him or his work, IMO, and it always shows. Using “we” assumes William and Kate pull the same weight, and we know they don’t, but it’s good cover to get people to think they work so hard and are so influential when it is Harry who has done a lot.

    it annoys me he speaks so negatively about the royal family, about the institution that funds him and gives him purpose because it’s there. Like, really, how petulant cant you get. Yes, we get you worship your mum, she died when you were young, and it’s so sad and tragic, but really, please stop with the Diana Diana Diana. What about other people in your family who have done so much? Jeez.

    1. +4072! The Diana Diana Diana lauding is getting old. Yes she did a lot of great, influential work. Yes, she died when Harry was young. However, William and Harry often speak as if Diana was their only living family member. They seem to forget that they had another surviving parent who did everything he could, to a fault, to protect them after she died. The Queen nearly lost the monarchy in her effort to protect them for Pete’s sake! At this point in his life, Harry has spent more years without Diana then he did with her. There have to be other family members in his life during the last twenty years who have influenced him. Maybe heap some praise onto those people once in a while Harry!

      If Harry and William both put half the energy they waste complaining about the press and what happened to their mother into their charities, their impact could be huge. Isn’t that what the “better royal trio” is about? Impact, not numbers?

      I also agree with you on lumping Will and Kate in and giving them credit they don’t deserve. They don’t do hardly any work but get all the undeserved praise, so the cycle of little work continues because they think people are happy with the amount they are already doing. No need to change.

    2. Agree, Ellie. The brothers tend to present themselves as them vs the rest of their family. After the Summer of Diana we we told H&W would not be discussing their mother again publicly. We know, so leave it. I suspect Harry feels nothing untoward with praising William and Kate; they are close brothers and more alike than we care to admit.

      1. I also suspect that Harry’s playing the long game. Who’s going to be funding his lifestyle in the long run? Harry used to be complimentary towards his father but he recently started touting the line William does.
        Charles is almost 70, Harry has some personal wealth but in the long run, he’ll need William to continue to fund his and his family’s lifestyle. Bye bye Charles. Hello William ?

        1. This is why Charles has to leave some kind of financial trust for Harry. Maybe leave his personal wealth to Harry since William will inherit the two duchys. Harry will be under William’s thumb for the rest of his life unless he has some financial assets that William can’t touch. Imagine having to ask William for money. Shiver.

      2. And considering who rules the roost between them, imagine if Harry didn’t praise W&K to the skies. Look how William talks about his own brother. It isn’t out of joshing around in love with your sibling, it’s just MEAN.

        1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that! Harry praises William to the heavens and William’s response is to constantly “jokingly” toss Harry under the proverbial bus?? What gives?! I’m so confused! I’ve got two sisters and while we certainly tease one another I’d never cut them over something so personal (like William poking at Harry’s learning disability or not attending university). Sigh….

  8. I have a strong dislike for this rumor that’s circulating in which Meghan is controlling Harry’s diet. People often make lifestyle changes in new relationships. Assuming that the changes are being made under duress only increases the catty competitive nature of women. Correlation does not equal causation. And he did say he ate pizza last night- so it’s not like he’s brutally miserable. Idk.

    Anyway, thanks for the coverage KMR. I appreciate your taking the time to sum these things up for us. If only you were this interested in my college classes 😉

    1. I agree Rose, I don’t think Meghan tells Harry what he can or can’t eat, I mean how silly! Plus, she’s mentioned on more that one occasion that she loves pasta and red wine so while she might eat healthier during filming I don’t believe she’s one to turn down some great food or demand that Harry turn it down either.

      I know there was a big bruhaha about Harry not sampling a pastry but it could be that he has some stomach issues and is trying to cut out gluten, which would also explain his weight loss. For me, too much bread/pastry type foods upsets my digestive system and it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older and when I cut out those foods I tend to drop a bunch of weight rather quickly, as it looks like Harry has.

