Prince Harry and Meghan are leaving the Royal Foundation that they currently share with Prince William and Kate and will set up their own charitable foundation later this year, it has been announced. Kensington Palace announced the split today, but said that the couples will continue to work together on key projects such as their mental health campaign Heads Together.
The move comes following the announcement in March that the Sussexes will set up their own household with a new team. It also comes amid suggestions that the two couples have not been getting along, but palace aides said today that the decision about the Foundation was taken with the couples “divergent paths” in mind and was designed to be “future proof” for decades. Aides also pointed to the fact that the Cambridges path as future King and Queen is more restricted and the Sussexes have more freedom to pursue different types of charity projects.
“Later this year The Royal Foundation will become the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,” reads a statement from Kensington Palace. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own new charitable foundation with transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation.”
A spokesman described the changes as “designed to best complement the work and responsibilities of Their Royal Highnesses as they prepare for their future roles, and to better align their charitable activity with their new households.”
Both William and Harry attended a meeting of the Foundation trustees at Kensington Palace yesterday where they arrived together and spoke with trustees about the changes. “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are incredibly proud of what they have achieved together through the Royal Foundation,” says a spokesman. “They are especially proud to have established a charity that has had, and will continue to have, significant long-lasting impact, changing lives for the better.”
The decision, described as a “collective decision,” is the conclusion of a months-long review which began following the announcement that the Sussexes would establish their own household. The current Foundation will be known as The Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and will continue to house joint initiatives such as Heads Together.
Aides said that any projects solely associated with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the funds allocated to them would likely become part of the new Foundation, but details on individual projects have yet to be decided. Aides stressed that the couples’ commitment to their charities was “absolutely paramount.”
As part of the changes, it is understood that a small number of posts are being put at risk of redundancy.
The Foundation was created in 2009 as an umbrella organization for William and Harry’s charitable endeavors. Kate became the third patron after marrying William in 2011 and Meghan joined as the fourth patron after her marriage to Harry last year.
Ahead of the Sussex’s wedding, in February of 2018, the foursome took park in a joint charity forum where they spoke about their charitable focusses and the work of the Foundation under the theme ‘Making a Difference Together.’
The Foundation has played host to several successful initiatives, most notably the young royals’ mental health campaign Heads Together. It has given out grants including £2 million in October 2017 towards backing digital solutions for mental health. The organization also created the Endeavour Fund, which supports wounded, injured or sick service personnel to use sport and adventure as part of their recovery. Additionally, Meghan’s cookbook to raise money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, which has sold 130,000 copies worldwide, was supported by the Foundation.