Duchess Kate & William launch the Royal Foundation’s ‘bespoke’ Covid fund

kate bespoke charity

How quickly we forgot that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were late adopters of Zooming themselves into an early grave. It was well into April before they realized that they could do “remote events” without leaving Anmer Hall. Thus, the storyline became “Will and Kate are working so hard and picking up so much slack… by Zooming.” The Zoom calls became the huge talking point with and from the Cambridges. So much so that I feel like this little item got buried in mid-April: around that time, William was finally named patron to the National Emergencies Trust (he launched the fund in 2019), and he was credited for helping to raise a significant amount of money for NET.

Why is that important? At the same time, it truly sounded like Will and Kate were using NET’s donor list to raise money for the Royal Foundation. The story was that Will and Kate were “approached” by donors and they started taking in millions of pounds with the understanding that they would redirect the money to worthy and royal-approved causes through their foundation. Instead of using their positions to actively direct funds to worthy causes, they instead wanted the Royal Foundation to act as a middleman for charitable contributions. Well, guess what? More than three months later, the Cambridges are finally getting around to parceling out all of that money they raised. From Kensington Royal:

Over recent months we have all been in awe of the incredible work that frontline staff and emergency responders have been doing in response to COVID-19. And we know that for many of them, their families, and for thousands of others across the UK, the pandemic will have a lasting impact on their mental health.

Today The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has granted nearly £1.8 million to 10 leading charities at the heart of mental health and frontline support through a bespoke fund set up as part of the organisation’s response to COVID-19.

Earlier this week The Duke and Duchess spoke to four representatives from organisations which will benefit from the fund including two emergency responders and two mental health counsellors.

“We have all been in awe of the incredible work that frontline staff and emergency responders have been doing in response to COVID-19, but we know that for many of them the pandemic will have a lasting impact on their mental health.” — The Duchess of Cambridge

[From KensingtonRoyal IG]

The bespoke fund is called The Royal Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. We still don’t know how much money Will and Kate “raised” in March/April, when they seemingly had access to NET’s high-donor list, but they’re getting credit for giving away £1.8 million at the moment. Money which could have been given directly to charities by those donors, but here we are.

I have a question about the photos! Did William and Kate make these charity representatives trek to Norfolk for a photo-op, or are the Cambridges back in London? The background of the photos looks like Norfolk. Also, thanks to JacqB on Twitter, I now have this question rattling around in my head: “Why are Kate and William sitting so far apart? So odd. Since, presumably, they live together and don’t need to social distance….” VERY INTERESTING.

william bespoke charity

Photos courtesy of Kensington Royal’s social media.

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112 Responses to “Duchess Kate & William launch the Royal Foundation’s ‘bespoke’ Covid fund”

  1. janey says:

    Curious timing, given the complaint made to the charities commission about the foundation?

    • Mac says:

      The complaint is looks a lot like a SLAPP by Republic.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      What did the complaint say?

      • janey says:

        When they were splitting the foundation monies were split and some went to Travalyst and Sussex Royal. The complaint was around personal decisions to fund themselves from the royal foundation. Load of nonsense really but it just made me wonder about the timing of this announcement.

  2. Mac says:

    Foundations have a fiduciary responsibility in grant making. They don’t just dole out money, they put out a request for proposals to understand how organizations intend to spend the money. There is nothing shady here. Also, they are modeling good social distancing behavior.

    • Coz' says:

      I came to say the same thing . And I am a fundraiser !

    • Hope says:

      You don’t social distance from people in your own household.

      • Mac says:

        They are modeling good behavior. Period.

      • Hope says:

        No, because you don’t social distance from people in your own household. They are modelling muddled behavior.

        Now wearing a mask at a hospice would be modelling good behavior.

      • Imogene says:

        Maybe they are telling on themselves and don’t live in the same household???

        just kidding (kinda)

      • NoWords says:

        It would make them look unapproachable if they sat huddled next to each other and everyone else was spread out. How they’re sitting is fine.

        They should be wearing masks though.

