Meghan, Harry’s charity under fire

Henry

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Archewell Foundation has been ordered by government officials in the US to stop spending or raising money.

People reports that California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a notice on May 3 on behalf of the Office of the Registrar of Charities and Fundraisers to the Archewell Foundation for “failing to file required annual reports and/or pay renewal fees.”

This body regulates charitable organizations based in California and ensures that donations are not misused and wasted through fraud.

People reviewed this letter and reported that organizations listed as “offenders” may not collect or spend money. In addition to possible fines, welfare organizations’ registration can also be suspended or revoked.

News of the Archewell Foundation’s announcement comes hot on the heels of Meghan and Prince Harry’s recent visit to Nigeria to raise awareness of the Invictus Games, the sporting event Harry founded for wounded military veterans in 2014.

A source close to the establishment has the notice in several news agencies, including NBC News and E! News, labeled as an administrative error. The renewal fee was apparently paid on time by cheque, although it appears that the check was “simply not received by the registration office”.

The matter will apparently be cleared up “within a week”, according to this source.

Archewell, a non-profit organization set up by the couple in 2020, is named after their eldest child, Prince Archie.

According to the foundation’s website, its mission is to “show up and do good deeds”. “We seize the moment by being there, taking action and using our unparalleled spotlight to lift and unite communities – local and global – through acts of service and compassion,” the foundation writes.

Archewell’s 2022-2023 annual report was launched in December 2023 and revealed that the foundation donated $1.2 million (about R22.3 million) to charities last year.

Initiatives ranging from assisting Afghan women in the US to combating fake news have received support from the foundation.

The BBC reports that Archewell’s most recent tax returns indicate that Prince Harry and Meghan do not earn an income from the charity. They are listed as directors, working an average of one hour per week. Yet the foundation has an annual salary bill of more than $640,000 (approximately R11.8 million).

Sources: People, E! News, Sky News, BBC News.