The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a $130,000 donation to an African girls’ education charity to mark their recent birthdays, it has been revealed.
Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle, 39, pledged the money to CAMFED, which supports girls’ education across the continent, and said there is ‘no better way to celebrate what really matters’.
The couple made the donation yesterday after fans, who call themselves the Sussex Squad, launched a fundraising drive in honour of Harry and Meghan’s birthdays on September 15 and August 4, respectively.
The campaign raised $129,000 and Harry and Meghan responded by matching the donations with their own $130,000 contribution.
Charitable donations are tax deductible in both the US and the UK. CAMFED is registered in both countries.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a $130,000 donation to a girls’ education charity to mark their recent birthdays, it has been revealed. Pictured, the couple in Cape Town last year
In a message tweeted by the charity (pictured) the couple said: ‘No better way to celebrate what really matters. Thank you to everyone who donated, Harry and Meghan’
The couple have a long-standing relationship with CAMFED, which is a partner of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. Harry and Meghan serve as president and vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and were allowed to retain their positions after stepping back from official royal duties this year.
Prince Harry visited a CAMFED project in Zambia in 2018 and paid a separate visit to the organisation during his solo visit to Malawi on the Sussexes’ African tour in 2019.
The Duchess of Sussex met one of the regional leaders of CAMFED at a Women’s Day event in London in 2019.
The money raised from the Sussex Squad Birthday Fundraiser 2020 will fund higher education scholarships for young women across Africa.
In a statement tweeted by the charity, the Sussexes said: ‘No better way to celebrate what really matters. Thank you to everyone who donated, Harry and Meghan’.
The couple, who recently signed a $150million deal with Netflix, supported two charities to mark their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s birthday in May.
Meghan and Archie appeared in a video to promote a Save The Children literacy programme and the Duchess later revealed she had sponsored a kennel at London-based animal charity Mayhew, of which she is patron, in her son’s name.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrated Harry’s birthday privately yesterday at their $14million Santa Barbara home.
The couple have a long-standing relationship with CAMFED. Prince Harry visited one of the charity’s projects in Zambia in 2018 (pictured) and paid a separate visit to the organisation during his solo visit to Malawi on the Sussexes’ African tour in 2019
The royal family marked the occasion by sharing well-wishes on Instagram and Twitter, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Queen all posting in honour of Harry’s birthday.
However royal fans were outraged that Meghan did not appear in any of the four photographs posted to mark the occasion.
In response to William and Kate’s photo, which shows the Cambridges and Prince Harry in a 2017 running race, one fan noted: ‘There must have been hundreds of photos you could have picked, but you chose to post one of Harry, William and Kate. I’m sure not including Meghan wasn’t unintentional.’
Another fan posting on the Cambridges’ account said it was ‘shady’ not to include the Duchess of Sussex when there are photos of the ‘fab four’ together. Another said simply: ‘Interesting photo selection… No Meghan.’
However some pointed out that it is common for royal family members not to include husbands and wives in birthday photos, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did for Princess Anne’s recent 70th.
The Duchess of Sussex with Camfed Regional Director Angeline Murimirwa (right), model Adwoa Aboah, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and journalist Anne McElvoy at a Women’s Day event in London in March 2019
It comes after the strain in relations between Prince William, 38, and Harry, who were once inseparable, were laid bare in the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ biography Finding Freedom.
The Duke of Sussex certainly has plenty to celebrate this year – his first birthday since he and Meghan quit the royal family and moved to California.
The couple recently signed a $150million deal with US media giant Netflix and paid back the £2.4million that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage, their former home on the Queen’s Windsor estate, further distancing themselves from the royal family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have also recently stepped up their public and virtual appearances as Covid-19 restrictions ease, with Prince Harry last week sending a video of support to soldiers taking part in a charity trek. Over the weekend Meghan took part in a video call with clients from her UK patronage Smart Works.
And according to royal experts, the Duke is ‘happier than ever’ as he celebrates his 36th birthday, and ‘doesn’t miss his old life at all’.
Omid Scobie, who co-authored the controversial royal biography Finding Freedom which raised eyebrows for its gushing praise and intimate knowledge of the Sussexes, the Prince is ‘very content’ with his marriage and family and ‘thriving’ in his professional life.
He told Vanity Fair: ‘This is the moment [Harry] can sit back and think, “I made it”.’