California AG Clears Harry and Meghan's Archewell Charity

Archewell Foundation clears up financial compliance issue swiftly.

by Nouman Rasool
California AG Clears Harry and Meghan's Archewell Charity
© Andrew Esiebo/Getty Images

The office of California's attorney general on Tuesday said that it has found the state's Archewell Foundation, the Beverly Hills-based charity set up by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, to be "in good standing." The news was confirmed because the charity had cleared a delinquent notice involving a past due payment, meaning it can now go back to fundraising and operations within California.

Registered as a non-profit only as of 2021, the Archewell Foundation has been under fire since late Thursday after its apparent failure to pay a $200 annual filing fee since it expired this May 2023. It earlier received a notice of delinquency from the Attorney General Rob Bonta's office, which said the renewal information was incomplete.

But the foundation quickly fixed the problem, and one of its spokespeople validated, saying, "We have diligently looked into the situation and are satisfied that the Archewell Foundation remains fully compliant and in good standing.

Any potential differences between financial reporting methods were promptly rectified and payments were made in accordance with the IRS's processes and procedures. In addition, all necessary paperwork had been filed by the Foundation without error or wrongdoing."

Financial Speculation Resolved

The Attorney General's office statement follows recent speculation over financial irregularities by the foundation, which reported more than $13 million in total revenue.

A source close to Archewell said that the initial check to trigger the payment had been lost in the mail, but the problem was quickly resolved when the check was resubmitted. California Governor Gavin Newsom defended the foundation during a separate event on behavioral health in the Bay Area.

He remarked, "I just want folks to know, not only are they in compliance, but it was a technical paperwork issue that was wildly over-hyped." Meanwhile, CharityWatch, a watchdog organization that evaluates nonprofit organizations, noted that the Archewell Foundation is "not ratable" due to its recent establishment and limited financial history.

The foundation's 2022 tax filing revealed that its governing body consists solely of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a deviation from the nonprofit sector's best practices, which recommend at least five independent voting board members.

Laurie Styron, Executive Director of CharityWatch, commented on the foundation's structure, stating, "A charity whose board is too small and lacks a majority independent board is not well-positioned to consistently make decisions that are in the best interest of the charity or provide adequate oversight of its operations.

Charities are not small businesses or hobbies intended to be controlled by one married couple or family. Despite these organizational critiques, the Archewell Foundation, inspired by the couple's son Archie, remains committed to its mission of uplifting and uniting communities through acts of compassion, both locally and globally.