British Royal Family: The Royal Foundation

Avatar English Speeches |

British Royal Family: The Royal Foundation

Learn English with the British Royal Family. Watch The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle discuss the inspiration behind The Royal Foundation, the issues that are important to them, and their ambitions for the future. The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is a charity that supports the work of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Their projects revolve around conservation, the early years, mental health, and emergency responders. Enjoy our Speeches with subtitles, and keep your English learning journey.

English Speeches also makes this content available for download

Download this Speech in PDF and/or MP3 audio file:

Meghan Markle Quote:

Meghan Markle Quote

“Be kind to yourself.” Meghan Markle

British Royal Family – FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Interviewer: So, a real insight into why you and Prince Harry set up the Royal foundation. Did you ever imagine it will grow like this?

William: I think when we first started it, it started as a very small idea with Harry and I scratching our heads going, “How… how can we do something that’s going to help us in the future? How are we going to build something that’s going to provide almost a vehicle to allow us to impact in charitable areas?” Because it was quite difficult at the time. Harry and I used to go to a lot of engagements and see these incredible charities doing really great work, but felt that we… we could give more, and how could we do that? And so, the foundation idea sort of bubbled up as a sort of vehicle to be able to do more when we… when we walked away from these engagements.

Interviewer: So, you both take credit for coming up with the idea?

William: Totally.

Interviewer: Are there any particular moments that stand out for you or people you’ve met along the way?

William: I think, for me, I think, probably, you know, after while it was quite a big moment for me, when I realized the convening power of what we could do. I think getting the 7 leading global conservation NGOs and charities together in 1 room, and getting them to unite behind 1 particular focus, I thought that was… that was when I realized, actually, maybe this… this has got some legs, this has got some real ability to do something. Because I found uniting people together, bringing them together made so much… broke down barriers. It made things move much quicker, much smoother. And actually, we got more impact from that.

And then leading on to that, that the mental health campaign Heads Together, I think, you know, basically replicated the same thing, again, on a sort of national scale. And I think it surprised all of us how much it took off. And, again, the fact that we had these leading experts who’ve been working in the mental health field for way longer than we had, but we felt that we could… we could provide… well, they provided the foundation and the solidity of the campaign, and we could then help provide some of the… some of the other conduits.

Interviewer: Duchess, we can definitely give you credit for coming up with the idea to work together on the campaign around mental health. How did that come about? And why was that important for you?

Catherine: That’s pretty generous of you to say. It was an idea. But actually, it was actually going back to the beginning, when we were looking at the different ways in which we could all work with the foundation. And I suppose I’d learned through sort of meeting some of my managers, that there was sort of all these underlying causes across so many different sectors. Mental health just kept on flagging up every time, whether it’s with addiction or school support and with vulnerable young children. So, it’s something that I felt very passionate about. It’s obviously such a huge topic. It wasn’t as big as I actually thought it was, but it was something that I think all 3 of us at the time felt that we really could make a far bigger impact together, rather than just 1 of us acting alone on it.

Interviewer: And how much of a difference did it make the 3 of you behind that call to action?

Catherine: Right. I felt… I’ve always felt really strongly and sort of putting… putting ideas together. And sort of, we all had very different areas that were working… working with sort of Harry with… with knife crime, William with a lot of homelessness, with me with sort of, yeah, addiction and things. And I just think being able to sort of come to… come together to find some sort of common… common ground, and… and be able to sort of, yeah, draw ideas together and find a way forward, I think that’s really, really exciting.

[read more]Interviewer: Meghan, you are new to the foundation, but you have lots of experience working with charities, especially grassroots organizations. It would be interesting to find out, first of all, your impressions of the Royal foundation so far, and what you’re hoping to do. Don’t be too critical.

