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s we know, Her Majesty The Queen is among the world’s greatest supporters of charities. During her reign she has helped raise almost one and a half billion pounds for the organisations with which she is involved. What we don’t know is how much she donates from her personal wealth.

   Usually no announcement is made; she just does it quietly and without fuss. She often chooses to help the victims of disasters such as earthquakes and floods – perhaps through the British Red Cross, of which she is patron – or something less dramatic closer to home.

   It was encouraging to hear that Prince Harry, who has inherited his mother’s love of philanthropy, had donated an undisclosed sum to the #FillTheSeats campaign to get children in Rio to attend the Paralympics. He has an excellent approach to patronage and is using his support to change public perceptions of issues such as AIDS and mental health.

   ‘Prince Harry is following closely the Invictus Games champions who are competing in Rio and this is one way he is lending support to their efforts,’ said a Kensington Palace spokeswoman.

   Using Twitter, Harry sent a personal message to his Invictus pals: ‘Cherish this moment as you get to serve your country again. Absorb the applause and atmosphere, but most importantly have fun! – H.’

   After the success of his visit to the Caribbean in 2012, when he ‘out-ran’ Usain Bolt, got a hug from the Prime Minister of Jamaica and flirted with Miss Bahamas, the Prince has been chosen to represent his grandmother at events marking the 50th anniversary of independence for Barbados. He last visited the island six years ago and was sporting enough to dance a calypso on stage to raise money for a Haiti benefit concert. During this year’s trip Harry will also represent the Queen in Guyana for their 50th anniversary of independence and in Antigua and Barbuda for their 35th. In addition, he will visit St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. A fantastic gig for the Prince, who is held in high esteem by the fun-loving people of the Caribbean because of his sense of adventure and bravery.

   The Queen has enjoyed a beautiful summer at Balmoral, where the weather was unusually warm and sunny. Things could have got even warmer when Nicola Sturgeon arrived for the First Minister of Scotland’s annual visit. The dynamics between the two women are good, but the Queen does not find Miss Sturgeon quite as easy as her predecessor, Alex Salmond, with whom she had a great rapport as they spent much time discussing horseracing and thoroughbreds. The prickly subject of Scottish independence was no doubt on the agenda with Britain’s forthcoming exit from the European Union. The Queen continues to do what she has always done: listen, advise and hope that some of her wisdom is heeded in the best interests of her United Kingdom.


 
 
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