      • notasugarhere says:

        You do have to social distance if you aren’t really living in the same household.

      • Ellen Olenska says:

        I suspect it’s because it made for better photo angles w a large group…

      • The Hench says:

        I suspect that a flunky put the chairs out in social distance spacing and then everyone just took one. I don’t think Kate was out there arranging the furniture and it would have been weirder for them to start shuffling their chairs closer together after the fact.

      • Lizzie says:

        They are sitting where they will be center of the photos. Period.

      • minx says:

        They all still look too close to me. Should wear masks.

      • Nic919 says:

        I agree. Air droplets with the virus still travel outdoors and the 2 metre recommendation is not a guarantee that you can’t catch it.

        They should all be wearing masks.

    • WigletWatcher says:

      MAC
      Yes, foundations have that responsibility, but MANY do. Ot follow it and the Royal Foundation has been scrutinized more than a few times before for being vague in how it operates. It’s far from transparent in where the funds go in

  3. Sofia says:

    Sometimes these foundations can help if you want to give some money but don’t know where. So the foundation steps in and gives it on your behalf.

    • Hope says:

      I think someone on a high-donor list would know where to direct their money.

      But using the Foundation is an excellent way to network with the royals. William and Kate get to look productive and maybe skim some of that money for their Foundation and the donor may get an invitation to at least a garden party somewhere down the line. This is about networking and making some money for the Foundation.
      ..

      • Mac says:

        So are you suggesting the esteemed trustees of the foundation are letting them skim money even if it can get said trustees sent to jail?

      • Hope says:

        Administrative costs! They’re not pocketing it. Was there a guarantee that 100% of funds received for Covid19 needs would be distributed?

        Here’s the thing, you should engage with what I actually posted.

        ETA: They also need reserve funds for future yacht races.

      • Imogene says:

        Donors who have a lot of money to give might also go through a foundation so that they do not have to do the due diligence or impact assessment themselves.

      • Hope says:

        I think there are positives and negatives.

        These charities get attention and some money but unfortunately may not get to build their own relationships with these donors instead having to rely more on whether the Foundation decides to help again. They also may lose out on any money the Foundation keeps rather than getting the whole donation.

        The donors, who give enough to be on a high-donor list, may end up donating to some charities they didn’t know about before and they get to rub elbows with the royals. But the relationship may end up being continued with the Royal Foundation and not the charity.

        William and Kate get some good press, access to a high-donor list, funds for their Foundation and for these charities.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I must admit that if I had money to give away to a foundation, I would make a one time donation if I was guaranteed an invitation to a function where Karen & Kevin would be present because I would love to see them up-close and in person.

      • Nic919 says:

        For everyone who thinks that foundations and charities can’t be shady, please check out what is developing around the WE foundation in Canada. Also whatever Andy did at Pitch Palace.

        There doesn’t seem to be that happening here just bill and kathy taking credit for giving money that is not theirs and that they never made any effort to raise.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Nic919 – Karen & Kevin tried to do the same thing with EACH with regards to taking credit.

      • Stacy Dresden says:

        They give their monies to a foundation to get the tax write off in the year they give the money. PERIOD.

  4. NoWords says:

    It seems like they’re sitting about as close as the can given the gap between the two tables. But also social distancing. It would have looked kind of weird, tbh, if they were huddled together while everyone else was separate.

  5. Priscila says:

    Ho ho, I wonder if William told the black woman how bored he was with racism!

    Curious: how is being the middleman for contributions work? Middlemen usually take a cut out of things, right? or foundations are different?

    There is something really strange going on with Cambridges and their charitable efforts. Unfortunately, I do not think we will ever get an answer exactly because you know ” must protect the heir at all costs” , but the fact they are now coming with numbers instead of generic photo ops, are engaging in their light version of wokeness- going strong on Willie´s mental health advocacy, both including POC in their pics and insist in reaching out to USA press for whatever reason seems like a big smoke screen to me…

    I do hope they are at least serious in allowing people in the foundation to work and that COVID made them reflect and do better. At any rate, they did a good thing here- no shade.