Meghan: Yeah, no, of course. Well, obviously, it’s incredibly exciting. And yes, I think, for me, it’s been a very long time working on cause-driven work, specifically with women and girls’ rights. But, you know, to see the model of the foundation is really interesting. Because while I’ve worked with larger NGOs, I’ve also worked with really small grassroots organizations where you can see a higher level of impact, in my opinion, because there’s a lot less red tape. What you’re seeing here, and what I noticed with Heads Together from a global perspective (because I wasn’t here, obviously, when it was happening) was the power of convening all of these smaller organizations who have the same issue, but need that extra push and support, under this umbrella, you’re able to achieve that. And the impact they all made with Heads Together was tremendous. So, I’m very excited to be able to work on initiatives similarly, and that can have that same sort of impact globally.

Interviewer: And it’s great that you are now able to work together (that’s exciting) on things that you are passionate about. How do you think, Prince Harry, you can make the most impact through your work with the foundation going forward?

Harry: I think as Williams touched on, as we’ve mentioned in the past, it’s all about changing mindsets. I think the biggest successes that… that the Royal foundation has had to date is all based around changing mindsets, whether it’s the perception of wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women across the globe.

Interviewer: The Invictus Games.

Harry: Invictus Games… well, part of the Invictus Games and endeavor fund as well. But also Heads Together. You know, Heads Together was a… is an amazing convening power, but also the perception of mental health now across this country and also in other countries has changed without a doubt. I think the timing was… the timing was… was absolutely perfect on that. But again, it’s… it’s all about tackling the cause and not the symptom. I think in today’s society, we have… it’s very easy to get sucked into trying to sort out the symptom. We… we have the 4 of us and everybody at the Royal Foundation, and all of our supporters, hopefully, believe that actually, in order to have long lasting change, to have a long lasting impact, you have to somewhat ignore the symptom, or go to the symptom, talk, listen to them, and then come wind all the way back to find out the cause. Because otherwise, you’re just putting a Band-Aid on the problem.

And, you know, in some instances, I think some organizations, that’s… that’s all they can do. But we realize that with this very unique opportunity, this unique platform, that we have to be tackling the cause of the problem. And I think youth violence within… within the UK at the moment is a classic example where, you know, back end of last year, knife crime skyrocketed. And I spoke to some of… some of the people at Royal Foundation said, “Right, knife crime, let’s look into it.” But in reality, knife crime is a symptom of a cause. So, therefore, go and speak to the young people (which is what we’re doing), speak to those communities, and actually listen to what they think the problems are. And then rewind all the way back and go, “Right, what is… what is the root cause of all of these different issues?” Then you… I mean, effectively, you’re saving money as well, because you’ll say, “Right, we’re investing all of our time, all of our effort into this problem. And we’re going to… by fixing that, we’re going to fix…”

Interviewer: So, you’re not coming in telling them what to do. You are helping them to come up… facilitating them coming up with the solutions.

Harry: Exactly what William said in his speech, you know, we are the Royal Foundation. I’m not saying that other foundations don’t listen, but we pride ourselves on going into… going into a situation, convening people and listening, and hoping that all of those partners or all those people agree that the problems are the same thing.

Interviewer: So far, your work has covered a wide range of issues, supporting the armed forces, conservation, young people, mental health. What do you want to focus on next?

William: And I think we’ve looked at ways of collaborating again. I think it’d be wonderful if we could do another project or another campaign, you know, sort of similar impact Heads Together with, you know, as a unit, as a family. But I think we’ve got to be careful how and when we target those moments. You’ve got to use them carefully, and you’ve got to plan for them. They take a lot of preparation to do. And I think each of us have got our own ideas and work streams that we’d like to build them. For me personally, I think, following on from Heads Together, tackling male mental health. There’s still a huge stigma and taboo around male mental health. Suicide, for instance, among young men is one of the biggest killers in the country. Some of the statistics that came out from Heads Together was that we’ve managed to create 800,000 new conversations amongst men on mental health, which we thought was really good.

And the other interesting facts as well was that only 2% of people at work go to HR to talk about mental health, 2%. So, that shows that, you know, work is one of the most stressful places that we go to every day. And the fact is that people aren’t feeling like they can go to work and actually speak to those people who, in theory, know the system and know what your… the environment you’re working in. And that we’ve got to… we’ve got to really do something about mental health in the workplace as well. So, I think on that side of things, there’s quite a lot to do there.

