Royal Watch News
Prince Harry's charity failing
Apr 7, 2009, 11:25 GMT
A charity set up by Britain's Prince Harry has seen donations fall by 84 per cent.
Sentebale - launched by the royal in 2006 in memory of his mother Princess Diana - saw donations fall from £1.15 million in 2007 to just £250,000.
Accounts show the organisation came close to "going broke" in August, with just £53,000 left, compared to around £600,000 at the time the previous year.
Figures also revealed the charity spent £791,000 last year, but only gave £335,000 to its 16 charitable partners in Lesotho. The rest of the money was spent on costs such as staff salaries.
The charity's financial position was so unstable it was forced to seek secret aid from rich businesspeople to keep it afloat.
Last autumn, controversial deputy Conservative Party chairman Lord Ashcroft gave £250,000 to avert a financial crisis after two major fund-raising events were cancelled.
Financial information also revealed Sentebale has dropped the royal bank Coutts in favour of HSBC amid concerns the financial organisation would appear too elitist for a charity working in Africa.
In addition, two trustees of the organisation have stepped down from the board.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Harry's private secretary, and Sir Tom Shebbeare, the director of charities to the Prince of Wales, both resigned in the last three months.
Harry takes a close interest in the charity and attends all its board meetings.
Sentebale hopes to expand its work to cover 28 organisations this year.