Why Meghan And Harry's Charity Donations Are Raising Eyebrows

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are certainly no strangers to public scrutiny. Their tumultuous relationship with the crown is an ongoing discussion in British media, and sources continue to come forward with rumors of how the royal family feels about the couple following their "divorce" from the family. Because of this, Meghan and Harry's popularity ratings fluctuate, sometimes in favor of them and oftentimes not.

Since moving to California from the U.K., Meghan and Harry have been focused on building Archewell, the name of their foundation as well as their media company. The Archewell foundation is a non-profit organization through which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex donate money to their favorite charities, while their Archewell production and audio companies will create and produce original content (via The Hollywood Reporter).

While the rhetoric around Meghan and Harry hasn't been too rough lately — Meghan even received a public apology as a result of her court case against the British media (via People) — their latest donations report from the Archewell foundation has raised some eyebrows.

Meghan and Harry spent more on Archewell than they earned

According to the Daily Mail, Archewell's first year as a foundation saw it bring in less than $50,000 in donations, while the Sussexes spent more than that on legal fees. Meghan and Harry faced a legal battle to dissolve their Sussex Royal fund in the U.K. so they could put their whole focus into their Archewell foundation. This resulted in $55,600 in attorneys' fees and other legal costs. Moreover, public records in the U.K. show that their Sussex Royal fund held $380,000 before it was closed, and this money wasn't transferred to the Archewell fund. It's unclear at present where this money went.

Interestingly, nonprofit organizations that raise less than $50,000 can submit tax forms with much less detail than those who made over that threshold in the prior year (via Daily Mail). Because of this, Archewell only filed a short form. It will be interesting to see how their next tax form looks after they've fully opened their doors, begun working to grow the foundation, and are hopefully putting their funds to good use.

The couple delayed the launch of the foundation to support other initiatives

While many are surprised that Archewell has brought in a relatively small amount of money, sources told the Daily Mail that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle purposely delayed the foundation's launch in order to focus their efforts on the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. "What's absolutely clear is that they want to get it right and there's no point in rushing," the source explained. "They are settling into a new life, a new era. This is about getting it right and making sure they are able to make the difference they want to make. This is about getting it right and making sure they are able to make the difference they want to make."

The Duchess spoke out about the death of George Floyd during her virtual graduation speech for the class of 2020 at her former high school Immaculate Heart. "I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that I wouldn't, or that it would get picked apart, and I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing," she said (per Town & Country). "Because George Floyd's life mattered and Breonna Taylor's life mattered and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered."

The couple also led a global fundraising effort, raising more than $1 million in order to buy COVID vaccines for "the world's most vulnerable people," according to Global Citizen.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will make Archewell a priority in 2022

While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been occupied with other charitable work, they haven't completely ignored Archewell. In November 2021, the foundation announced its goal of becoming net zero by 2030. "As an organization, we will work with an independent consultant to track all Archewell-related activities from our inception (internet use, commutes, and electricity in home offices, for example) to understand our collective footprint," reads a statement on the Archewell website. "Using 2022 as our baseline year, they will develop a plan for Archewell that aligns with the latest guidance from leading organizations, like the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), while offsetting remaining emissions until we achieve net zero in 2030 and beyond."

And Meghan celebrated her 40th birthday by launching the 40x40 initiative, which was created to help women get back into the workforce after losing jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, Meghan asked 40 athletes, actors, and activists to pledge 40 minutes of mentorship. "With this time, I hope they each help someone advance a professional life on her own terms, and, I hope that they inspire countless others to give 40 minutes of their time as well," she wrote on the Archewell site.