I’m still very keen on working with Glasgow Life from the conservation. The Glasgow Life trade has got a big year. We’ve got the last conference coming up in London in October, and I’m hoping we get senior representation from around the world comes to that. Cyberbullying is another area. Recently, we got a bit of traction with social media companies and the internet companies came together onto the task force, which The Royal Foundation helped put together to try and bring everyone together to fix what is a growing problem, which is obviously cyberbullying and online activity, basically keeping children safe online.

So, I think those are sort of key areas I’m really working on. One of the big things that we’ve discussed as well, which we’d really love to obviously, it’s sort of pie in the sky theory at the moment, it’s kind of ambitious (but we like to be ambitious, very ambitious) is the idea of a big tackling or linking into all the big foundations in the world. So, as I say, in my speech, there’s a lot of foundations out there with an incredible amount of money and a credible amount of ability to move things forwards. But I think what we can bring as a Royal Foundation is that convening efforts. And I think he put some of the big foundations in the world together, along with our convening power of the Royal foundation. And if we focus on certain big issues, hopefully global, I think we can make a really big difference. So, I’m really excited about the future in that sense.

Interviewer: And, Duchess, what are you most excited about when it comes to the future of your work with the foundation?

Catherine: There’s lots that I think. I’m hugely excited about with the foundation from the foundation’s perspective. Mentioning before about working together, you know, look at… William is looking at some long-term perspectives. You know, imagine if we were able to do sort of ads together campaign with another generation of members of the royal family, I think that’s so exciting to think that, with so many more of us working on the same cause, or similar causes, we could make a real impact.

And I will say, for me, personally, it’s I’m really interested in keeping going with the sort of the mental health element and really focusing on some of the ideas, early intervention, looking at how early can we go back ready to support the next generation to help break the cycle. And looking at how to support parents and families, bring up the next generation of mentally sort of happy and well children, but also helping them have the tools as well to cope with the challenges of modern-day family and parenthood.

Interviewer: And how does your own personal experience feed into that? Because I know, those issues that you mentioned, early intervention, coping with parenthood, supporting the next generation of mothers are issues that are very close to your heart.

Catherine: Absolutely. And I’ve learned a huge amount from facility patches that I’ve worked with, but also some of the amazing experts that I met along the way. And, you know, it… you can’t help but reflect on your… your own life, and it’s definitely had an impact on how I sort of how I look at how I mother, how we work as a family, and, you know, how we hope to bring up our children. And I’ve learned so much. And I just, you know, if… if some of this knowledge and some of the facts and figures that I’ve learned along the way could be passed on to the general public, I think in an awareness campaign or something like that, I think it’d been hugely beneficial to all mothers and parents out there.

Interviewer: Meghan, you touched on it before. You have… it’s well known you’ve championed the empowerment of women and young girls and promoting their self-worth. How do you hope to continue that work with The Royal Foundation?

Meghan: Yes, I mean, I think that knowing that I’ve just been here for 3 months, right? And in that time… but with that said, for me, it’s very important to once you hit the ground running, even if you’re doing it quietly behind the scenes, which is what I focus my energy on this far, is meeting with the right people, meeting with the right organizations behind the scenes quietly, learning as much as I can, so that I can maximize the opportunity we have here to really make an impact. I think what’s interesting is I hear a lot of people saying when speaking about girls’ empowerment, finding and knowing their worth, or women’s empowerment as well, you’ll often hear people say, “Well, you’re helping women find their voices.” And I fundamentally disagree with that, because women don’t need to find a voice, they have a voice, they need to feel empowered to use it. And people need to be encouraged to listen. And I think right now in the climate that we’re seeing with so many campaigns, I mean, Me Too, and Time’s Up, there is no better time than to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered, and people really helping to support them, men included in that. I mean, it makes such a tremendous difference. So, yeah, just, I guess we wait a couple months, and then we can hit the ground running. But up until then I’m pretty excited.