    2. Harry’s probably been living on the delicious euphoria of love and pining for Meghan. I imagine people who think it’s about a woman controlling his diet must have some experience of it in their sphere. I’ve never heard of it before in all my long years. That’s control freakdom and infantilising, IMO.

        1. Thank you, Queen Lauri. Surely some of us have experienced that. I have. I think it’s one of the marvellous things about being human. It doesn’t last but at the time it really rocks. 🙂

    3. I agree. I find this idea that Meghan is controlling Harry’s diet, etc misogynistic and hateful and beyond stupid. Find another narrative, cause this one is offensive as fuck.

      1. Okay, sorry. The only thing I know (thought I knew) about Meghan’s eating habits is she cooks healthy and is a part time vegan, so I thought maybe she would have turned Harry onto eating more healthy (especially since he’s lost a lot of weight this past year). It was just a suggestion. Sorry. I could have worded my suggestion much better. I realize that now and I will take that into account in the future.

        1. KMR, if I could use a heart emoji in here, I would. I know people throw nasty things at you sometimes in here, so I’m sending a big push of the opposite. Thank you for the thoughtful response.

          Leah, saying that someone’s idea or opinion is “beyond stupid” is bad netiquette. We’re all working to be nicer here. Please pitch in.

          1. I am very defensive of Meghan because I see tons of hate and very little support tossed her way. I also am always personally offended when people say a man has changed drastically because of the woman he has dated. Find another narrative.

          2. As I said in a different comment above, I could have worded my thought much better to not be so rude toward Meghan. I, too, dislike the narrative of a man’s actions being the fault of a woman and the man not owning his own actions and mistakes. I do want to point out, though, that at times people do change themselves when they get into a relationship. I’ve seen many women and some men do that (I’ve been friends with more women than men over the years, so that’s my data sample to go on). Not saying that’s a good thing; just saying I’ve seen it happen.

        2. Just look at her instagram and you can see she is not that strict of an eater. Pasta and Pizza turn up on her Instagram feed. And if you had watched any of her interviews, she talks about loving burgers, as well.

          1. I don’t pay much attention to Meghan’s lifestyle stuff since that type of stuff, in general, bores me. But I must say that from my experience with social media, just because a person posts a few photos of the crap food they eat doesn’t mean they eat that stuff all the time. And while a person may love a certain food and indulge in that food once in a while, a fit person like Meghan is most likely not eating that stuff all the time.

          2. No matter the idea, I don’t think it’s appropriate to say that it is “beyond stupid.” Especially not in an internet forum, which lacks the 93% of communication which is non-verbal. Even if you’re offended, or defensive, you don’t have to be mean.

          3. You believe everything someone says about themselves on social media
            ? Or just the ones you like? You can’t pick and choose.

            Maybe Meghan indulges happily and at whim but maybe that’s the narrative of her life that she wants US to believe. Social media is everone’s personal version of reality tv- here’s what I want you to believe about me and here’s a picture that I want you to believe is 100% untouched. I take it all with a grain of salt , especially from an actor whose career is based on their popularity with the public. Cynical maybe, but I just can’t help it.

      2. I don’t think anyone here has said that she’s “controlling” Harry’s diet. the fact is Harry has lost a lot of weight in the last 1.5 yrs that happens to coincide with a new relationship. Is it just happenstance or a direct correlation? She does probably eat better than he did and I know I always eat differently in a (new) relationship vs single me. I mean, I don’t show the me that eats a pint of ice cream In one sitting on the couch in my jammies until well into a relationship.
        You may have not liked the “did Meghan make him stop” comment but it is no way misogynistic!

    4. Perhaps Harry’s weight loss is simply due to age? Maybe he’s realizing certain foods don’t sit with him like they used to and he’s had to tweak his diet and this has affected his size. I mean, I used to be able to eat certain foods but now? They go right through me and I have to be very picky as to when I actually consume them. Example? The MSG in Chinese takeout makes my fingers swell like mini sausages and I *really* have to watch how much I eat.

