Eden: Royals shouldn’t have their own foundations, it’s all about ‘royal ego’

What do King Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry all have in common? They all have bald genes and they all have their own stand-alone foundations. King Charles’s foundation is mired in controversy and financial shenanigans, and Charles has a long history of taking bags of cash and checks from Bin Ladens to keep his foundation afloat. William and Kate’s foundation is shady as hell too – millions out the door, mismanaged or spent lavishly to embiggen Will and Kate personally and finance their idiotic busywork. Meanwhile, the Sussexes’ Archewell Foundation is relatively modest, and they’re mostly handing out smaller grants to charities and NGOs. Guess which one of these foundations is being highlighted by Richard Eden to make the point that royal foundations are bad, bad, bad?

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.

‘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.’

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.’

[From The Daily Mail]

The thing is… um, I halfway agree with Richard Eden? Maureen might have some points, if only she would apply her half-witted opinions to every royal. The Royal Foundation is an exercise in ego, and Charles’s foundation is practically a criminal enterprise. Archewell is actually the exception to the rule – they’re not reinventing the wheel, Archewell is basically just a cash reserve which they parcel out to charities. Oh, and James Holt’s salary really upset all of Eden’s palace sources, didn’t it? There’s also no evidence that Holt is especially friendly with Omid Scobie either, that was just an unhinged jab.

This reminded me of the British media’s reaction to Meghan’s 40th birthday mentorship idea, where she invited people to give 40 minutes of mentorship to someone. Suddenly, royal experts were coming out of the woodwork to proclaim that “mentorship is bad, actually.” Now we’re at “charitable foundations are bad, actually,” just because the Sussexes are doing it.

Photos/screencaps courtesy of Archewell, WellChild and Cover Images.

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