Private & Royal Charities – How Are They Doing?



In February 2021 UK media had a field day rejoicing in the fact that the Sussexes were “stripped” of “their Royal patronages”, after they confirmed that they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.

Most logically minded people worked out that Harry and Meghan were not returning to the UK, when they left the UK in November 2019 for a six week break from the daily venom spouted by UK Media and hate groups encouraged by the same media, towards the couple.  In January Harry announced that they were stepping back from Senior Royal duties.  It later transpired that most of their belongings from Frogmore Cottage had been removed, and Archie and the family dogs had all travelled out of the UK in November 2019.  It was at this point that the Kubler Ross model of the 7 Stages of Grief described wonderfully the reactions and behaviour of the Royal Family and its Associates in the media, and following in the smoke flowing from each group, the haters followed along wondering how their prey had escaped.

Shock at the announcement set in, and by March 9th  2020 the Day of the Commonwealth Service, all those factions mentioned above had worked their way through the Denial stage, and eventually got to a place where they realised that the family had indeed made plans, and this move was not undertaken on a whim.  At this point, the Anger stage set in, and from there they fluctuated between Anger and Depression, spending most of the time in the Anger state.  This presented itself to a global audience both in person within the Church as well as the millions watching from various corners of the globe.  The Anger was plain to see, and was one of the most unprofessional displays by any public body, let alone the Monarchy of a nation.  It was so disgusting, and iconic for all the wrong reasons, that it is a moment in history that this Royal Family will never live down.  Never.  Every speech they make from that point on, on most topics, will be negated and refuted by the behaviour of most of the Royal Family and if you watch the footage enough times, it is evident that others knew what was going on, but were doing their best to be labelled, if they were ever accused, “it wasn’t me”.

The Sussexes left the UK shortly after this event.  Meghan left the UK within hours of the Commonwealth service ending and Harry left around 3 weeks later.  The Royal Family decided to put in place a 12 month review period, to give time to the Sussexes to reconsider their decision and to return to the fold.  My interpretation of that 12 month review was to give UK media another year of chasing their prey, in the hope that they would break their spirit and that they would indeed return.  In the meantime, they could earn money from the clickbait headlines for another year, not least because all the others combined did not amount to one day of income from a Sussex related negative article.

Charities and Patronages  [direct quotes from the Royal Family website:

“The Queen and other Members of the Royal Family lend their names and much of their time to many different charities and organisations.  Currently, over 3,000 organisations list a member of the Royal Family as their patron or president.  These range from well-known charities such as the British Red Cross to new, smaller charities like the Reedam Childrens Trust, to regiments in the Armed Forces.

Members of the Royal Family have links with hundreds of charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.  Some are well known, while others may be smaller bodies working in a very specialist area or on a local basis only.

Having a Royal patron or president provides vital publicity for the work of the these organisations and allows their enormous achievements and contributions to society to be recognised.

Every member of the Royal family received hundreds of requests each year from organisations asking for their support.  Royal patronages add status to an organisation, and visits and involvement from a Royal Patron can often bring much needed publicity.

For this reason, members of the Royal Family tend to limit their patronages to a manageable number to ensure that they can give each organisation a significant amount of their time.  The exceptions to this are the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (the website still states the Duke of Edinburgh sharing over 1000 Patronages between them. As at 02/12/21) many of which were inherited from previous Monarchs.

The Queen’s patronages carries the most weight and her Majesty  receives the most requests for patronages of all the members of the Royal Family.”

How Are Patronages Chosen?

Patronages generally reflect the interests of the member of the Royal Family involved for example, the Duchess of Cornwall is President of the National Osteoporosis Society as both her mother and grandmother died as a result of the brittle bone disease.

Occasionally a member of the Royal Family will hear about a cause whilst on a visit or via one of their other charities, and will decide to support it.

A range of factors are taken into consideration.  These include that the organisation making the request is reputable and well established and has a good financial track record[i]. Once it has been decided that the patronage will be taken on, the duration of the patronage must be decided.  There is no set length.  Sometimes members of the Royal Family might take on a patronage relating to a specific campaign or event which only lasts a finite length of time.  Other times patronages are for life.