    • Coz' says:

      Foundations channel money between donors and charities. A donor may want to contribute a certain cause but does not know to which organisation. It’s the Foundations’ job to identify those organisations and to assert the social impact of their project. Once the donation is made the organisation will report to the Foundation on their achievements, results and spendings.
      The middle man is very important in this case.
      As a fundraiser I work with many different foundations and nothing said here seems to be out of the ordinary.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Sometimes donors make contributions to a foundation earmarked for a particular charity or non-profit so their identity can be kept confidential.

  6. Becks1 says:

    This is a good thing, but isn’t this what their foundation should have been doing all along? Raising money and passing it onto charities? What else does their foundation do?

    I actually like Kate’s dress here, because I love a good shirtdress, but how many new dresses did she buy during the pandemic????

    • Becks1 says:

      Also, this is a good example of the Cambridges doing something helpful and tangible with their foundation – which like I said in my initial comment, is a good thing – but the reaction of their fans makes me roll my eyes. I really think many of them think this is Will and Kate’s personal money.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Cannot speak for Karen Keen but I have purchased six dresses on-line since March. The only difference is that shipping has been slower than normal.

      I would bet good money that chosen & approved fashion houses send Ms. Keen cartons & cartons of dresses at regular monthly intervals. She pays for what she wants to keep and sends the rejects back.

      • Becks1 says:

        I have been doing lots of online shopping too, but you would think she would have some sense of the “optics” of showing up in a new outfit every time she does an engagement or a zoom call during a pandemic where people are dying and losing their jobs, and you’re married to the future future king. Her role is not ours.

        (I know not every zoom call featured a new outfit, but a lot of them did.)

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Becks1 – I agree with you but I don’t think Karen Keen cares about optics let alone thinks about the implications of said optics.

        If she wanted wear something different for each Zoom then she just wear a T-shirt promoting the charity she is Zooming.

      • notasugarhere says:

        BTB, you’re paying for your own clothes. Keen isn’t. There was no need for her to purchase yet another new outfit. She has 10 years worth of taxpayer-funded clothes; she should wear them.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “She has 10 years worth of taxpayer-funded clothes and they are all ugly; she should wear them.”

        @nota – You forgot to add “and they are all ugly” to the sentence above so I fixed it for you.

      • Becks1 says:

        @bay sometimes you say something I’m not really expecting and it just cracks me up. Here, it was “and they are all ugly” LOLOL.

      • Nic919 says:

        Kate doesn’t actually give a shit about the peasants so she’s going to need a new dress to step out of the zoom room once a week.

  7. Lisa says:

    Kudos I guess for finally doing something.

  8. Royalwatcher says:

    I can’t find the link to the article but isn’t this just from the 5m pound grant the government gave them? If this is the case, why hasn’t the entire 5m been redistributed?!

  9. Dee says:

    Another brand new ugly dress? How much could Kate donate if she didn’t buy all these school marm dresses?

    • BayTampaBay says:

      That would not work as the commentariat of The Daily Fail loves Kate’s frumpy look because they have no taste and would dress exactly like Kate if they had the money.

      OTOH, the commentariat of The Daily Fail hates Victoria Beckham and her clothing line because none of them could wear her clothes and not look like a clown.

    • Lizzie says:

      Same as she donates now, zero.

  10. taylor says:

    Their photos are always so laughably self-centered. We so frequently only see the backs of heads of whoever they’re speaking to.

    Anyway, I miss my life when I was indifferent to the BRF. Learning the machinations of all the stage setting and propping up that goes on behind the scenes has made me a little bitter about their existence. I don’t like being bitter!

    Kate’s dress is cute tho.

    • Becks1 says:

      I may have missed it, but did they list which charities and organizations received this money? I know they said they divided the money among 10, but I think it would have been helpful to say which ones. that could result in more money being donated to the charities directly, especially if their post explained what each charity did (even just these 4 that they met with.) But, maybe it did and I missed it.

      • Hope says:

        Links to their instas are at the bottom of the KP insta post.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Hope – thanks, I definitely missed that.