      1. Potentially. I’ve had to severely alter my diet recently because I keep getting sick when I ate dairy.

      2. Harry has been steadily losing weight for the past three years…before Meghan was on the scene. He mentioned in an interview or during some event a couple of years back that his eating habits used to be awful and how he has changed them.

        It also wouldn’t surprise me if he has to control his diet for health reasons like digestive issues or something. That seems to be more and more common for folks once they reach 30.

        1. Case in point? I spoiled myself and got a decadent frozen yogurt dessert and omg! I currently have an upset stomach, a pounding headache and want to vomit buuuuuut it’s worth it LOL!

  9. I’ve just skimmed Harry’s answers for the time being as I was cringing so much. First impression: what monumental, towering hubris. And the ignorance is breathtaking.

  10. “rather than potentially turning up to a charity once a year. I don’t think that’s necessarily beneficial to anybody. But our mental health campaign, Heads Together,…we were able to bring together 8 mental health charities… you guys have never sat ’round a table together and discussed the main issues. What we want to be able to do now is, through our foundation, create a platform…”

    This is unspeakable. 1.) The irony- “once a year isn’t enough so let me as an influential presence completely remove myself from showing up to personally support the struggling, hardworking people of the realm in favour of a boardroom” while transparency takes a nosedive.

    2.) The arrogant assumption that these charities never brainstorm and operate in isolation. Does he not understand that they need support and money that the royal presence confers? This is not only the charity, but we great unwashed. Instead, hey, they’re not working hard enough or effectively enough, but my foundation will bestow on the worthy some money as we see fit if they come up to snuff, maybe, while we fabulous royals from our floofy perch take all the glory.

    One thing that can be said of that trio is that among them there is not one ounce of humility.

    1. I agree with numer 2 so much!!! Most of the people running these charities are attending conferences, for some getting CE credits and generally just networking together. They’re talking about their issues and how to get money. Some are probably attending sessions on how to get grant money.
      And I’m sorry Harrry, Invictus isn’t unique in their availabilty of multiple outlets to offer help. I mean, Wounded warrior does too, you know that charity you got your idea from??! I by no means want to demean the good Invictus does but want to call attention that in fact No,the RF and Invictus is not unique in what it does.
      What helps most charities in the fundraising race is name recognition. When natural disasters hit most people start urging to give to the Red Cross. I don’t. I think they’re shady, they’re misleading about their finances and have mishandled several efforts. Yet, beacuase of name recognition they still get lots of attention and money.
      Who can name the charities under the HT banner without looking? All I can think of is Place2b. So if you can’t name the charities that are involved, I think they’re losing something. I guess they have the RF money tho so it doesn’t matter that much.?

      1. It seems they want to justify their royal status with praising the “great” effect their charities have. Harry could be a bit more sceptical with that, in my opinion.

      2. Oh let me try! Place2Be, Best Beginnings, … Mind! That’s one, right? Contact (is that what it’s called, the military one)? YoungMinds? Calm. Uh… I don’t remember the rest.

        1. I just went to check and I was correct about the six I listed, but I forgot Anna Freud Center and The Mix.

          1. Well done, KMR! Ask your commenters what they remember. I know about the foundation, I know about the charities, separate from the RF, but that’s all I know. When Harry steps on that stage, he is promoting the Royal Foundation and not the charities.

          1. That’s what I thought, too. I remembered AFC but then thought it wasn’t a part of HT.

    2. Maven: “The arrogant assumption that these charities never brainstorm and operate in isolation.” But they do brainstorm. Perhaps H hasn’t been to a meeting lately. Or doesn’t realize what it is when he attends.

      W & H “…founded the [Charities] Forum in 2006 as a way to bring their individual charitable interests together and to explore how they could best lend their support to them all in an effective and efficient way.” There are over 30 organization in the group. The Forum meets meets twice during a year. WK&H are updated and ways to collaborate are explored. Members are allocated spaces in the London Marathon each year.

