The passing of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been sad and surreal. The thought that one day the national anthem would change from ‘G-d save the Queen’ to ‘G-d save the King’ seemed…almost mythical.
Growing up in the United Kingdom, learning about the Queen and her family was unavoidable. Visits to castles and royal estates, history lessons, and of course the weekly gossip columns in the Sunday papers made sure of it.
What I cherish most about her legacy is the realization that she wasn’t just a figurehead who spent her days drinking high tea and indulging in her hobby of competitive horse racing.
It was only once I began working in the nonprofit sector did I realize just how involved Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family were in charitable causes. Wherever I worked, the Royal Family always turned up! They brought prestige to fundraising events and lent their support to these wonderful causes.
I was working at World Jewish Relief when Prince Charles opened the new Jewish Community Center in Poland.
At Jewish Care, I had the honor of working a huge gala fundraising dinner in Alexandra Palace and was in the room when Prince William addressed over 1,000 guests in support of the charity.
And at Norwood, a nonprofit which had royal patronage throughout its 200-year history, staff and service users delighted in the numerous visits from Queen Elizabeth.
The Queen was patron to over 500 nonprofit organizations in the United Kingdom, and an active one, traveling far and wide in support of the good causes which she cherished.
From organizations such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children to those supporting military veterans and the elderly, the Queen’s patronage spread across a wide range of issues.
Aside from the prestige, the organizations with royal patronage saw additional benefits.
A survey by the Charities Aid Foundation showed that 8% of respondents were more likely to donate to a charity if it was supported by a royal. Furthermore, it provides nonprofits with a significant boost in social awareness, with 25% of respondents saying they “think they have heard about charities and appeals they might not otherwise have known about because of royal support.”
If these organizations had feared that the Queen’s passing would result in a loss of support that her patronage provided, they can rest easy.
The patronages have already been passed on to King Charles and other members of the Royal Family who are just as dedicated as the Queen was in supporting these causes.
For 70 years my Jewish community in London prayed for the health and well-being of the Queen.
Today it has been adjusted to say:
“He who gives salvation to kings and dominion to princes, Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom – may He bless Our Sovereign lord, King Charles, our gracious Queen Consort Camilla, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and all the Royal Family.”
May the Queen’s memory be forever a blessing. May her memory shine a light in dark corners of the world. May her memory be a catalyst for kindness and generous for generations to come.