Interviewer: But like you said, I mean, you’ve been here for…

Meghan: Yeah, wedding first.

Interviewer:  Get that. Having said that, you have been quietly, like you say, behind the scenes, let’s just say laying the foundations for your future work. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Meghan: Sadly, I can’t. But I will say, you know if… if we know how… and I certainly know how passionate I am, and Harry and I see the world so similarly in our approach of being very hands on with things. What I can say is that I have been fortunate enough to meet with some incredible women and organizations in general in the UK that are doing work here. But then also, knowing that some of the work that I’ve done in the past has been in Commonwealth countries like Rwanda, India. So, this reach, I think, can have… can have some really nice legs to it once we can start. But…

Interviewer: After wedding…

Meghan: Yes, exactly to be continued.

Interviewer: Okay. I look forward to picking up on that conversation later.

Meghan: yeah, me too. Thank you.

Interviewer: And Prince Harry, what are the biggest challenges as you see them going forward? What do you want to focus on?

Harry: I think… where do we start with that? I think, as we’ve discussed, Heads Together, there’s so much more to do. We’ve… we’ve probably… we’ve… we’ve made it… we’ve made a difference. We know that. Everybody that’s part of the campaign knows that. Hopefully all the partners feel that. Some of them are nodding, some are not. But I think we understand, we realize that there’s so much more to do. It’s very much on unfinished work that. So, I’m looking forward to supporting that. Again, Coach Core is a fantastic thing that we’ve got going on here. You know, something like 75 or 80% of young people in this country, I mean, young people like this… this high, 6, 7 years old, have a bad experience with their first… with their first coach, with their first sort of sporting endeavors such. And that has a massive impact for them, you know, moving forward. So, Coach Core, and the expansion of Coach Core was very important.

A couple of things I’m really passionate about working on is sustainable tourism. So, I’m looking into that at the moment. There’s a huge number of players and different issues that need to be discussed. But I think in a typical raw foundation way, we might have the ability to be able to convene, and bring people together. Because at the end of the day, these ecosystems that are out there need to be protected, they need to be seen as an asset. And if they are treated as an asset, then they… then the local communities will benefit from them and… and tourism companies will be incentivized to look often for the longer term.

And that also, as I’ve touched on, briefly, youth violence in this country, again, you know, this, it’s a growing problem. No matter where you are in the UK, obviously, a lot of stuff in the news with knife crime… knife crime in London, but just to bang on again, that whole symptom and cause bit. I think, you know, we really have an opportunity here to… to tackle the root causes of some of these… some of these massive issues. So, as I said, we’re… we’re pretty tied up with planning a wedding at the moment, but we’re really looking forward to working as a pair as a 4 going forward and hoping to make as much of a difference where we can. So, there’s a hell of a lot of work to do.

Interviewer: Well, we’re looking forward to both the wedding and the work you are planning to do. Just reflecting on last year, it sounds like you’re planning Heads Together part 2, if you like. But reflecting on the success of last year, I mean, I know we keep saying it, but it really did change the national conversation around mental health. You have the world’s first mental health marathon, a hugely impactful social media campaign. Did you expect it to be that successful?

William: No.

Harry: It was organized on the back of a fag packet.

Interviewer: Good to know.

William: It was. I think, as you alluded to earlier, Catherine… Catherine was one who put this sort of join the dots together for all of us. She was the one who came up with the idea and the concept as well, because her and I had never, never thought about doing a campaign as such before. And when you tackle mental health, it was very difficult to know where to start. It’s such a big issue and it’s so entrenched in society in a negative way, sadly, that we weren’t quite sure how we do it and how long it would take. So, after a number of conversations, doing a campaign was seen as the quickest and most effective way to make a make a… difference make an impact, relatively early. And we… we went through the whole sort of cycle of, how do… do you start with mental health? Do you still call it mental health? and all the leading charities again, the experts helped us try and be more coherent in what our campaign was going to be.