      1. H wasn’t prepared for that question. He probably asks for funding for a group. There’s a meeting. He finds out his group got funding and that’s it. The trustees are there to check a group’s background and purpose and see if fits in the scope of the Foundation’s goals. The trustees determine who gets a grant. Perhaps H will return home and find out how it all works so he is prepared the next time.

    3. Actually, he is right in many respects. I work in policy in women’s rights and I can’t tell you how many times charities do NOT talk to each other or get funding for duplicative projects that would be better served by joining forces. If you listen to Chantel’s portion, she talks about the fact that CRS and another charity in Nottingham were doing similar work, but had never heard of each other and were often times unwittingly in conflict. Since they joined forces on Full Effect, they have been able to reach more people and work more efficiently.

      Harry isn’t saying that charities NEVER share or work together, but in my experience, more often then not there are 100 charities in a given area doing the same thing who have never talked to each other for a whole host of reasons. Maybe its just the subject area I work in.

      I can’t speak to William and Kate as I don’t follow them as much, but Harry still does visit his charities multiple times a year and isn’t simply only convening meetings.

      I do wish he would talk more about the work of the Princes Trust/show an interest in it, though. I am not a fan of Charles, but he has done some pioneering work with the Trust and I think the foundation builds on some of the groundwork set out by Charles.

    4. I am still scratching my head as to why Harry was at this event. What purpose on behalf of Great Britain did he serve? I understand the need to publicize his charities- and William’s and Catherine’s. But what impact did he really have other than media commentary about his personal life.

      I must admit that the “royal trio” description by many in the media and commentators is annoying and getting weary to me. Goodness, they are adults in their 30’s. They are not triplets! Having common causes under an umbrella of charities- which I am honestly challenged to understand -in deference to the good outcomes of the charities they serve- does not translate as professional to me in their representation. I believe a commentator on this site may have mentioned that the visual of Catherine in the middle of the brothers is odd. As heir to the throne, the commentator noted that William should be in the middle of his wife and brother. I like that observation, and agree. I think it shows leadership and represents the status of the monarchy. As I have stated before on this site, I opine whether Harry’s future wife, whoever she may be, would like to be part of a “quartet”.

      1. I don’t know about other blogs or media outlets, but I use the phrase ‘royal trio’ because it’s quicker to type than ‘William, Kate, and Harry’.

        1. My comment was not directed to this informative and interesting site. I merely wanted to express my opinion about the approach and PR by William and his camp about the royal family, which translates into how the media perceives and describes them. As well as the people and charities they represent.

      2. I think Harry was invited because he is friends with Michelle and talking about youth issues is something he has done. Plus his celebrity factor adds more publicity to the event. I don’t think he was there specifically for the UK anymore than he is when he does the Invictus Games.
        That said, this forum wasn’t completely in his wheelhouse so that’s why I think some of the answers seemed off.

  11. Why would anyone think Meghan made Harry stop eating pizza? She loves pizza and has posted pics of pizza on her instagram

    1. +1 I think Meghan Markle enjoys food as much as I do.

      But to elaborate on this, why would Harry even announce that he’s off pizza at the moment? The young lady speaking to him was referring him specifically to Chicago-style pizza, clearly offering what she thought would be a well-received bit of advice from a local. But, like the Danish pastry he refused on his last tour, he seems awkward at simply accepting food these days.

        1. Uh-huh Meghan is a foodie in the way the Victoria Secret models make a show or chowing down on burgers in their lingerie before the big VS catwalk show.

          1. +1 Just because one claims to love burgers and such and posts a few photos of them eating, doesn’t mean they eat that stuff on the regular.

    2. Meghan spoke about loving to eat at Terroni in her interview and they only serve things like pasta and pizza so it’s not like she is afraid to eat carbs.

