The history of The Royal Foundation


Highlights so far have included The Endeavour Fund Awards and the launch of the Heads Up Campaign


New charity structures for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

It was announced that The Royal Foundation will become the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own new charitable foundation with transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation. In addition both couples will continue to work together on projects in the future, including on The Foundation’s mental health programme, Heads Together. Work on this is still ongoing.


Heads Together and The FA partner on new mental health campaign, Heads Up

The Duke of Cambridge announced an exciting new partnership between Heads Together and the FA, which is set to use the power of football to inspire the biggest conversation ever on mental health. Harnessing the influence and popularity of football, Heads Up will be a campaign to remind us all that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness.


The first United for Wildlife joint Taskforce meeting

The Duke of Cambridge attended a meeting of United for Wildlife’s taskforces for the financial and transport sector, which was the first time the two groups came together to explore what more can be done to work together to combat illegal wildlife trade. This joint meeting highlighted the benefits of bringing these industries together and showcased some of the successes that have already been seen through their approach.


Heads Together legacy project, Shout, launches in the UK

Delivered by Mental Health Innovations, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched Shout – a free, 24/7 text messaging service that connects people experiencing mental health crisis with trained volunteers who provide help at a time when it is most needed. Having been piloted in the UK for the past year, Shout’s body of 1,000 volunteers have already responded to 60,000 conversations.

Sign up to volunteer at Shout

Mental Health in Education conference

Attended by The Duchess of Cambridge, this conference brought together delegates from across the mental health and education sectors to explore and discuss the benefits of collaborative working and what more can be done to tackle mental health issues in schools. The conference also included a session on The Royal Foundation’s Mentally Healthy Schools programme.


The Endeavour Fund Awards

The winners for 2019 were Kelly Ganfield, Nathan Forster and Shaun Pascoe, with each of them using sport and adventurous challenge as part of their recovery and rehabilitation following illness or injury in service.


The Duke of Cambridge in conversation with Sir David Attenborough

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, The Duke of Cambridge sat down with Sir David Attenborough to discuss the importance of the natural world and the urgent challenges and opportunities that will face the next generation of environmental leaders.


Highlights included the convening of the Financial Taskforce, and The Duchess of Sussex supporting Together: Our Community Cookbook.


The United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce signs the Mansion House Declaration

Convened by The Duke of Cambridge and Lord Hague of Richmond, the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce signed a declaration outlining six commitments helping them to work together.

Initially comprising of representatives from 30 global banks, experts on illegal wildlife trade and financial organisations such as Standard Chartered, HSBC, RBS, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan, these signatories will commit to “contributing to the global fight against IWT”.

Find out more about the United for Wildlife Taskforces

The Duke of Cambridge visits Africa

As President of United for Wildlife and Patron of Tusk Trust, The Duke of Cambridge travelled to Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya. During his trip, The Duke visited the Dar es Salaam port where he learned more about the works Tanzania is doing to combat illegal wildlife trade with support from the UK government.


The Coach Core Awards

Over 200 Coach Core apprentices and graduates travelled to Loughborough University to celebrate their achievements and take part in masterclass sessions with sports stars including Paula Radcliffe, Scott Hann and Laura Robson.

During the event, it was announced that Coach Core had been awarded almost £1 million of funding from Sport England to add 10 new sites over the next three years.


The Duchess of Sussex supports Together: Our Community Cookbook

In her first programme with The Royal Foundation, The Duchess of Sussex worked closely with the women she’d met at the Hubb Community Kitchen, who were united by their passion for cooking as a way of strengthening communities. Her Royal Highness wrote the foreword for Together, which features the women’s own personal recipes from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.


The Duke of Cambridge launches Mental Health at Work

Mental Health at Work is an initiative from Heads Together and Mind aiming to change the way that we approach workplace mental health across the UK.
At the launch, The Duke of Cambridge met with several people who have shown leadership in promoting good mental health in their own workplace, attended workshops that demonstrated the gateway and met with people trialling the system.

Learn more about Mental Health at Work

The Mental Health Minute broadcasts across the UK

For the first time in history, hundreds of radio stations across the UK came together to broadcast the #MentalHealthMinute – a one-minute message from some world-famous voices to let everyone know that whoever you are, however you’re feeling and whatever you’re going through, it’s okay to say.