        LOL okay I went and looked at the IG post (I just saw the announcement on twitter yesterday, didn’t check the IG) and that second picture…..their new social media guru is sure having fun with IG, isn’t he lol.

  11. Alexandria says:

    Good. Please get busy with your Foundation and stop harassing and leaking about your brother and his family for fuck’s sake. There’s enough work for you sheesh.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Is Wilileaks still in business? I thought they shut down and filed for bankruptcy administration as they had nothing left to sell! LOL! LOL!

      • Royalwatcher says:

        Well, someone keeps giving the Sussexes’ address to the Fail. First Canada and now in LA. If you can test the smell by smelling it, it’s gotta be Willieleaks!

      • notasugarhere says:

        They haven’t fired the leaker’s boyfriend, designated pillow talk leaker Jones.

  12. Lena says:

    That’s exactly what foundations are supposed to do. Were they not doing that before?

    That dress is ugly.

  13. Digital Unicorn says:

    About time their foundation actually started to do its job.

    And yeah, why are Willileaks and TOP CEO sitting further apart than they are from the complete strangers they are talking too. His body language is more relaxed, hers is tense and rigid. Also looks like she’s had a botox touch up around the eyes.

    • Becks1 says:

      That’s whats cracking me up. Social distancing is fine, even though its not necessary with people in your own household, but Will and Kate are the most “socially distanced” people there, lol.

    • Nic919 says:

      That photo of her looking like she’s honking boobs is pretty funny. Someone thought that was a good photo to use.

  14. Harper says:

    All those tall glasses of water spaced out on the tables made me wonder if they met up on the set of the sequel to the movie Signs. In fact, I think I see an alien hiding in the bushes behind Kate.

  15. Becks1 says:

    Twitter is saying that this money came from a government grant, so not raised by donations to the charity, and that the Foundation is just distributing it, but that seems confusing to me.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Confusing and questionable to me too, Becks1. But we’re supposed to give W&K credit for 1) taking taxpayer money into their private foundation 2) having their staff choose charities to receive the money.

      Looks like a way for a pro-royal govt to try to prop up a pair of royals who were incapable of raising funds for their own charity.

    • Hope says:

      It’s confusing me too. I think there are two stories that are being combined. I think this money may actually be from the government grant and not the donors from the NET list.

      Also, I’m looking through their websites to find out more and William just loves a picture of him where he’s in three quarter profile and looking up and the shot is positioned so it feels like the viewer is below him and looking up at him. I noticed this years ago and this pose keeps showing up.

    • Hope says:

      I think it is the donor money because why would Will and Kate get to distribute the 5 million grant from the UK government?

    • notasugarhere says:

      See carolinefiennes twitter from 29 March.

      ‘To be clear, none of the £5m for the mental health campaign that William and Kate are ‘backing’ is coming from them personally, nor from their foundation. It’s government money. ‘

      This is the 5 million govt grant, not money raised by W&K. They’re *just now* starting to give a portion of it away, four months later. On the heels of Fiennes’s report on how useless royals are in fundraising for charity. And right before Harry’s Travalyst virtual event too.

      • Hope says:

        Oh, Will and Kate rushed to be publicly associated with the government grant but I haven’t seen anything stating that the grant was given to the Royal Foundation to then be distributed by William and Kate. That’s my confusion. Why would William and Kate get to decided how that money was distributed and if it’s the 5 million, where is the other 3.2 million?

        This is why I think it’s two separate stories being combined and this 1.8 million must be the donor money from the NET high-donor list.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I’m kinda bothered that the money came from the NET donor list – surely NET are in more need of the money than the RF? Guess its a case of, ‘i’ll promote you and you give me access to your big money donor list so i can squeeze for some quick cash to fund my foundation that I can’t really be bothered to raise money for myself’. Wanna bet there is a big event at BP to ‘thank’ the big money donors.

  16. dsfskfsg says:

    This is good. They are not just helping one cause but helping 10 causes. Can’t argue with that.

    • notasugarhere says:

      W&K aren’t doing it, the money came fully from a government grant.

