From Prince Albert to Prince Philip – Two Local Charities Become One
26 September 2022: Following recent approval by the Charity Commission, the Royal Albert Institute Fund is set to merge with the Prince Philip Trust Fund for Windsor and Maidenhead, bringing together two local charities that have honoured the legacies of the Prince Consorts for both Queen Victoria and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Royal Albert Institute was created over 150 years ago in 1867 and began life as an organisation that promoted local interest and study in literature, science and the arts, delivering lectures on subjects of general interest at its premises on Sheet Street in Windsor and, for decades, was one of leading institutions in the town. Following the financial impact of both World Wars, the organisation went on to sell its real estate and transformed into a charity called The Royal Albert Institute Fund, giving out grants to many local organisations using the income generated from its capital.
In line with its original objectives, the Royal Albert Institute Fund has supported a range of local projects and organisations in Windsor since becoming a charity. Most recently, having supported the restoration of books from the Luff Library Collection, the collection has been gifted to Windsor Library. And to mark HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, two stained glass windows depicting the four main royal residences were gifted to the Windsor Guildhall.
Many other local charities have been supported for projects encouraging the study of history, and the arts over many years including King Edwards VII Hospital Library, Eton Community Association, Household Cavalry Museum, Royal Borough Youth Orchestra, Royal Free Singers, the Windsor Theatre Guild, St George’s Chapel Archive and Windsor Festival to name a few.
In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prince Philip Trust Fund and the Royal Albert Institute Fund joined forces to support local children to continue their education online with the supply of £20,000 worth of tablets and laptops for those who did not have appropriate IT equipment at home.
The decision to amalgamate the assets of the Royal Albert Institute Fund with the Prince Philip Trust Fund has been taken in order to maximise the amount of grant funding that can be made available for the benefit of local residents across the Royal Borough.
David Osmond, Treasurer and Trustee for the Royal Albert Institute Fund said:
“For some time we have recognised the synergies of both charities, serving similar goals and similar organisations in the local area. We hope that, through this merger, we are able to make our impact greater as part of the Prince Philip Trust Fund.
My fellow Trustees and I have all been so honoured to be a part of the long history of this local charity which has done so much good for the civic life of Windsor and for its residents and we look forward to seeing the Prince Philip Trust Fund continue this work.”
Chris Aitken, Secretary and Trustee for the Prince Philip Trust Fund said:
“We are delighted to be bringing the Royal Albert Institute Fund into the fold of the Prince Philip Trust Fund. We will be honouring its legacy in a number of ways and will keep alive their significant contribution to the local community.
We will continue to support the arts scene in Windsor – as well as our usual wide ranging good causes – and in the future we will be announcing a specific award that will look to contribute to a local arts-based project. In addition, we look forward to welcoming Penny Branch, a Trustee of the Royal Albert Institute Fund to our Board of Trustees to ensure a smooth transition.
On behalf of my fellow Trustees, I would like to extend our thanks to the Trustees of the Royal Albert Institute Fund, Linda Aitken (Secretary), Cllr Christine Bateson, Penny Branch, Peter Gray (Chairman), Douglas Hill (Vice Chairman), David Osmond (Treasurer), Joanna Palmer and Rosie Ussher, for their dedication and service to the charity and for placing their faith in us to continue to deliver for the residents of Windsor and Maidenhead.”