As the world mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on Thursday, September 8 at the age of 96, many are looking for ways to fondly remember the late monarch.
One of them is undoubtedly reflecting on the extensive philanthropic work of the Queen.
During her reign, Her Majesty was associated with over 600 charities ranging from fencing and physiotherapy to bereavement care and women’s issues.
Many members of the royal family focus their philanthropic efforts in one particular area, with Prince Charles known for his environmental work while the Duke of Cambridge is a strong advocate for good mental health.
The Queen, however, has offered her support to a wide range of charities during her 70-year reign.
Whether acting as a royal patron or as chair of a major or independent charity, the Queen has been an integral part of many public bodies and service organisations.
Some of the best-known charities for which the Queen was patron included Cancer Research UK, the British Red Cross and Barnado’s.
The reigning monarch’s involvement in charity provides an organization with significant publicity and gives its achievements and contributions to society national recognition.
In a speech on her 21st birthday, the Queen explained how her life would be dedicated to Commonwealth service.
Speaking on the radio from Cape Town, she said: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether long or short, will be devoted to your service.”
In terms of issues tackled by charities supported by the Queen, they included promoting opportunities for young people (Girlguiding, Combined Cadet Force, Sea Cadets) and preserving wildlife and the environment (Royal Forestry Society, The Campaign to Protect Rural England, Royal Scottish Geographical Society).
In 2012, when the Queen celebrated 60 years on the throne, research by the Charities Aid Foundation found that she was one of the biggest supporters of charities in the world and had helped organizations that she was claiming to raise more than £1.4billion.
The foundation also analyzed the various charities the Queen supports and found that she favored organizations that tackled community and civic issues, which at the time made up 14% of her charitable portfolio.
Education and training cases also accounted for 14%.
The Queen has also supported many charities focused on helping children. In 2018 she visited children’s charity Coram to meet young people and staff and open the new Queen Elizabeth II Centre.
Coram was the first place in London to care for abandoned babies and vulnerable children.
During the visit, the Queen met Edward Newton, who was 102 at the time, the founding hospital’s oldest surviving pupil.
In 2016, the Queen celebrated six decades as Patron of the British Red Cross, an occasion which was marked by a new portrait set in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle by artist Henry Ward.
She supported the charity throughout her reign by visiting projects and attending and organizing events, including a garden party at Buckingham Palace held to celebrate 100 years of the British Red Cross.
The Queen was also a strong supporter of the arts and sponsored various creative organisations, including the Art Fund, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Academy of Music.
In terms of healthcare, the late monarch was a patron of many major charities, such as the British Dental Association, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust and the Royal College of Nursing.
She has also supported charities serving the elderly, such as Friends of the Elderly, which helps the elderly through in-home support, home visiting and child care.
The Queen was also patron of the Royal Variety Charity, which looks after members of the entertainment industry, and organizes the annual Royal Variety Performance fundraiser.
For the full list of charities the Queen has supported during her reign, click here.