Watch the video

The Duchess of Cambridge announces Early Intervention support

At a symposium hosted by The Royal Foundation, The Duchess of Cambridge delivered a speech about the importance of Early Intervention for children and families. The Duchess’s longer-term aim is to create a partnership between experts and organisations in order to build strong collaboration, and to raise awareness of issues like perinatal, maternal and infant mental health, and the need for parenting support and advice, as well as resources for schools and educators.


The Royal Foundation Forum

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended The Royal Foundation Forum, which showcased the programmes run or initiated by The Royal Foundation and included a number of delegates who have been involved in key projects.


The Endeavour Fund Awards

The second annual Endeavour Fund Awards were held at Goldsmiths’ Hall, where The Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrated the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who had taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the previous year.

Royal Foundation

The Duchess of Cambridge launches Mentally Healthy Schools

Mentally Healthy Schools is a website that gives teachers and school staff the resources they need to support children’s mental wellbeing.

The website was developed by the youth-focused charity partners of Heads Together: the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Place2Be and Young Minds.

Find out more about Mentally Healthy Schools


Highlights included the Mental Health Marathon, the launch of the Stop Speak Support campaign and the announcement of the Ministry of Defence partnership.


The Duke of Cambridge launches the Stop Speak Support campaign

Following a key recommendation from The Royal Foundation’s Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, The Duke of Cambridge launched the Stop Speak Support campaign – giving young people three simple steps to follow when they see someone being treated badly online.


Coach Core graduation

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex attended the graduation ceremony for 150 apprentices across the London, Glasgow, Essex and Wales programmes. Here, it was announced that Coach Core would expand its reach from seven location to ten, adding Middlesbrough, Bristol and Devon to the scheme.


Ministry of Defence mental health partnership

In 2017, The Royal Foundation and the Ministry of Defence signed an agreement to work together to change the conversation on mental health across HM Forces. The hope is that we can help our serving personnel to adopt a more positive and constructive understanding of promoting good mental fitness across the military.

Find out more

The Royal Foundation invests £2 million in Mental Health Innovations

On World Mental Health Day in 2017, The Royal Foundation announced it had granted £2 million to establish Mental Health Innovations – a mental health charity, developing new ways to help people talk about mental health using digital innovation, data-driven analysis and the experience of mental health experts.

Learn more about Mental Health Innovations

United for Wildlife wins at Jackson Hole Film Festival

United for Wildlife’s stunning film I Am a Ranger won the award for the Best Micro Movie at the Jackson Hole Film Festival. The film explores the lives of rangers working Africa, the dangers they face and why they fight to protect wildlife.


The Mental Health Marathon

Heads Together became the Official Charity Partner of the 2017 London Marathon, and with 750 runners taking on the challenge to raise awareness for mental health, alongside 40,000 more running in Heads Together headbands, it became the first ever Mental Health Marathon.


Heads Together launches #oktosay campaign

Heads Together launched a series of films to encourage people to join the conversation around mental health. The #oktosay films, spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex, featured people from all walks of life talking about the life changing conversations that helped them cope with their mental health problems.


The Endeavour Fund holds its first awards ceremony

The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge attended the Endeavour Fund’s first awards ceremony, celebrating endeavour participants from the previous year and awarding prizes to veterans who have gone above and beyond in the adventure challenges they’ve taken on.


Highlights included the launch of two new campaigns, Heads Together and the Cyberbullying Taskforce.


Coach Core celebrates its national roll out

After successful pilots launched in London in 2012 and Glasgow in 2014, Coach Core was able to expand its programmes nationally. The Duke of Sussex joined apprentices from London, Glasgow, Wales, Nottingham and Essex in the celebrations at Lord’s Cricket Ground along with Coach Core ambassadors Max Whitlock and Eboni Beckford-Chambers.


The Duke of Cambridge launches a Cyberbullying Taskforce

The Duke of Cambridge brought together a new industry-led taskforce to support young people and their families who have been affected by cyberbullying. The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying is made up of industry partners and a group of advisors from the sector to develop a response to the online bullying of young people, with a focus on 12-14 year olds.


Launch of the Heads Together campaign

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex brought together 8 leading mental health organisations for the launch of Heads Together – a campaign to change the conversation on mental health.