      • Linda says:

        Have you confirmed that it is indeed from government or you are just going by the info on someones twitter handle like you stated above?

      • Nic919 says:

        Caroline Fiennes is an investigative reporter and she wrote a recent story about the impact of royals on charities. She’s more than just a random twitter commentator.

        And we shall be proven right next year once we see the financial filings. Royals have never personally donated amounts like this and they won’t start now.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Is Caroline Fiennes the sister of actor Ralph Fiennes?

    • Lizzie says:

      Their broke patronage’s just might have something to say. I guess they got all the mileage they can then dumped them.

  17. Suz says:

    (deleted: wrong thread)

  18. Sara says:

    Say “bespoke” one more time, m*therf*cker, I dare you!

  19. Bethany Karger says:

    I wish someone would tell Kate to sit on her hands when she’s talking. And I’ve noticed that William has his claws out when talking too. So annoying and distracting.

  20. bluemoonhorse says:

    Can we stop with the word “bespoke?” I have come to hate this pretentious word with a passion.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Just a difference in UK vs. US English.

      jumper vs. sweater
      chips vs. fries
      trainers vs. sneakers
      bespoke vs. custom

      • bluemoonhorse says:

        Again, I don’t see the need to say custom or bespoke in this article. They are disseminating grant money and choosing who it goes to. Let’s not make it sound like it is so special or something. It is done every freaking day by legit charities.

      • notasugarhere says:

        If you’re unable to understand Kaiser’s mocking use of that term, that’s on you.

      • Becks1 says:

        KensingtonRoyal used the term “bespoke” in their post, which is why Kaiser is mocking it.

      • Nic919 says:

        Is it bespoke like that agriculture program William didn’t finish?

  21. Celia456 says:

    I love how W&K are always learning what every other human already knows. “The Duke and Duchess… heard how mental health support will be needed for those working on the frontline and those delivering vital support to the nation.”
    ‘Cor blimey’ they shouted, waving their hands in shock. ‘We must tell the world! Good thing these experts each gave up a day of, what’s it called—work?’

  22. Abena Asantewaa says:

    Anytime there is a TRAVALYST Program, out comes The Cambridges, with their PR shenanigans to tell the media and public, that look at us we are better than H&M. ( EMPTY PLANE) This time it will be a damp squid, because Travalyst, has suddenly become relevant in the era of Covid-19. Harry is a visionary; INVICTUS, SENTABALE( with PRINCE SEESO), THE ENDEAVOUR FUND and HEADFIT! What a guy, I salute him!

  23. candy says:

    In the world of grant making, three months is literally the speed of light.

    • Becks1 says:

      Honestly, if Will and Kate were able to raise and distribute almost 2 million dollars in 3 months, it tells me they are able to help all their charities (they don’t have that many) a lot more than they do.

  24. yinyang says:

    They zoom called their heads off, lol. Now we’re back to Kate posing, looking awkward while everyone’s relaxed. Token black woman. Same old, same old. And they’re out because Harry is comig out with Travalyst soon, maybe to subliminally align themselves with Harry’s charitable causes. These two are so irritating.

  25. Mignionette says:

    So essentially they’re using money donated to the foundation to make a donation all in the name of positive PR for themselves and possibly outdo you know who in LA…..

    In other news, so sick and tired of these two using black people as props to (1) make themselves look good and (2) appear inclusive. Especially Karen.

    It’s particularly galling when you consider how they used the media to wage a war of attrition against Meghan. It’s an out and out insult to Black Brits. When the truth about Kevin and Karen inevitably makes it into the mainstream (and not just sites like this), these two better have a plan to shore up support from the UK’s black community bc the backlash will be brutal.

    And yes it will come out. Just ask Charles. Year after Diana died all his dirty deeds were happily aired by journalists who were holding onto the evidence waiting for the right moment. Add to the fact a post Brexit UK which will see the dissolution of the NHS as we know it, diminished employment and other rights and it’s a toxic pressure cooker waiting to pop off. The BRF better be ready, bc they will then need to justify their existence more than ever.

