MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry have pumped thousands of pounds originating from a royal charity into a limited company owned by the Duke, Express.co.uk can exclusively reveal.
The couple’s non-profit organisation Sussex Royal and sustainable travel initiative Travalyst received a huge payout last year from the charity they ran with Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Royal Foundation was jointly run by the Cambridges and Sussexes, until Meghan and Harry split from it last summer, and finalising that separation involved a payout to the Sussexes’ own charities. An “unrestricted grant” of £145,000 was given to Sussex Royal to facilitate the set-up of the new charity and £144,901 of grants were paid to Travalyst.
However, after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as senior royals, they were instructed not to continue using the Sussex Royal brand and the decision was made for the Sussex Royal Foundation to shut down and make way for their new project, Archewell.
However, the launch of Archewell has reportedly been delayed to next year and the couple are said to be focusing their efforts on the Black Lives Matter movement and the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, a source has told Express.co.uk that all Sussex Royal funds will be transferred to Harry’s sustainable tourism initiative, Travalyst.
However, Travalyst was registered as a limited company on April 3 this year and has not been registered with the Charity Commission.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are closing their Sussex Royal nonprofit (Image: GETTY)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepped down as senior royals at the end of March (Image: GETTY)
According to Companies House, Harry holds at least 75 percent of the shares in Travalyst.
The source confirmed that paperwork has been filed to formally close down Sussex Royal, which will appear on the online public record “in the coming days”.
They added that the charity will enter a period of “solvent liquidation”, during which the trustees will step down from their roles, except for Harry who will remain as director and trustee until the process is complete.
All the money currently held under the Sussex Royal name will be moved to Travalyst.
Prince Harry launched the Travalyst partnerships in Amsterdam (Image: GETTY)
The source said: “During its 12 months, the sole programme in operation and development at the charity has been the sustainable travel and tourism initiative, Travalyst.
“Travalyst is now operating as an independent nonprofit based in the UK, and all assets from Sussex Royal will transfer over.
“The travel and tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with communities and people’s livelihoods impacted around the world.
“The Travalyst partnership is committed to playing an active role in helping communities that rely on tourism rebuild and recover in ways that support their long-term sustainability and resilience.”
The Royal Foundation is now solely the project of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Image: GETTY)
They added that there will be more to announce in the coming weeks and months.
Travalyst has partnered with giants of the travel industry including Booking.com, Skyskanner, Trip.com, TripAdviser and Visa, and states that its goals are to protect wildlife, preserve the environment, promote tourism growth and facilitate thriving communities.
However, the business model is very vague and there are no known services or sponsored projects from Travalyst, or indeed from Sussex Royal before it was closed.
It is unclear what exactly Travalyst will be doing with the nearly £300,000 it has now received from the Royal Foundation coffers, once the Sussex Royal funds are transferred.
The Royal Foundation wrote in its annual financial report covering the calendar year 2019, published in June 2020, that grant-making decisions are made by the trustees and given on the basis that the projects demonstrate a public benefit.
The report read: “Decisions on grants are made by the Trustees.
“Trustees only approve grants or fund projects which demonstrate public benefit within the criteria of the Charity Commission’s guidance.
“The Royal Foundation actively looks for opportunities where added leverage can be demonstrated from its involvement.”
Travalyst is registered as a limited company on Companies House (Image: GETTY)
However, Travalyst has been listed as a limited company and not as a charity, with no indication as to what exactly the money from The Royal Foundation will be used for.
The Foundation is understood to have provided the grant to Sussex Royal when it was a charitable organisation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Meanwhile, the Royal Foundation will continue its work in the areas of mental health, conservation, early years, emergency responders and COVID-19.
The charity, now run solely by William and Kate, is funded by donations from individuals, trusts, foundations and corporate partners.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK