The Daily Telegraph

Duke lashes out at campaigner­s’ ‘unjust’ attack on his charities

Royals accuse republican group of seeking attention and insulting Harry’s devotion to philanthro­py


THE DUKE OF SUSSEX has accused a republican campaign group of having an unjust

“attacking agenda” over a complaint about royal charity finances, saying they insulted the devotion to philanthro­py that is at his “very core”.

The Duke authorised his lawyers to write to Republic after it asked the Charity Commission to look into the transfer of funds between the foundation­s of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

In a response issued by Schillings, the Duke’s legal team said the request included “deeply offensive” and “false” claims, which they describe as “both defamatory and insulting”.

The Duke is “deeply committed” to charity work, they say, calling it his “life’s focus” and explaining: “His devotion to charity is at the very core of the principles he lives by.”

Insisting all dealings through his charities are “transparen­t and above board”, they added: “The avenue through which this was publicly and salaciousl­y created only suggests a hunger for media attention as well as a shared and attacking agenda”.

Pointing out the complaint should have been made directly first to Sussex Royal or Travalyst, the Duke’s sustainabl­e tourism project, the lawyers stressed the Duke had received “no commercial or financial gain” from the charities, with finances fully compliant with guidelines and “moreover with his own moral compass”.

Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, said the response seemed “a bit of an overreacti­on”, adding he had simply referred “legitimate concerns” about finances to the Charity Commission.

After receiving the complaint on Monday, the Commission said it was assessing the informatio­n to see if it is appropriat­e to investigat­e the claims.

Republic asked the commission to look into the Royal Foundation and Sussex Royal, over grants given to the Sussexes’ former UK charity and the Duke’s travel project.

The Cambridges and Sussexes previously worked together at the Royal Foundation, before the establishm­ent of the separate Sussex Royal.

The foundation’s annual report shows it paid Sussex Royal £145,000 to fund its set-up and launch, with a further £144,901 to Travalyst.

Sussex Royal has since been wound up following the couple’s move to America, and Travalyst – described as a “non-profit organisati­on” – is registered as a private limited company.

In his letter to the commission, Mr Smith wrote: “These two charities appear to be in breach of guidelines regarding the proper use of charitable funds and may be failing in their duty to act independen­tly and solely in the interests of their objectives.”

A spokesman for the Royal Foundation said: “The grants made to Sussex Royal were to support the charitable work of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“They were fully in line with governance requiremen­ts and were reported transparen­tly.”

 ??  ?? Dedicated: the Duke’s charity work was said to be ‘at the very core of the principles he lives by’
Dedicated: the Duke’s charity work was said to be ‘at the very core of the principles he lives by’

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