In a letter to the UK Charity Commission, the anti-monarchy group Republic alleges that the money the Royal Foundation (handled by Prince William and Kate Middleton) gave Meghan and Harry’s new charities in the wake of their split from Kensington was a clear conflict of interest.
The UK Commission is currently “assessing information in the complaint to determine whether it was appropriate to investigate,” adding that they have not yet found any evidence of wrongdoing.
The Royal Foundation was originally formed by Harry and William while they were in their 20s. In the coming years, it helped fund their initiatives related to conservation and mental health. In April 2011, the foundation organised charitable giving for William’s wedding to Kate Middleton, and she was soon added to the list of principals. Prince Harry ‘back in touch’ with Prince William after moving to America
Meghan was also added soon after she wed Harry in May 2018 wedding. They, however, left after they founded their own — Sussex Royal Foundation. Now that Harry and Meghan have parted ways from British royal family as senior members of the royal family, they have since left Sussex Royal Foundation.
As for the mishandling of funds, when the Royal Foundation released its annual report for 2019 in December, it disclosed two payments totaling £245,000 (or about $312,000): £145,000 to Sussex Royal and £100,000 to Travalyst . In their letter to the commission, Republic claims that the transfer was a breach of the charities’ duties to act independently. “In both instances it appears the only rationale for the decision was the personal relationship between two patrons, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge,” the letter read.
In response, the Royal Foundation defended the appropriateness of the donations to the Telegraph. “The grants made to Sussex Royal were to support the charitable work of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” a spokesman said. “They were fully in line with governance requirements and were reported transparently.”
Representatives for Harry have hit back against the claims, “This is his life’s focus, and his devotion to charity is at the very core of the principles he lives by, and is obvious through the impact and success of his many charitable projects throughout the UK and beyond. To this point, it is deeply offensive to today see false claims made about the Duke of Sussex and his charitable work. It is both defamatory and insulting to all the outstanding organizations and people he has partnered with.”
In a statement, they said, “The Duke of Sussex has always and continues to remain deeply committed to his charitable work. This is his life’s focus, and his devotion to charity is at the very core of the principles he lives by and is obvious through the impact and success of his many charitable projects throughout the UK and beyond. To this point, it is deeply offensive to today see false claims made about The Duke of Sussex and his charitable work. It is both defamatory and insulting to all the outstanding organisations and people he has partnered with. Travalyst (which was founded within Sussex Royal) is a non-profit organisation for which The Duke receives no commercial or financial gain, as is the case with all of his charitable commitments. The Duke has not, nor has he ever, had any personal financial interest in his charitable work. All of The Duke’s charitable activities are fully transparent as well as compliant with Charity Commission guidelines, and moreover with his own moral compass.”