Articles - February 2021

Royal Goodwill - Humanitarianism

Humanitarianism is almost always at the top of the list of interests for many royals. Some of them spend their time and efforts contributing to others' well-being as if it's a profession. Although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge get the most international attention, there are several royal family members who aren’t on the cover of magazines and in the news, when perhaps they should be.  One of those people is Sophie, Countess of Wessex.  She is married to Queen Elizabeth’s fourth child, Prince Edward, and could easily be likened to Princess Diana for her love of helping children.

During the most recent holiday season, she participated in several school activities to extend encouragement and cheerful inspiritment, especially during this very trying time with all the uncomfortable surrounding circumstances of the coronavirus.  One of her sojourns was to a military school called the Royal Corps of Army Music (CAMUS) for a renaming ceremony and short parade at Kneller Hall, at the headquarters in Twickenham, England, where she is the Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment.

In the early 1990s, The Queen noticed that the number of people in the “military music business” had dramatically diminished. Realizing that music is a critical component of any school’s curriculum for success and a solid musical education program for students is imperative through their early academic years, she officially summoned the new creation of the Corps of Army Music in 1994. Consequently, significant investments were made to reinvigorate the original school, which was established over a century ago by the Duke of Cambridge of 1857, Prince George, from the House of Hanover, who served as the forces’ commander-in-chief from 1856 to 1895.

Military musicians aren't at the forefront of people's imaginations when official ceremonies are taking place, but the background music's brilliant sounds and melodies are indeed theirs. Without the audio opulence of the trumpets, violins, and drums playing during some of the world's most significant celebrations, being a spectator wouldn't be as fun as it is! Music brings proclamation and heralds momentous commemorations of any occasion. It is also often used in diplomacy, including all branches: civilian, defense and government.

Continuing through the multitudinous lineup of her Christmastime schedule, the countess masked up and pressed on to her next destination, the Disability Initiative's Resource Center, to recognize the International Day of People with Disabilities in Camberley, a quaint English town in Surrey just a half hour's drive southwest of London. The center is known for its outstanding implementation of various vital and highly productive programs designed for disabled adults to grow and flourish in a safe environment. Together, during the visit, they baked flapjacks, a sort of cookie, or something like an American granola bar, and subsequently made holiday decorations with the students to enjoy the annual festivities.

As a royal family delegate, Sophie's wintertime schedule progressed with bustling days of appointments to fulfill. The next stop was the Shooting Star Children's Hospices (SSCH) charity shop in Hampton, England. A beautiful dog named "Blitz" was part of the welcome committee as Sophie approached the entrance of the store and, as you can see from the photo – was delighted to greet her! The SSCH certainly deserves some demonstrable appreciation. Its purpose is to provide palliative and consolatory care to families and children suffering from a severe illness where life expectancy is limited. The term "hospice" is a derivative of the word "hospital." Not everyone anticipating imminent death wishes for it to happen in a hospital; therefore, a hospice's comforting experience was incorporated to serve as reliable home care for those who prefer a less sterile environment when going through such difficult and very delicate transitions.

The Shooting Star Children's Hospices don't rely on government financing but upon the public's generosity and benevolent goodwill. They will often host walks and marathons and create different ways to attain funding. Sophie is the Royal Patron and enjoys engaging with the families while simultaneously contributing in any way she can to support this wonderful organization's endeavors.

Included in the month-long social activities, Prince Edward, Count of Wessex, joined the Countess as they collectively focused on a foundation called FoodWise. This charity instructs how to purchase and cook food on an allocated budget. Furthermore, they teach how to turn affordable, basic groceries into delicious, nourishing cuisine dishes to eat. The philanthropic group prepared and delivered more than 30,000 ancillary meals during the coronavirus to over 300 self-isolating and financially suffering families in the Guildford and Woking region of England. The royal couple isn’t above putting an apron on and participating in making a holiday banquet with the working members and volunteers of FoodWise to contribute to the joy, well-being, and health of those they proudly serve and represent.

Giving attention to international humanitarianism is an essential component of DiplomaticConnections’ mission. We highlight and emphasize the good works people worldwide attempt to do every day to make a difference for those less fortunate, and even more so during the pandemic. As an embassy, mission, consulate, or international organization, if there is a cause that you’d like to have the spotlight on, please email us for consideration:

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