Harry and Meghan’s charity delinquent over unpaid fees

Harry and Meghan arrive at Lagos Polo Club

Source: X/Sussex5525

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s charity has been found delinquent over unpaid fees – meaning it is temporarily barred from raising money.

News of the official notice from California’s Registry of Charities and Fundraisers emerged as the 39-year-old youngest son of the King and wife Meghan Markle returned home to the US after their weekend visit to Nigeria.

Although the Duke and Duchess of Sussex haven’t been working royals since 2020, their visit had all the hallmarks and trimmings of such a tour. It began with a red-carpet welcome complete with cultural dancers in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

It also included a mental health summit and the unveiling of a partnership between their Archewell Foundation and the GEANCO Foundation to provide students with school supplies and menstrual products.

Elsewhere, Harry watched a polo match while Meghan attended a women’s leadership summit.

During a panel discussion, she spoke about uncovering her Nigerian roots and its significance to her identity.

Meghan, who said she recently found out through a DNA test that she is 43 per cent Nigerian, described the African nation as “my country”.

“Being African-American, part of it is not knowing so much about your lineage or background, where you come from specifically. And it was exciting … to discover more and understand what that really means,” she said.

But back home in California, trouble was emerging for the Archewell Foundation, the charity the Sussexes set up in 2020, after they quit royal duties and left Britain.

A document revealed on Tuesday found that California’s Registry of Charities and Fundraisers had listed Archewell “as delinquent … for failing to submit required annual report(s) and/or renewal fees”.

The document, issued by California Attorney General Rob Bonta on May 3, means Archewell could be fined or even suspended if it continues to seek donations.

“An organisation that is listed as delinquent is not in good standing and is prohibited from engaging in conduct for which registration is required, including soliciting or disbursing charitable funds,” the letter, obtained by People magazine, outlines.

“The organisation may also be subject to penalties and its registration may be suspended or revoked by the registry. Once you submit the delinquent record(s), you will be notified of the amount of any late fees that are owed.”

A source told the magazine that Archewell Foundation had filed its annual report on time but a cheque that was also sent was never received.

They said the foundation learned of the failure only when the delinquency notice was issued.

A new cheque has been sent, and the foundation expected the issue to be resolved within a week, the source told People.

The couple, who have Prince Archie, five, and two-year-old Princess Lilibet together, previously explained the charity’s name was inspired by their eldest.

“Before SussexRoyal came the idea of ‘arche’ — the Greek word meaning ‘source of action’,” Meghan said.

“We connected to this concept for the charitable organisation we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name.

“To do something of meaning, to do something that matters. Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon. We look forward to launching Archewell when the time is right.”

-with AAP

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