Charity supported by Meghan Markle receives official warning over staff payments

Charity supported by Meghan Markle receives official warning over staff payments

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GB News
Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 20/01/2024

- 00:01

The Duchess of Sussex gave a keynote address at an event for the charity in 2022

A charity supported by Meghan Markle has received an official warning over staff payments.

One Young World, a young leaders’ organisation, has been given an official warning by the charities regulator.

The organisation's past summits have featured high-profile figures, including the Duchess of Sussex and Bob Geldof.

The Charity Commission said it had looked into One Young World after concerns were raised about senior staff salaries and bonuses and potential conflicts of interest in 2022.

Meghan Markle

Charity supported by Meghan Markle receives official warning over staff payments


The organisation holds annual summits featuring international leaders and celebrities.

For instance, Queen Rania of Jordan and Rio Ferdinand appeared at last year’s event in Belfast.

Meghan, who had been involved in the charity before marrying into the Royal Family, gave the keynote address at the Manchester event in 2022.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by any of the celebrity speakers.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle at the One Young World event in 2022


The regulator claimed the salary paid to an employee was unauthorised under the requirements of the charity’s governing document.

It is understood this refers to the salary paid to managing director Ella Robertson McKay, who is the daughter of the charity’s chief executive, Kate Robertson.

Robertson was also a trustee of the charity until she resigned from that role in July 2023.

The commission said it also concluded that bonus payments made to Robertson were unauthorised.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle has supported the charity longer than she's been a member of the Royal Family


Meghan Markle and Prince Edward

Meghan Markle and Prince Edward photographed together at the event in 2022


The regulator said it accepted that the trustees “made these bonus payments in good faith at the time, and the trustees in turn now agree that they should have sought specific authority on this point”.

The commission’s Tracy Howarth said: “Our engagement with One Young World uncovered governance errors that every charity should take care to avoid when managing a charity, especially in relation to executive pay and conflicts of interest.

“We welcome efforts the trustees have made so far in addressing past failings and making improvements to the charity’s administration and governance.

“The official warning sets out the further improvements we now expect the trustees to make. We will continue to monitor their progress.”

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