Royal Patronages of Charities Do Not Seem to Help Charities Much

Giving Evidence is an organisation that I have mentioned in a previous article on Royal Family support for charities.  Giving Evidence produced a report in 2020 outlining the outcomes of research undertaken about the added value, if any, for those charities with or seeking a Royal Patron.  Giving Evidence conducts robust research on a wide range of charitable organisations, on behalf of donors and charities, to help with decision making.  The Royal Family and its involvement with patronages is only one element.

That being said, when it came to charities with Royal patrons,

  • “74% of charities with a Royal Patron did not get any public engagements with them the previous year. Ie 2019.”
    • Only 1% of charities which have a Royal patron got more than one public engagement with them during 2019.
  • “we could find any evidence that Royal Patrons increase a charity’s revenue.”
    • There were no other outcomes that we could analyse,
    • Nor that Royalty increases generosity more broadly.
  • UK charities should not seek or retain Royal patrons expecting either many public events with them, or an effect on revenue.
  • We could not find any effect of Royal patronages on charities’ revenues, despite multiple sophisticated statistical analyses.
  • Royals do far more public engagement with charities they set up than with pre existing charities they take on.
    • The Prince’s Trust and the Duke of Edinburgh Award etc are 2% of their charity patronages but get 36% of public engagements that they do with their patron charities.
  • 26% of Royals’ public engagement during 2019 were with patron charities, so taking public engagements as an indicator of workload, they are ¼ of the Royals work. We could find no effect of that.”
  • The data that the Royal Family publishes about its “charities and patronages” (its term) has many errors, duplications, omissions and is hard to use. It took us 6 weeks to construct a defensible list. These figures are from Giving Evidence, not the Palace.
  • Tried to analyse Press coverage but couldn’t.
  • No country with a resident Royal is more generous than countries without. No country with a resident Royal family has been in the top 8 most generous countries over the last 4 years.
  • We found no reason to think that charities with Royal Patronages are better (more effective) than those without

Lots more information.  Well worth looking at in more detail.  The organisation has no opinion on Royal Patronages or Royalty.  All of their research is carried out to try and ensure that donors and charities can become more effective with the information supplied from the research.


The Patronages that Harry and Meghan Have Lost and Retained

Harry is no longer Patron of the following:-

  • Rugby Football Union
  • Rugby Football League
    • Both roles taken over from the Queen
  • London Marathon Charitable Trust
    • The role was a 3 year term, which was renewed twice, cover a 9 year period. Came to an end in January 2021 and was not renewed.


Harry a former soldier, who served on the frontline in Afghanistan, is no longer

  • the Captain General of the Royal Marines.
  • Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, or
  • Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands Small Ships and Diving


Harry had to relinquish his role as President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust

Harry retains the following private patronages or presidencies:-

  • African Parks
  • Dolen Cymru
  • The Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund
  • Invictus Games
  • MapAction
  • Rhino Conservation Botswana charity
  • Sentebale
  • Well Child


Meghan lost the following:-

  • The Royal National Theatre
  • The Association of Commonwealth Universities
    • Both handed down from the Queen.

Meghan also had to give up her role as Vice President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

Meghan retains her two private patronages:

  • Smart Works
  • Mayhew animal charity.


It is safe to say, that I am sure I know in which lists I would like to be included, and none of them involve the Royal Family.  Most of the charities that the Sussexes have retained, combined with all the new ones that they have taken on board under the Archewell Foundation banner have a healthy future, with engagement with The Sussexes and their team.  One that is in need of Sussex Squad support is the Mayhew Animal Charity.  We will touch upon that later on in the podcast.


A summary of the current position regarding the retained patronages:-

Invictus & Archewell & Netflix


Extracts from the Archewell website:-

“Created by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to produce programming that informs, elevates, and inspires, Archewell Productions has announced its first Netflix series, Heart of Invictus, which will be produced and launched in partnership with The Invictus Games Foundation.