  12. “But we will do everything we can to make sure that the core of the issue and the charity and their name and the support they’re after is all focused around that.”

    So you’re going to crack the whip over these charities, mother? Seriously, could he be more clueless, condescending and ignorant? In effect, he is touting the Royal Foundation as authoritarian overseer, cracking the whip to keep the charities on point and in line. *This* is what he’s saying.

  13. My takeaway from this interview is that the Royal Foundation will give them an excuse to work less than the previous generation. The creating of synergy effects by bringing people together and giving them a platform and support is certainly bigger than just showing up every couple of years. But the countless visits is what earns the paycheque in the public eye. I am a supporter of monarchy (set in democratic structures) but I fear those three will be the end of monarchy in Britain.

    1. One thing I find interesting and am not sure how it will play out long term is how William, Harry, and Kate have become global ambassadors. This year they visit France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Finland, USA…next year Sweden, Norway. They spend less time in the UK and although they travel to the Commonwealth countries like Canada and various Caribbean nations, it seems the idea of Commonwealth is downplayed or ignored.

      To me, by spending less time on those so called bread and butter engagements in the UK, it seems like they become representatives of their causes rather than representatives of the British people. Whether that’s a smart change or not is debatable.

      This was a long, in depth event – in Chicago. Will Harry host something similar in London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast? Probably not.

      1. Will and Kate visiting Canada had zero impact. It had some press coverage at the beginning but no one cared because they did nothing of value. Harry bringing the Invictus Games had a larger impact because it was about something of value and not just entertaining the royals.

        Being part of the Commonwealth really has no meaning for most Canadians and I suspect the same applies for Australians and New Zealanders. We don’t need the UK to survive as a country anymore and haven’t for many decades. Every time there is a visit from a royal, the media needs to reminds everyone that the Queen is still symbolically Canada’s head of state. That shows how much people don’t know or care.

        1. Nic919: as a Canadian myself I agree with your assessment. Moreover, the major cities, where most of the country’s population are congregated are becoming increasingly diverse. You have more people of Asian and African heritage in Toronto (Canada’s largest city) than people of White European descent. Many Torontonians now come from countries which were colonies of the British EMpire and were brutalized by the British as a result, myself included. So yea, me and many others like myself in Canada find the royal family to be revolting. Others would just see them as mere celebrities driven the PR and maybe the older generation actually truly care about some family thousands of miles away, being the head of state for Canada.

      2. Nic919’s response from a Canadian perspective is echoed in Australia. When the BRF visits, it is quaint curiosity and a reminder of the distant past. They provide zero value to the country and are given a luxurious holiday. That’s about it. The royals just cost money from other people’s pockets wherever they go.

        Like Canada and other Commonwealth countries, Australia does not need Britain for survival. When Britain joined the European Common Market decades ago, we had to forge new economic relationships and these have been in place for generations, particularly in Asia. Added to that, the mix of the country is definitely multi-cultural rather than predominantly British so culturally we are much more diverse. With Brexit, the UK needs to call back into the fold Commonwealth countries for economic purposes. Of course Australia will work with Britain… but there’s no going back to forelock-tugging as in the UK. Once the Queen dies, the country will move to a republic; I dare Canada will do likewise.

        I’m curious as to why the Foreign Office or whoever sends royals out to various countries sees them as some silver bullet to convince ‘the people’ of Brtain’s importance to us. But they live in a bubble of Establishment privilege that is roundly rejected in Australia.

    2. The Royal Foundation of the 3 stooges is essentially meant to leech off the work of others, claim credit, show up in brand new outfits (Kate), get pictures taken while flirting, giving out hugs and laughs. Makes them look busier than they actually are.

  14. Yes yes hypocrite Harry! You can shut up now. Don’t you have to go off on another vacation with your C-list actress girilfriend already? You’re long overdue for another one- since being a hypocrite on the regular and leeching off of the hard work of others is exhausting.

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