Charity with Prince Harry and Prince William as joint royal patrons to close down

16 Apr 2024 News

Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund logo

A charity which has had Prince Harry and Prince William as joint patrons since 2009, is set to close.

Set up in 2007 to fight poverty in Uganda, the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund is closing due to its key trustees deciding the time was right.

Claire van Straubenzee, co-founder of the charity, told Civil Society: “The decision has not been taken lightly and in no way is the result of any financial difficulties. 

“The key trustees will be over 70 years of age by the end of 2024 and feel that the time is right to close.”

Princes’ ‘support invaluable’

The van Straubenzee family set up the charity in 2007, in memory of their middle son, to fight poverty in Uganda through education.

It started with a one-off donation of £3,000 to the Ugandan school where Henry van Straubenzee was to have taught during his gap year.

Since January 2009, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex have been patrons, and the charity states “their support has been invaluable to the charity, with both princes supporting the fundraising efforts and profile of the charity”.

Data for the financial year ending 31 December 2022, filed with the Charity Commission, puts its total income at £147,000 and total expenditure at £208,000.

Following King Charles’s accession, the royal household is conducting a review of royal patronage.  

The review will cover the organisations of which Queen Elizabeth II was patron and those organisations to which the king and the Queen Consort were connected through patronage or presidency as the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

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