Great Britain

Princess Anne launches valiant new project as she marks important patronage milestone

Princess Anne ‘deeply respected’ says expert

The Princess Royal Respite Fund for Carers has been created to provide small grants to around 30,000 carers so they can take a much-needed break from the constant demands of their caring role. It will aim is to raise £3million over the next three years from different donors, including trusts and foundations, major donors, corporate supporters and members of the public. The fund is also named after Carers Trust’s President, Anne, as part of her 70th birthday celebrations.

Chair of Carers Trust Board of Trustees, John McLean OBE, said: “As most of us begin to emerge from months of lockdown, many unpaid carers will be staying at home to continue providing round-the-clock care for a loved one without the prospect of even the smallest break.

"They need our support right now, and that is why Carers Trust is launching the Respite Fund – so we can support more carers to have time to themselves and the breaks they both need, and deserve.

"On behalf of my fellow colleagues and trustees, I would like to thank Her Royal Highness for her unstinting support which has made the Respite Fund possible.”

Before the pandemic hit, two thirds of carers were working fifty hours or more per week.

Princess Anne has launched a new fund to help exhausted carers

Princess Anne has launched a new fund to help exhausted carers (Image: PA)

And the subsequent national lockdowns over the last year meant they had to spend even more time caring and were putting their health at risk by not getting enough time to rest.

Martin McMillan, the chair the Appeal Board for the trust, explained the importance of rewarding carers for "the sacrifices they make everyday".

He said: “You only have to listen to a few unpaid family carers to grasp just how physically and mentally demanding it is to provide round-the-clock care for a loved one.

"Many have had to sacrifice a job and career to do so, and there is little or no financial reward in return.

The aim of the new project is to help carers take breaks

The aim of the new project is to help carers take breaks (Image: PA)

"What’s more, the sacrifices they make every day are taking pressure off our over-stretched health and social care services.

"It’s no exaggeration to say these unsung heroes are the glue holding society together. So we must do all we can to support them and help them continue in their caring role.

"I can think of no better way to do that than by donating to this fund.

"All the money raised will be used to ensure unpaid carers get what they say they need most – a break, time to themselves when they can collect their thoughts and re-energise themselves.

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Her Royal Highness turned 70 last year

Her Royal Highness turned 70 last year (Image: EXPRESS)

"I urge everyone to do what they can to support this fund.

"It will make a greater difference for these unsung heroes than we can ever know.”

Anne has rarely been seen in public over the last year as she carried out less duties due to the pandemic.

She was pictured last month attending the funeral of her father Prince Philip after he died peacefully at the age of 99.

Prince Charles and Princess Anne pay tribute to Prince Philip

In May, Anne also laid wreaths at a war memorial in London in commemoration of the Australian and New Zealand forces for Anzac Day.

It has since been reported the Queen and Philip's only daughter may soon be stepping up her duties though to fill in for her father and also Prince Harry, who stepped down as a working royal last year.

Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills, founder of the British Monarchists Society, explained why Anne was the perfect replacement for her two relatives.

He said: "She is constantly doing what's expected of the Crown and there's a very big difference between her work and those of her nephew Harry's, so she's going to be picking up a lot of work in the coming years because the Crown is down a player.

Anne was pictured attending her father Prince Philip's funeral

Anne was pictured attending her father Prince Philip's funeral (Image: PA)

"There's a few that are open from the patronages that where returned to the Queen from Harry.

"Being the Queen's only daughter it really shows well that this woman who was not born to be King or Queen is the one to take these honorary patronages and make something of them.

"She commands the respect of the armed forces and that's why she will be given more of those honorary patronages which will have been left behind."

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