    Charles learned the hard way that things done in the dark will eventually come to light at the most ill-opportune moment, Especially when Royal news starts drying up without H&M to continually beat on.

    The BRF have made a monster of the UK press and particularly RR’s in the M&H era and that monster will constantly need to be fed. The Camb’s better be ready for the reputational damage they will face in middle age. Charles will do what ever is necessary and throw them under a bus to ensure he ascends the throne. Expecting even more crazed botoxed expressions from the Queen of Karens at that point.

  26. Lizzie says:

    This is so Trump like. The Cambridge’s faces are front and center taking credit for giving away grant money. Narcissist are the same everywhere. Just be sure they look good in the photo.

  27. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    The billions spent on maintaining a royal family could be spent on charities instead. I’m just saying.

    • Nic919 says:

      Yes. And it’s even more disgusting that Kate has to step out wearing a new outfit for her once a week photo op. But she doesn’t care because it’s always been about her. The repeats were only to look better than Meghan. Once Meghan left, it is new outfits all the time.

  28. Guest with Cat says:

    At this point there’s nothing these two could do to make me think well of them. I just dont trust either of them. I’m just here to look at all the great weird facial expressions they make. William, in particular, has looking constipated down to an art form.

  29. BodegaBay says:

    Yuck the Will and Kate fans are infiltrating the CB comments section. I come here to enjoy comments away from Cambridge stans dangit!

  30. truth fairy says:

    Poor Kate — that’s one tragic dye and perm. Or will it wash out?

    • truth fairy says:

      Yes it’s a superficial comment but it brings back painful memories of my youth.

      I AM KATE’S HAIR

    • Nic919 says:

      I don’t think there s a perm, but the hair colour could be affected by chlorine in a pool and we know she’s tanning a hell of a lot lately.

      • truth fairy says:

        Yep, chlorine effect makes sense. I thought perm because the waves looked kind of chunky and dry

  31. lemon8 says:

    I know that this is so petty, but I hate how she uses her hands when she is speaking. I feel like she thinks it adds substance to whatever she’s saying, but it just looks very aggressive or something.

  32. Mads says:

    There is some confusion over the £1.8m; some have picked up that this is the exact amount the UK government has earmarked for a COVID response initiative. Is it money actually raised by the Foundation or money given to the Foundation by the government??

    • yinyang says:

      Wow using government funds to smack their names on and take credit, how low can they get. I can’t think of anything good about them.

  33. Mariane says:

    Notice how they didnt share the awarded charities on their account . Their stans are retweeting individual messages by their PATRONAGES thanking them which proves that this is a last minute thing to counter republic’s complaint about their finances.
    The whole thing is a publicity stunt. Just look at how all the pictures only highlight/show KeenKueen kate & NormalBill
    These people are shameless and to think they then had the audacity to claim government fund as their “donation”😠

  34. February-Pisces says:

    They are trying to spin this ‘donation’ like it’s coming from them personally. I just saw a headline from a tv show in Australia and it’s was like ‘William and Kate donated 3million to Covid.” That’s what will stick in people’s heads that ‘THEY donated 3 million” when it was grant money, not their own coin. It only goes to show how shameless and self serving they are, because they have no real intentions to actually helping people, they only care about their own PR and how they look. That’s the true purpose of the ‘donation’ if it’s actually happened.

  35. rawiya says:

    Allow me to be petty for one moment: The OPTICS (since Cambridge fans looooove that word) of the black woman sitting next to Free Willy, and him intently listening to her, is killing me. KILLING.

    Out of all the photos they took, they made sure to publish those two.

    • MadamNoir24 says:

      I find it so patronizing that some members of the royal family especially the Cambridge’s make it a priority now to have at least one black person in their events and to be photographer with a person of color in an attempt to not look racist, but in actuality it makes them look even more racist. It’s the equivalent as saying “I’m can’t be racist I have a black friend”. It’s patronizing, insensitive, and insulting.

  36. Intheknow says:

    The manic grin and hand gestures must be distracting for her audience

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