And it was a unanimous voice really, that tackling the taboo, tackling the stigma, could be the biggest thing that we could do that would help them with their work and allow their… their particular individual charities to rise out of… out of the stigma. And I think we were surprised by how quickly that went. But… but also having that focus of the marathon, we can’t thank the marathon enough for being… accepting, you know, the mental health marathon last year. It was fantastic. It gave us a focus point. It gave us something to drive the campaign towards. And then to see all the runners and their headbands was quite something, even if we had to wear them ourselves. But it was… it was worth it to see that… that relief.

And actually there… you know, during the mental health campaign, and I know Rianne, I know she’s here somewhere, she’s going to hate the fact that I pointed her out. But people like Rianne who spoke on the mental health marathon, she ran the marathon for mental health, along with many other amazing people who had had very, very sad times happen to them, or very, very difficult testing times. I was completely and utterly blown away. And actually, it makes me incredibly proud when someone like Rianne comes along and shares her story, shares what happened to her and really gave us the motivation and the impact ourselves to see that this was really important work, and that we have to keep promoting that, we have to keep pushing us. But we couldn’t have done it without people like Rianne and all those in the mental health campaign and the marathon itself.

Interviewer: Meghan, what did you make of it watching from afar?

Meghan: Oh, my… I mean, I think probably the same sentiment that most people had. Obviously, happening here, the stigmatization surrounding mental health is different and unique in every territory. But I was in Canada at the time and I just remember how much news coverage was getting. And just in that alone, it was getting such a conversation point happening amongst people. And I think, again, to the point that they’ve all touched on earlier, it was because of that togetherness, because you had so many different organizations under this umbrella, and each of them is shining the spotlight on it. So, I think in North America, at least from that standpoint, I remember being… it being a very large point of conversation. And I would imagine in other countries as well, it made such a huge impact. It was very impressive to watch from afar.

Interviewer: And I have to ask you, all the work you do together is great, but working together as family, do you ever have disagreements about things?

William: Oh, yes.

Harry: Healthy disagreements.

Interviewer: Okay. The last thing you disagreed on, how did you resolve it?

Harry: I can’t remember, they come so… Is it resolved?

William: We don’t know.

Interviewer: You don’t know. Well, you’re putting on a great show if it’s not.

Harry: No, but it’s really… I think it’s really good that we’ve got, you know, 4… 4 different personalities. And, you know, we’ve all got that same… the same passion to want to make a difference, but, you know, different… different opinions. And I think those opinions worked really, really well. Working as family does have its challenges. Of course, there’s everybody here. The fact that everyone’s laughing means that everybody knows exactly what it’s like. But, you know, we’re, we’re still together for the rest of our lives.

Interviewer: Is this true?

Meghan: Togetherness it its finest.


Interviewer: Togetherness, yeah, yeah.

Catherine: Actually, going to your point as well, actually, initially, remember the sort of big roundtables with the charity partners, you know, it is sometimes hard to find these common… these common grounds where everyone really can get behind and… and things like that. And actually, that… that is the challenge, you know, everyone is… are individuals that are all working towards our own ambitions. But if you can, for us as… as patrons, but also the charity partners, I think you did a fantastic speech recently about everyone collaborating and working together. And in doing so, you can make such, you know, much bigger impact.

Interviewer: 4 heads are better than 1.

Meghan: Well, and thank goodness it’s such differing personalities and that everyone’s very communicative, because that’s how you can really see bigger change. If everyone’s thinking the same way, how are you going to push the envelope? You know, how are you really going to break through in a different sort of mindset? Changing mindsets and all of that is part of this communication that we have constantly. So, I think it’s… it’s part of the reason we’ve had so much success with Heads Together and whatever we end up working on moving forward.

Interviewer: Yeah. And you encourage that diversity of thinking between themselves. That’s great. And thank you very much. We look forward to hearing much more throughout the morning. Thank you.”[/read]

British Royal Family

FREE English eBooks

Follow us on social media:

Written by English Speeches