Heart of Invictus is a multi-episode production that will spotlight a group of extraordinary Invictus Games competitors from around the globe—members of the military community who have experienced life-changing injuries or illnesses—on their road to Invictus Games The Hague 2020, which is now taking place in 2022, due to necessary rescheduling from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Harry is active in all of his named charities, and has been embraced into the  USA military family. Remembrance Sunday along with Veterans Day earlier in that week, The Duke and Duchess were invited to a number of engagements with military personnel and their families.


Prince Harry has involved in all of his charities since his move to the USA. All of these private charities were formed by Prince Harry and he intends to be continue being involved.  More details on the Archewell website.


Well Child

What the charity does:

  • General Charitable Purposes
  • Education/training
  • The Advancement Of Health Or Saving Of Lives
  • Animals

Who the charity helps:

  • Other Charities Or Voluntary Bodies
  • The General Public/mankind

How the charity helps:

  • Makes Grants To Organisations
  • Provides Human Resources
  • Provides Services
  • Provides Advocacy/advice/information

Smart Works



The Mayhew Animal Charity


Activities – how the charity spends its money

– rescuing & rehoming of stray, unwanted & abandoned animals – animal welfare services providing help for vulnerable animals & pet owners – free & low-cost preventative veterinary care: neutering, vaccinations, parasite control, microchipping etc. – training opps for those wanting a career in animal care or the veterinary professions – animal population management & rabies control overseas

Where the charity operates:

  • Throughout England
  • Afghanistan
  • Georgia


Income and expenditure

Data for financial year ending 31 December 2020

Total income:


Donations and legacies £2.88m
Charitable activities £80.17k
Other trading activities £60.36k
Investments £12.41k
Other £105.92k

Total expenditure:


Raising funds £716.16k
Charitable activities £2.45m
Other £0

-£24,577 investments gains (losses)

Total income includes £5,000 from 1 government contract(s) and £102,903 from 1 government grant(s)


92 Employee(s)

9 Trustee(s)

300 Volunteer(s)


Meet Dr Abdul-Jalil Mohammadzai  Mayhew Director – Afghanistan

He has been instrumental in improving animal welfare and raising veterinary standards in Kabul, negotiating with the authorities to stop the culling of free-roaming dogs and developing a mass canine rabies vaccination programme and a humane dog management programme in the city. He has also spoken at conferences worldwide and received several awards in recognition of his innovative work and dedication to animal welfare.


The Mayhew – Georgia


Website Link:-

Mayhew Georgia operates the following programmes in Tbilisi and works with national and local government bodies as well as grassroots organisations to improve the lives of both animals and people in Georgia.

We provide:

– A free spay and neuter service for street and community dogs in the capital, including vaccinations against rabies and the most common canine infectious diseases. Our DHPPI +L vaccine covers distemper, parvovirus, canine hepatitis, canine influenza and leptospirosis.

– High quality veterinary training that improves the skills and competencies of Georgian vets, in accordance with international guidelines for small animal medicine.

– Advice and guidance to both national and local government on dog and cat welfare and provide training to increase the number of skilled individuals in the veterinary profession.

Part of our work includes a free neutering and vaccination service. This is for free-roaming and community dogs in Tbilisi and is provided by vets who have been trained to international standards . We presently work with four commercial vet clinics in Tbilisi where Mayhew-trained vets carry out spaying or neutering, vaccinations and ear-tagging.

It is fair to say this charity is struggling at the moment.  Staffing has been reduced.  The number of Veterinary appointments have been reduced, and the type of care given has to be prioritised, with some services severely curtailed.

Sussex Squad your help is needed, in any way that you can.  Staff cuts have been made and it is possible that things could get worse.  Staff are on the brink of taking industrial action, such is their increasingly untenable position.  Currently running at £24,577 loss in terms of investments. If you can help at all, as usual donate direct to the charity itself.  Further information is on their main website.

Here is the link for their website


Ivy Barrow


End Note:-

[i] Kind of defeats the objective if the number of investigations undertaken/being undertaken into certain Patronages where funds submitted have disappeared into the ether.  There is a question to be asked if an organisation is already doing reasonably well, why is there a need for a Royal Patron?  Why not raise the profile of those doing good work, but who are short on funds, and with a raised profile, could attract more and be able to widen the scope of their work?