ROYALS

EXCLUSIVE: Harry and Meghan left “horrified” after unfortunate mistake

“It’s been a rude awakening."
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had very little time to bask in the success of their recent tour of Nigeria after an unfortunate mistake relating to their Archewell Foundation.

Before the pair had even arrived back in Montecito, their charity endeavour, the foundation was branded “delinquent” by the USA’s Registry of Charities and Fundraisers.

Part of the Department of Justice in California, the registry alleged Archewell had not properly submitted its annual report or fees.

“Prince Harry and Meghan were absolutely horrified, and had an entire flight home from Africa to sit through before they could get to the bottom of it,” a source tells New Idea.

“All the trust they’d built up with Archewell – the very centrepiece around which they’ve built their new life – seemed to be on shaky ground.”

prince harry and meghan markle standing hand in hand as they visit nigeria as part of celebrations of invictus games anniversary
The drama put a damper on Harry and Meghan’s Nigeria visit. (Credit: Getty)

Once they had landed on US soil, Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, quickly refuted the claim. Archewell released a statement on their behalf that read, “We have diligently investigated the situation and can confirm that The Archewell Foundation remains fully compliant and in good standing.”

The issue was resolved when an outstanding cheque (thought to be for the relatively small sum of $300) was reissued by the foundation.

The Department of Justice cancelled the delinquency – but it was a reputational blow the Sussexes could have done without.

“It eroded trust in the foundation,” says the source. “They were embarrassed by it.”

Established in 2020, shortly after the Sussexes moved to America, The Archewell Foundation encompasses charity works and profit creation via its Archewell Audio and Production arms.

harry and meghan holding hands as they greet people on their visit to nigeria
Harry and Meghan’s charity was officially reprimanded. (Credit: Getty)

However, late in 2023, it was revealed the charity’s revenue had plunged by almost $17 million since 2022.

“This latest incident has raised questions over the foundation’s management,” our source says.

The public humiliation has stung Harry in particular. “It’s been a rude awakening for him,” our source says.

“He knows losing his royal status has relegated him to the same treatment as anyone else in the States. It’s been a steep learning curve for him to realise that the freedom of information laws there offer him very little protection.”

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