Sun. May 26th, 2024
alert-–-prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-hint-there-are-more-quasi-royal-african-tours-in-the-pipeline-as-they-thank-nigeria-for-‘the-first-of-many-memorable-trips’Alert – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hint there are more quasi-royal African tours in the pipeline as they thank Nigeria for ‘the first of many memorable trips’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have hinted they are planning more quasi-royal African tours in future after thanking Nigeria for the ‘first of many memorable trips’.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been flying back to California after leaving Abuja yesterday following a three-day visit to the country at the military’s invitation.

And the couple hailed their time in Nigeria as ‘unforgettable’ in a press release on Sussex.com today following the visit related to Harry’s Invictus Games competition.

Their statement added: ‘The Duke and Duchess would like to extend their deepest gratitude to all the event organisers, military officials and the whole Nigerian community for their tremendous hospitality and the first of many memorable trips.’

But the Sussexes did not mention the news emerging overnight that their Archewell Foundation was listed as ‘delinquent’ by a US charity regulator. Sources close to the couple claimed last night that this was due to a cheque going missing in the post.

The couple hailed their time in Nigeria as 'unforgettable' in a press release on Sussex.com

The couple hailed their time in Nigeria as ‘unforgettable’ in a press release on Sussex.com

This was the eighth press release issued on Sussex.com about the couple’s Nigeria trip which took them to Abuja and Lagos and ran last week from Friday until Sunday.

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Harry and Meghan are thought to have flown from Abuja to London Heathrow yesterday before heading onto Los Angeles to be reunited with their children Archie and Lilibet.

Today, in a press release about their trip coming to end, the Sussexes referred to the reception they received in Lagos and their attendance at a polo match.

The statement said: ‘Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex concluded their unforgettable trip to Nigeria with a cultural reception in Lagos and a polo match fundraiser for Nigeria: Unconquered.

‘The couple was greeted with a beautiful pre-game parade – a vibrant display of young enthusiasts in polo gear, proudly waving the green and white flags of Nigeria – followed by a procession of older children on horseback, setting the tone for a day filled with sport and spirit.

‘The friendly rivalry between the teams, aptly named Duke vs Duchess, added a layer of excitement to the event, with the Duchess’s team claiming victory with a score of 5-3. The day was capped off with the couple presenting medals, a gesture of appreciation for the players’ prolific talent and dedication.

Harry and Meghan following a charity polo game at the Ikoyi Polo Club in Lagos on May 12

Harry and Meghan following a charity polo game at the Ikoyi Polo Club in Lagos on May 12

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit the Lagos State Governor's Office in Nigeria on May 12

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit the Lagos State Governor’s Office in Nigeria on May 12

‘The Duke and Duchess would like to extend their deepest gratitude to all the event organisers, military officials and the whole Nigerian community for their tremendous hospitality and the first of many memorable trips.’

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It follows Harry and Meghan’s visit to promote mental health for soldiers and empower young people.

The couple attended events related to Harry’s Invictus Games, which Nigeria is seeking to host in future.

The Sussexes were also welcomed at the Lagos State Government House and met military officials at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

Following their trip, Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation claimed that a cheque going missing in the post is why a US charity regulator has declared it ‘delinquent’.

The Duke and Duchess’s organisation is ‘not in good standing’ according to the Registry of Charities and Fundraisers in California, where the couple live.

The registry said Archewell failed to properly submit its annual report or renewal fees and has banned it from either fundraising or distributing charitable funds for now.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stand for God Save The King in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 11

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stand for God Save The King in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 11

Meghan smiles as she receives flowers during a sitting volleyball match in Abuja on May 11

Meghan smiles as she receives flowers during a sitting volleyball match in Abuja on May 11

But Sussex sources insist the paperwork was filed on time, with the discrepancy down to a ‘cheque’ which accompanied the documents going missing in the post.

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They also maintain that ‘a new cheque has been mailed’, which should mean the issue will be ‘quickly resolved’ – but the revelation will likely cause embarrassment.

An Archewell source said: ‘For the foundation, everything was filed on time. Part of that filing was a physical cheque. That cheque appears to have never been received, which we were only made aware of when this delinquency notice was published.

‘A new cheque has been mailed and we anticipate that this will be quickly resolved and reflected in records within seven business days.’

It comes as the couple were yesterday flying back from a high profile three-day visit to Abuja and Lagos in Nigeria that was dubbed a royal tour in all but name.

During the trip the Sussexes announced a partnership between the Archewell Foundation and the Geanco Foundation, a charity in Nigeria which leads surgical missions, promotes maternal health and provides scholarships to young female victims of terrorism.

Meghan listens to speakers at a Women in Leadership event in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 11

Meghan listens to speakers at a Women in Leadership event in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 11

But a ‘delinquency notice’ letter was by the Registry of Charities and Fundraisers to Archewell on May 3 saying the foundation is ‘listed as delinquent’ for ‘failing to submit required annual report(s) and/or renewal fees’. 

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The letter says an organisation listed as ‘delinquent’ is banned from ‘soliciting or disbursing charitable funds’ and its registration may be ‘suspended or revoked’.

A physical cheque was part of the filing sent to the California Attorney General’s Office and it is understood that a new one has been sent to resolve the issue.

The letter from California’s Registry of Charities and Fundraisers warns: ‘An organisation 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 organisation may also be subject to penalties and its registration may be suspended or revoked by the Registry.

Prince Harry is welcomed to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 10

Prince Harry is welcomed to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, on May 10

Meghan takes a selfie with pupils with Harry behind at Lightway Academy in Abuja on May 10

Meghan takes a selfie with pupils with Harry behind at Lightway Academy in Abuja on May 10

‘Once you submit the delinquent record(s), you will be notified of the amount of any late fees that are owed.’

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The foundation is understood to believe that its tax filings were submitted on time and a cheque was sent – and it was only made aware of any issue when the delinquency notice was published.

Now that a new cheque has been posted, it expects the issue will quickly be resolved, with this being reflected in in records within just over a week.

The Archewell Foundation is a non-profit organisation created by Harry and Meghan when they moved to the US after stepping down as senior royals in 2020.

On its website, it says its mission is to ‘show up, do good’, adding: ‘We meet the moment by showing up, taking action and using our unparalleled spotlight to uplift and unite communities – local and global – through acts of service and compassion.’

The foundation is separate from the couple’s Archewell media and business divisions which have been involved in the Netflix and Spotify productions. 

A delinquency notice letter was sent to the Archewell Foundation on May 3 saying the charity is

A delinquency notice letter was sent to the Archewell Foundation on May 3 saying the charity is ‘listed as delinquent’ for ‘failing to submit required annual report(s) and/or renewal fees’ 

It follows Harry and Meghan’s visit to Nigeria from Friday until Sunday to promote mental health for soldiers and empower young people.

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The couple were invited to the West African nation by its military, and attended events related to Harry’s Invictus Games, which Nigeria is seeking to host in future.

The couple were also welcomed at the Lagos State Government House and met military officials at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

According to tax filings disclosed by Archewell last December, the organisation had suffered an $11million (£9million) decline in donations in 2022 compared to the previous year.

The records showed that the charity received just over $2million (£1.6million) in charitable donations in 2022 compared to $13million (£10million) in 2021.

And while in 2021 Archewell had reported a revenue of more than $9million (£7million), the December 2023 filings showed that by 2022 it had recorded a loss of more than $674,000 (£537,000) due to costs of $2.67million (£2.13million).

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