The Charity Commission has ruled that the Prince Andrew Charitable Trust did break charity law with a payment to one of its trustees. The former trustee in question was The Duke of York’s long-serving former Private Secretary who was an employee of his household from April 2015 – January 2020.

The Commission concluded that it had identified concerns about the former trustee of the Trust being paid by the organisation’s three trading subsidiary companies as a director of these companies. Under charity law, trustees cannot be paid to act as directors of subsidiary companies unless there is authority from the charity’s governing documents or the payments are authorised by the Commission or the court – none of these factors were in place when the payments were made.

Director of Operations at the Charity Commission, Helen Earner, said, “Charity is special – with unpaid trusteeship a defining characteristic of the sector. By allowing a payment of a trustee via its subsidiaries the Prince Andrew Charitable Trust breached charity law, and by insufficiently managing the resulting conflict of interest from this payment, the trustees did not demonstrate the behaviour expected of them. We’re glad that concerns we identified are now resolved, after the charity acted quickly and efficiently to rectify these matters. The recovered funds will now go towards the causes intended, and we will continue to work with the trustees as they wind up the charity.”

The Commission has returned £355,297 to the Prince Andrew Charitable Trust.

This news comes as the US Department of Justice calls for The Duke of York to cooperate with them in their investigations over the activities of disgraced financier and convicted child sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke of York’s legal team yesterday released a statement insisting that Prince Andrew had offered to help authorities with their investigation on three occasions. Prince Andrew is being asked to help with enquiries as a witness and not as a suspect.

Photo: Hanson K Joseph

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