The charity watchdog is reviewing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s charity amid concerns on how it was run and whether it complied with the law before it was shut down last year following their move to the US.
The Charity Commission has opened a ‘regulatory and compliance case’ into Sussex Royal, though the watchdog has not yet determined whether or not there was any wrongdoing.
The Commission first looked at Sussex Royal and Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s charity The Royal Foundation in July after an anti-monarchy group asked it to investigate hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of grants.
Lawyers for the Sussexes told The Telegraph that ‘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’.
They added that the philanthropic organisation was ‘managed by a board of trustees which made decision about the charity in accordance with its constitutional document and the requirements of charity law’.
It is unclear if the Royal Foundation is also being reviewed by the Commission.
A Charity Commission spokesman told the newspaper: ‘Our regulatory compliance case is ongoing. We cannot comment further.’
The charity watchdog is reviewing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s charity amid concerns on how it was run and whether it complied with charity law before it was shut down last year following their move to the US
Sources told the Telegraph the Charity Commission has opened a ‘regulatory and compliance case’ into Sussex Royal, though the watchdog has not yet determined whether or not there was any wrongdoing
The charity watchdog first looked at Sussex Royal and The Royal Foundation last year after anti-monarchy group Republic asked it to examine nearly £300,000 of grants, including £145,000 given to the Sussexes’ former UK charity.
It is understood that the Commission deemed the transfer of money from the Royal Foundation to Sussex Royal appropriate, though some of the trustees expressed ‘disappointment’ by the transfer, the Telegraph reports.
One source told the paper that it was ‘very frustrating’ and looked from the outside like ‘rash’ decision-making by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The Royal Foundation also made grants totalling £151,856 ‘for the continued development of the Duke of Sussex’s Sustainable Tourism programme, Travalyst’, alongside the £145,000 grant to Sussex Royal.
According to UK charity law, a ‘regulatory compliance case’ falls short of a formal investigation. If the regulator finds wrongdoing, it can then issue formal regulatory advice or issue an official warning.
It comes amid reports that the Queen has not been given an ‘advanced copy’ of Meghan and Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
In other twists and turns in the Royal saga:
- CBS is paying Oprah up to $9million to air her bombshell interview;
- Senior Royals and Palace aides will reportedly watch the ‘shocking’ interview ‘at the same time’ as the rest of the world;
- Friends of the Sussexes said the Royal Family is using the Duke of Edinburgh’s health as an excuse to keep her ‘muzzled’;
- Tory MP Bob Blackman said: ‘To be doing a tell-all interview screened in the UK when Philip is in hospital… they are badly advised’;
- Harry and Meghan’s friend Omid Scobie accused the Royal Family of hushing up claims against Prince Andrew in a shock interview;
- Buckingham Palace launched an investigation into bullying allegations made by former aides against the Duchess of Sussex.
A Hollywood insider with ties to the Sussexes tells DailyMail.com, ‘Even if Meghan had the choice to postpone the Oprah special she said she wouldn’t’
Senior royals and Palace aides will watch the much-anticipated interview ‘at the same time’ as the rest of the world with network CBS set to air the two-hour special in the US at 1am UK time on Sunday night.
Officials have vowed to ‘reserve judgement’ on the show and will decide on Monday whether to make a public response in light of anything specific Meghan and Harry have to say. ITV will broadcast it at 9pm that evening.
In a further blow to relations between the royal family and the Sussexes, sources revealed that the Queen does not have an ‘advance copy’ of the no-holes-barred special – which is set to contain ‘shocking’ revelations about Meghan’s short time as a working royal.
Over-produced teaser trailers have already seen the Duchess of Sussex accuse the ‘Firm’ of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Prince Harry while the pair during their time in Kensington Palace.
The couple, ITV and CBS have all faced furious backlash at the decision to push ahead with broadcasting the interview while Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather Prince Philip recovers from heart surgery in hospital.
A friend earlier said Meghan would never ask to postpone Sunday’s release of her tell-all interview with Oprah and said the royal family is using the Duke of Edinburgh’s health as an excuse to keep her ‘muzzled’.
Although most of the interview will be a one-to-one chat on what the duchess has to say about her brief but acrimonious time as a working royal, Harry is understood to come in towards the end to have his say on the media and discuss their plans for the future.
It is believed that this approach has in part been done in an attempt to distance himself from any of the stronger allegations made about his own family by his wife.
But if the 36-year-old prince, who is still sixth in line to the throne, thinks it will go any way to protecting his already fragile relationships with his relatives, notably his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, he will have to think again.
William has barely spoken to his brother in recent months and their relationship is said to be ‘hanging by a thread’ – although Prince Charles is understood to have tried not to get involved.
Despairing officials also cannot believe that Harry is so ‘blinkered’ that he cannot see how the interview is likely to destroy any vestige of trust between him and his family.