Meghan Markle says she ‘didn’t know much about Harry’ in 2017
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.
A spokesman for Meghan Markle, 38, and Prince Harry’s former Sussex Royal charity issued a statement last year after the now-defunct organisation was accused of “inappropriate use of funds, lack of independence and conflict of interest” over payments made to Prince Harry’s company Travalyst.
In July, the Sussex Royal foundation and another royal charity, the Royal Foundation were reported to the Charity Commission by vocal anti-royalist and Republic campaigner Graham Smith.
On Monday Mr Smith tweeted: “I’ve reported Sussex Royal and the Royal Foundation to the Charity Commission for inappropriate use of funds, lack of independence and conflict of interest.”
In his letter to the Charity Commission Mr Smith wrote: “These two charities appear to be in breach of guidelines regarding the proper use of charitable funds and may be failing in their duty to act independently and solely in the interests of their objectives.”
“The Royal Foundation gave a grant of £145,000 to Sussex Royal and £144,901 to a non-charitable organisation (Travalyst).”
He added: “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 concluded: “…the main objective of the grants appears to be supporting a patron’s brother rather than the Royal Foundation’s objectives (in the first instance) and supporting a trustee’s own pet project (in the second instance).”
“I would ask that you investigate both charities for inappropriate use of charitable funds, conflicts of interest and lack of independence.”
Campaigners reported Sussex Royal to the Charity Commission following an exclusive by Express.co.uk.
The Royal Foundation was jointly run by the Cambridges and Sussexes, until Meghan and Harry split from it last summer, and finalising the separation involved a payout to the Sussexes’ own charities.
A source told Express.co.uk that an “unrestricted grant” of £145,000 was given to Sussex Royal to facilitate the set-up of the new charity and £144,901 of grants were paid to Travalyst.
The said that all Sussex Royal funds will be transferred to Harry’s sustainable tourism initiative, Travalyst.
However, Travalyst was registered as a limited company on April 3 this year and has not been registered with the Charity Commission.
A Sussex Royal spokesman responded to the accusations with a strongly-worded statement.
A Sussex Royal spokesman said: “Grants made to the non-profit organisation Travalyst are for the ongoing development of projects that will support communities, wildlife, and the environment through sustainable travel and tourism.
“All grants have been made impartially and objectively, fully in line with governance requirements, and have been reported transparently in full accordance with regulations.”
A Royal Foundation representative told ABC royal editor Omid Scobie that the grants returned to Sussex Royal (to support Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s charitable work, including Travalyst) “were fully in line with governance requirements and were reported transparently.”
A spokesman from Prince Harry’s legal team Schillings issued the following statement rebuking Republic’s claims as “false”.
The statement read: “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. The interest has always been clear: To support others and to make a positive difference.
“Had the appropriate course of action been followed for these false allegations, it would have clearly demonstrated that anything related to Sussex Royal, Travalyst, or any of the Duke’s charitable endeavours, is transparent and above board.
“To suggest otherwise is unequivocally wrong and will be acted upon accordingly with the weight of the law.
“The avenue through which this was publically and salaciously created only suggests a hunger for media attention as well as a shared and attacking agenda, which is neither right nor just.
“Both the Charity Commission’s own statement today, as well as that of the Royal Foundation, state there is no determination of wrongdoing here.
“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.”
Source: Read Full Article