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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s foundation ordered to stop fundraising: What to know

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Archewell Foundation — the charitable initiative they started in 2020 after stepping down as senior British royals — has been declared “delinquent” by the California Registry of Charities and Fundraisers, with all fundraising paused. The charity says a check that was submitted went missing in the mail.

California’s attorney general, Rob Bonta, sent a letter to the couple’s foundation stating it’s “delinquent with the Registry of Charities and Fundraisers” for failing to submit its required annual report and renewal fees.

“An organization that is listed as delinquent is not in good standing and is prohibited from engaging in conduct for which registration is required, including soliciting or disbursing charitable funds,” the letter, dated May 3, stated. “The organization may also be subject to penalties and its registration may be suspended or revoked by the Registry.” Once the necessary paperwork is received, the charity will be notified of “any late fees that are owed.”

(rct.doj.ca.gov)(rct.doj.ca.gov)

The letter sent to Archewell Foundation. (rct.doj.ca.gov)

Page Six was first to report the delinquency on Monday, with an Archewell Foundation source initially telling the outlet that the reason for the lateness was they “filed for an extension.”

A source later told the same outlet — as well as People magazine — that the paperwork actually was filed on time, but a check sent with the filing was never received. The foundation wasn’t notified about the missing payment until the delinquency notice was issued.

A new check was sent by the Archewell Foundation, which expects the issue to be resolved within seven business days, a source told People.

A rep from the California’s attorney general’s office has not responded to Yahoo’s request for comment.

When the pair left England and settled in Markle’s native California, they announced the launch of Archewell to continue their charitable efforts. The name of their charity was inspired by their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. “Arche” is the Greek word meaning “source of action,” which the couple connected to their charitable efforts. The goal, they said, was “to do something of meaning, to do something that matters.” (Their daughter, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, was born in 2021.)

The Archewell Foundation has partnered with charitable organizations including chef José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen; Halo Trust, a land-mine-clearing charity once supported by Princess Diana; and GEANCO Foundation, which does surgical missions to Nigeria. It provided millions of COVID-19 vaccines and served over 50,000 meals. It helped build a playground in Uvalde, Texas, and created L.A. charity Harvest Home’s baby boutique, where moms can get donated supplies.

The Archewell Foundation website launched in October 2020, but there were no earnings until 2021, when the charity received $13 million in contributions and gave out $3 million in grants.

According to filings, in 2022, the organization received significantly less, with just over $2 million in contributions. Its expenses exceeded its revenue by $674,000 that year. The Archewell Foundation’s executive director, James Holt, earned a salary of $227,405 in 2022, including a $20,000 bonus. (That was a 280% increase from his salary of less than $60,000 in 2021.)

The couple has also launched many for-profit business ventures since 2020, with mixed results. There’s Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio, which produce shows like their Netflix doc Harry & Meghan and podcasts.

Markle recently teased an upcoming lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, but nothing has officially rolled out yet — essentially just some close friends getting jam samples and sharing photos on social media.

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