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Are the Meghan-Harry charities a farce? They spent more money than they raised in 2020

Financial documents reveal that the Sussex Royal non-profit spent over $55k on legal fees, while the Archwell Foundation raised less than $50k
Harry and Meghan Markle speak onstage during Global Citizen Live, New York on September 25, 2021 in New York City. (John Lamparski/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan Markle speak onstage during Global Citizen Live, New York on September 25, 2021 in New York City. (John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Filings reveal that Meghan Markle and Harry's charity, the Archwell Foundation barely raised enough money to cover their legal fees in 2020. According to reports, the couple spent more money on shutting down Sussex Royal, their former charity than they raised with Archwell, a foundation already under the scanner and mired in controversy. Like its two patrons, Archwell has been at the heart of many controversies since it was first launched in April 2020.

Shortly after the foundation was launched, one troll diverted the domain to a YouTube video of Kanye West's old track 'Gold Digger'. In July 2021, the couple had their trademark for the charity rejected for a second time, after the US Patent and Trademark Office raised concerns about Archewell Audio. UK watchdogs also raised concerns over the fact the non-profit was registered in Delaware, a popular route for those seeking to hide their wealth as uncovered by the Pandora Papers


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Nonetheless, the couple has steamed ahead with the non-profit, using it to partner with numerous institutes like Global Citizen, and the Center for Humane Technology. But it seems controversy is destined to follow, no matter how good the intentions of Meghan and Harry are.


Is the Archwell Foundation a farce?

The Daily Mail uncovered tax documents for the couple's non-profits, indicating its finances aren't in great shape. The US-based Archwell Foundation, which was founded in April 2020 received less than $50,000 that year, according to IRS documents. The documents show that the charity only received its first deposit in February 2021, after opening a bank account in January 2021, despite being founded way back in April 2020.

In August 2020, they applied for a federal tax-exempt status which was granted in October. Under IRS rules, the foundation doesn't need to detail its donations since it was below the $50,000 limit. It does raise questions though, of just what the foundation is doing after it was launched to much fanfare amidst the pandemic. According to sources, the foundation has currently taken a backseat for Harry and Meghan. The couple is reportedly "delaying any official Archewell projects" to focus on the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.


The couple's UK-based Sussex Royal charity, later renamed MWX, is now-defunct as well, The Mail reported. Between June 2020 and July 2021, the charity spent more than $55,000 on legal fees, while holding around $380,000 in its accounts. The extra money, rather than being handed over to The Archwell Foundation was instead invested in Travalyst, Prince Harry’s sustainable travel company. The firm is another information black hole, with little known about it. 

It's very likely that we may never know the full extent of the Archwell Foundation's finances, given that it was incorporated in Delaware. If the foundation made more money or spent it, we may never truly know, which seems ironic given Harry and Meghan's partnership with financial firm Ethic. The firm is focused on increasing transparency in corporate investments. With less than $50,000 in its bank account, it's unclear how the foundation was able to execute its various partnerships and programs, as described on its website