Prince Harry responds to ‘offensive’ criticism of his charity work

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  • Earlier this month, it was reported that Prince William and Prince Harry agreed to split the Diana Memorial fund proceeds, meaning that any donations will be shared between their chosen charities.

    However, Republic – a group of campaigners who disagree with the Queen as head of state – has reported Harry and Meghan Markle’s charity to the Charity Commission, claiming that their decision to transfer the funds was illegitimate and solely due to their ‘personal relationship’.

    They claim that the Royal Foundation, set up between William, Kate Middleton, Harry and Meghan, gave a £145,000 grant to Sussex Royal, and an additional £144,901 to Harry’s non-profit sustainable travel organisation, Travalyst.

    In a letter to the Charity Commission, chief executive of Republic, Graham Smith, wrote: ‘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. Neither patrons are trustees of the Royal Foundation, so there is also a question mark over the independence of the trustees of the Royal Foundation.

    ‘The Sussex Royal charity [has since closed], and it is reported that they will transfer all their funds to Travalyst… this appears to be a personal decision by a trustee [the Duke of Sussex] to fund another of his projects, rather than to ensure the funds are being used for the original purposes for which they were donated.’

    But a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex responded: ‘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.

    ‘All grants have been made impartially and objectively, fully in line with governance requirements, and have been reported transparently in full accordance with regulations.’

    Harry’s legal team denied that there was any ‘personal financial interest’, saying: ‘The avenue through which this was publicly and salaciously created only suggests a hunger for media attention as well as a shared and attacking agenda, which is neither right nor just.’

    Harry and Meghan closed Sussex Royal when they announced they were stepping down as senior royals earlier this year and are now setting up a non-profit, Archewell, which aims to offer ‘classes, lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops, and retreats on a variety of topics,’ as well as run a mentoring scheme and host ‘events and exhibitions for cultural, sporting, health, mental health and entertainment purposes.’

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