Prince William and Harry charities reported for ‘inappropriate use of funds’
Anti-monarchy campaigners’ allegations against royal brothers to be investigated by Charity Commission
The charitable foundations of Prince Harry and Prince William have been reported to the Charity Commission over alleged “conflicts of interest, inappropriate use of funds and a lack of independence”.
Anti-monarchy campaign group Republic claims that Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Foundation gave £145,000 as a grant to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s now-defunct charity Sussex Royal, reports the Daily Mail.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s foundation is also alleged to have handed a further £144,901 to Travalyst, “which was then under the umbrella of the Sussexes’ charity as ‘an activity in the sustainable tourism space’”, adds The Telegraph.
The Republic campaigners argue that “the only rationale” for the grants decision “was the personal relationship between two patrons, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge”.
In a letter to the charities watchdog, the campaign group’s chief executive Graham Smith added: “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 decided to close, and it is reported that they will transfer all their funds to Travalyst.
“Again, 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.”
A spokesperson for Prince Harry said the claims were “false” and “salaciously created”, reports Sky News.
“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,” the representative said.
Harry has never had any “personal financial interest” and all of his charitable work has been “transparent and above board”, according to the Royal’s legal team. “To suggest otherwise is unequivocally wrong and will be acted upon accordingly with the weight of the law,” the lawyers said.
A Royal Foundation spokesperson added that the grants made to Sussex Royal “were fully in line with governance requirements and were reported transparently”.
The Charity Commission said it was assessing the information in the complaint to decide whether it was appropriate to investigate. A spokesperson added: “We have not made any determination of wrongdoing.”