• Charitable endeavour exalts the prestige and the status of the giver. This may sound unduly cynical but as with all philantrophic activity, it is not easy to unravel the mutually reinforcing motives of selflessness and self-interest. All that can safely be said is that most members of the royal family have difficulty distinguishing between concern about society, concern about the social order and concern about what best to do so they can remain at the top of it.

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