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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Won't Start a Foundation Afterall

Annie Goldsmith
Photo credit: BETRAM MALGAS - Getty Images

From Town & Country

After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their plans to step back from their royal roles last month, the couple's choice prompted many questions about their future lives. Since then, details have trickled out about what new life might hold, but specifics have remained scarce. Today, Harry and Meghan updated their website, Sussexroyal.com, with some details about their new arrangement—including how they plan to pursue their charity work.

Despite a January announcement of plans to launch a foundation called Sussex Royal, the new page stated that the Duke and Duchess "do not plan to start a 'foundation.'"

Instead of a foundation, the couple "intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally." They will launch a a new non-profit organization that will enable the couple to "effect change" and "complements the efforts made by" other foundations.

This new entity hasn't been named, but certainly won't have "Royal" in its title. (An announcement was also made earlier today by a spokesperson for the Sussexes that the couple would not use the name "Sussex Royal" at all, "given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word ‘Royal.’")

As the website explains:

The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to [Harry and Meghan's] cause driven work that they remain deeply committed to. While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word 'Royal,' it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation will not utilise the name 'Sussex Royal' or any other iteration of 'Royal.'

It is interesting that the couple has chosen to go the non-profit route, rather than starting a foundation. The reasons for this are not specified but according to the IRS, the main differences between a non-profit and a foundation has to do with the sourcing of funding (at least in the United States). Read the IRS's distinction below.

Public charities generally receive a greater portion of their financial support from the general public or governmental units, and have greater interaction with the public. A private foundation, on the other hand, is typically controlled by members of a family or by a small group of individuals, and derives much of its support from a small number of sources and from investment income. Because they are less open to public scrutiny, private foundations are subject to various operating restrictions and to excise taxes for failure to comply with those restrictions.

Regardless of what shape their initiative will take, the couple has clearly begun to think about the shape their charity work might take. They recently met with professors at Stanford University to discuss the possibilities.

In terms of the charity's goals, the Duke and Duchess have made it clear that they will stay committed to causes they've previously championed. "The Duke’s priorities remain supporting the welfare of servicemen and women, conservation, sport for social development, HIV, and Travalyst which works to mobilize the tourism and travel industry for social good," a spokesperson for the couple told Town & Country earlier this week. "For The Duchess, her focus remains women’s empowerment, gender equality and education."

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