Meghan Markle's favored charity One Young World under investigation for exorbitant top-tier salaries

Meghan Markle's favored charity One Young World under investigation for exorbitant top-tier salaries
One Young World, a charity supported by Meghan Markle, is being investigated because of concerns about extravagant salaries and perks (Daniel Leal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: One Young World, a charity backed by the Duchess of Sussex, is now the focus of an investigation after it came to light that the mother-daughter duo who run it were paid more than £2 million ($2.2M) in less than five years. Just days after the publication of photos of Meghan Markle and the Duke of Sussex taken at the charity's annual summit in Manchester in September, the Charity Commission made a daring move by opening an investigation into One Young World.

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One Young World calls itself a "global forum" for young leaders, and since the Duchess joined its "counselor" team in 2014, it has gained enormous public recognition. In Manchester, Markle expressed her "thrill" that Harry could join her and "see first hand my respect for this organization." On Sunday, October 9, it was made public that the regulator had stepped in as a result of concerns about the eye-popping compensation and perks packages given to the charity's senior executives, as reported by the NY Daily Paper.

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There is no indication that Harry and Markle were aware of wage levels at the organization. Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, One Young World CEO Kate Robertson was given a $487,648 (£440,000) compensation package for the 18 months leading up to June 2021. Her daughter Ella McKay, 33, one of the charity's two directors, received a pay and benefits package of $215,610 (£194,543) during that time.

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The Charity Commission revealed this past weekend that it has "opened a regulatory case to investigate pay concerns at One Young World" in response to various inquiries by the media. "All charities should be able to look donors and volunteers in the eye and say how their reward decisions affect the cause they pursue or the people they help," a spokesperson's statement read.

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The Commission stated that initiating a compliance case is merely the first action it can take in an investigation into potential wrongdoing, and not a finding of guilt. A representative for One Young World claimed the organization was working with the Commission "to answer all their questions" and added, "We are confident there has been absolutely no wrongdoing."

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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is welcomed on stage during the One Young World Summit Opening Ceremony at Royal Albert Hall on October 22, 2019 in London, England. The Duchess is Vice-President of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, which is partnering with One Young World this year.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is welcomed on stage during the One Young World Summit Opening Ceremony at Royal Albert Hall on October 22, 2019 in London, England (Gareth Fuller - Pool/Getty Images)

One Young World claims to have established a network of more than 13,700 young leaders since it was founded in 2009 by renowned advertising executives Robertson and David Jones. Many famous people have attended the annual summits. In the month of September, Markle made a speech at the four-day summit's two-hour opening ceremony at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall after arriving in the UK.

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