It's egotistical for the royals to want charities of their own!

RICHARD EDEN: Why can’t Harry, and Meghan be generous, like the Queen? Lend a hand to OTHER PEOPLE’S charities! It’s dangerous – and egotistical – to want one of your own!

  • Personal foundations leave royals open to criticism and dubious donors
  • The Sussexes’ Archewell Foundation has suffered a ‘plunge’ in donations
  • Don’t miss our brilliant new podcast, The Crown: Fact or Fiction with Robert Hardman and Natasha Livingstone. Listen now on Spotify , Apple or wherever you get your podcasts

Egotistical royals should stick to helping existing charities instead of seeking to create their own, according to the Daily Mail’s Richard Eden.

Establishing personal foundations leave the royals open to criticism, he suggests, and vulnerable to ‘generous donors with dubious motives’.

Instead, members of the Royal Family should ‘follow the wise example of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne and serve as patrons of existing charities’.

Writing in the latest edition of his Palace Confidential newsletter, Eden takes aim at Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation, which is under scrutiny after an £8.8million ‘plunge’ in donations last year – yet still paid a vast salary plus bonus to  Executive Director James Holt.

The Princess of Wales and her children including Princess Charlotte, pictured here with a tiny vest, paid a visit to  their local baby bank. The visit featured in a slick video from Kensington Palace

Coincidentally – the next day – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released a video montage of work done by their Archewell charity 

A scene from the Netflix documentary, Heart of Invictus, with Meghan, left,  Prince Harry and advisor James Holt, right. Archewell paid Mr Holt $207,405 (£165,800) plus a bonus of $20,000 in 2023

The  Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave the  Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in 2019

‘Charity begins at home when it comes to their most loyal lieutenants,’ notes Eden.

‘James Holt, who previously worked for Prince William and Catherine as well as Harry and Meghan, was rewarded for sticking with the Sussexes with a pay packet of $207,405 (£165,800), plus bonus of $20,000.

‘Holt, a friend of Omid Scobie who is executive director of Archewell, certainly worked hard for Harry and Meghan, appearing extensively on their tawdry Netflix ‘reality’ series in which Harry revealed intimate conversations with other members of the Royal Family and Meghan appeared to mock Queen Elizabeth with her exaggerated curtsy.’

The Sussexes are not the only royals to have founded their own charities, of course.

Established by King Charles, The Prince’s Trust and Prince’s Foundation (now The King’s Foundation) have become two of the best-known in Britain. 

The Prince and Princess of Wales have established their own Royal Foundation, which includes the Princess’s Centre for Early Childhood. Prince William also runs the Earthshot Prize for environmental initiatives.

In the newsletter, Eden writes that ‘in one of those “coincidences” to which we have become accustomed, just a day after Kensington Palace broadcast a charming video of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s children helping their mother volunteer at a “baby bank” in Windsor, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a similarly slick video of their own.

‘Prince Harry and Meghan’s video was to highlight the work they have done during the past year for their Archewell Foundation, which published its 28-page annual report.

‘What they were less keen to report, however, was the fact that their foundation suffered an $11million (£8.8million) plunge in donations last year.’ 

The logo for the Sussexes’ Archewell Foundation. Richard Eden suggests royals should follow the example of The Queen and Princess Anne in supporting existing charities rather than establishing their own

The Prince and Princess of Wales have created The Royal Foundation as an umbrella group for their charitable projects

Tax filings in the United States, where they live, show that Archewell received $2million last year, compared with $13million in 2021. 

The Sussexes maintain that this sort of drop-off would be normal after a successful first year, that there is no suggestion Archewell is insolvent and that the charity account has plenty of reserves.

Eden concludes: ‘For me, the disclosures highlight the dangers of members of the Royal Family having their own charitable foundations, which can leave them open to criticism and at the mercy of generous donors with dubious motives.

‘It may not be so good for boosting royal egos but it can achieve more with far less potential for controversy.’

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