Find out more about Heads Together

The Transport Taskforce signs The Buckingham Palace Declaration

The United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, formed of leaders of the global transportation industry, signed a historic declaration at Buckingham Palace to shut down illegal trafficking routes. The Buckingham Palace Declaration is a culmination of a work that has been hailed as “a game changer in the race against extinction” by The Duke of Cambridge. It contains eleven commitments to raise standards across the transportation industry and focuses on information and resource sharing.

Learn more about the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce


Highlights included Coach Core celebrating its first graduation.


Emirates reveals its United for Wildlife airbus

In support of United for Wildlife, two Emirates A380 jets took to the skies wearing special livery featuring vulnerable wildlife that is threatened by poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. As a member of the Transport Taskforce, Emirates are committed to increasing awareness around the trafficking of wildlife products.

royal foundationroyal foundation

Coach Core celebrates its first graduation

Coach Core held its first graduation at St. James’s Palace, with the 33 graduating apprentices receiving their certificates from The Duke of Sussex and NBA player Carmelo Anthony. Along with a 92% completion rate, 92% of Coach Core graduates go onto positive exit routes within six months.


Highlights included the first ever Invictus Games and the launch of M-PACT Plus.


Invictus Games

The first ever Invictus Games, held in London, stood as a highlight in the year’s sporting calendar as an international, multi-sport adaptive event that embraced the respect for our Armed Forces and the strong desire to show the nation’s support for those who have sacrificed so much in service.


Palliative Care pilot launched

Together, The Royal Foundation and True Colours Trust developed and jointly-funded a palliative care programme to test innovative ways to support families of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. The programme partnered volunteers with families to help provide practical support in the home.


The Duchess of Cambridge launches M-PACT Plus

Working in partnership with Place2Be and Action on Addiction, The Royal Foundation launched a major initiative to provide early support for children, parents and families affected by parental drug and alcohol misuse.


Highlights included the formation of United for Wildlife and The Duke of Sussex’s trek to the South Pole.


Walking with the Wounded and The Duke of Sussex trek to the South Pole

The Duke of Sussex joined a team of twelve injured veterans on a 200-mile Antarctic trek. It was a gruelling three-week trek to the South Pole, pulling 11st (70kg) sleds in challenging conditions. The expedition combined a team of UK, US, Canadian and Australian veterans that had suffered life-changing injuries in service.


The Duke of Cambridge convenes conservation organisations to form United for Wildlife

The Duke of Cambridge brought together an unprecedented collaboration of seven of the world’s most influential conservation organisations along with The Royal Foundation to form ‘United for Wildlife’. United for Wildlife tackles the global challenges facing the world’s natural resources so they can be safeguarded for future generations, leading the way to substantially increase the global response to major conservation crises.


Highlights included the launch of The Endeavour Fund and Coach Core.


The Coach Core programme is launched

The first Coach Core programme was launched in London at a sports festival in Rotherhithe. There, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex met with the apprentices and took part in a variety of sporting activities. The Coach Core apprenticeship scheme gives young people aged 16-24 the chance to become the next generation of inspirational sports coaches.


The Endeavour Fund is launched

Sport can be a powerful tool for recovery, and The Endeavour Fund aims to inspire wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women to explore new physical challenges as part of this rehabilitation; rebuilding their confidence and rediscovering self-believe.


Highlights included the Foundation awarding its first grant.


Partnership with ARK is announced

The Royal Foundation supported ARK in the development of their Expanding Horizons programme, with both organisations sharing a common vision and commitment to transform the lives of children.


The Foundation awards its first grant

The Royal Foundation awarded its first grant to Fields in Trust, a charity which protects parks and green spaces and promotes the cause of accessible spaces for play, sports and recreation in British cities and towns.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge set up wedding gift fund held by The Royal Foundation

Ahead of their wedding, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge asked that anyone who wanted to give a wedding gift instead donated to their charitable gift fund. These donations were held in a dedicated account by The Royal Foundation and grants were distributed in partnership with the benefitting charities to ensure maximum impact.


This was the year that The Royal Foundation was registered as a charitable organisation.


The Royal Foundation is registered as a charitable organisation

From apprentices to veterans, community projects to national campaigns, from local action to global conservation, The Royal Foundation supports a broad and ambitious spectrum of activity. We bring people, ideas and resources together to understand issues, explore creative solutions and be a catalyst for long-term impact.