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Meghan and Harry’s Sussex Royal reviewed by Charity Commission

Lizzie Edmonds
·3-min read
<p>Sussex Royal, the former charity of the duke and duchess is being looked at by the Charity Commission </p> (AP)

Sussex Royal, the former charity of the duke and duchess is being looked at by the Charity Commission

(AP)

The Charity Commission is reviewing Sussex Royal - the former philanthropic organisation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The watchdog has been looking at the organisation, how it was run and whether it adhered to charity law for a number of months.

In what is known as a “regulatory and compliance case”, the charity commission is looking at the organisation and how it was closed down in July following the couple’s move to America.

The charity was founded when Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39, stepped away from The Royal Foundation - which is the charity they previously ran with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex now have their Archewell organisation, named after their son Archie, who turns two in May.

A “regulatory compliance case” is not a investigation. But if the Charity Commission does find wrongdoing, then formal regulatory advice can be issued or an official warning.

A Charity Commission spokesman said: “Our regulatory compliance case is ongoing. We cannot comment further.”

The watchdog has looked in to the charities before. It said today there had not been an escalation of their involvment with the charity since their first dealings with it.

In July, anti-monarchy campaign group Republic asked the charity commission to investigate nearly £300,000 of grants, including £145,000 given to Sussex Royal. The charity commission looked into the complaint and whether an investigation was needed.

The Telegraph reports the watchdog examined whether it was appropriate for the Royal Foundation to have transferred the money to Sussex Royal - and found it was indeed appropriate.

The newspaper suggests there was some frustration among trustees that the Royal Foundation transferred the money, only for Sussex Royal to be dissolved shortly afterwards.

A source said: “They might have thought about that before setting it up, but using charitable money to set up a foundation is completely legitimate and it happens all the time. The issue was setting it up and closing it down months later.”

It is unclear if the Royal Foundation is also being reviewed by the Commission this time.

Lawyers for the Sussexes told the Telegraph: “Sussex Royal was managed by a board of trustees which made decisions about the charity in accordance with its constitutional document and the requirements of charity law.

“Therefore, any suggestion of mismanagement or decision making being handled in a ‘rash’ fashion solely by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be entirely false.”

It comes after Meghan said it was “liberating” to be able to “speak for herself” in a new trailer of her and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

In a third preview clip aired on CBS, Winfrey and Meghan speak about how the broadcaster approached the duchess for an interview ahead of her May 2018 wedding to Harry - and how she turned the host down because it “wasn’t her choice to make”.

Meghan said it was “liberating” to now enjoy the “right and the privilege” to “say yes” to Winfrey because she and Harry now have “the ability to make our own choices”. She also tells how she struggled transitioning from an independent life to one within the “construct” of the Royal Family.

The interview is due to be broadcast on Sunday night in the States. ITV will show the interview on Monday at 9pm.

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