Did the young royals throw themselves a lavish party with foundation money?

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Granted, I’m a suspicious person by nature. But I’ve always been suspicious of The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, just as I’m suspicious of Heads Together, the “umbrella organization” for a dozen charities. I worry that money going towards those two foundations/charities is not really “going” to the people who need it. The Royal Foundation in particular is basically just a do-nothing organization that passes out money to other charities and helps Will, Kate and Harry “look busy.” So isn’t this story suspicious?

Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry enjoyed a lavish night out on Thursday as they attended a special dinner in honour of their Royal Foundation. The event, which was not announced by the palace, took place at Sunbeam Studios in west London, a quick 15-minute drive from the royals’ Kensington Palace home. Details were kept strictly under wraps, although a guest has shared a photo of her invitation on Instagram.

“The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry request the pleasure of your company at The Royal Foundation Dinner,” the invite read. An accompanying letter showed instructions of how to get to the venue, asking guests to be there for 6:45pm, ahead of William, Kate and Harry’s arrival. The letter added: “Please note that photography and mobile telephones are strictly prohibited and we ask all our guests to switch off their telephones upon arrival. There will be a professional photographer in attendance.” The dinner, which had a lounge suit and cocktail dress code, ended at approximately 10:15pm.

[From Hello]

Think about that – this wasn’t on their public-event schedule, this wasn’t listed as a fundraiser or anything. This was a foundation hosting a lavish cocktail party for itself. If you’re donating money to the Royal Foundation, just know that you’re paying for Will, Kate and Harry to throw parties for themselves.

What else? Two more smaller royal stories. People criticized Kate this week because she told a single father that William struggled too when George was born, that William didn’t know how to do all of the baby stuff. The only criticism I have about that is that William didn’t stick around very long after she had George – she moved in with her parents and William went back to work, then he “audited some classes” at Cambridge for months during George’s first year. It was less about William struggling and more about William not giving a sh-t. During one of his events this week, William talked to a MasterChef winner about cooking, and William said that he prefers his steak “medium rare… I like it quite alive.” Gross. I never understand how people can eat steak THAT bloody. I like a pink steak, but not a bloody one.

Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge attends the final meeting of The Royal Foundation's Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying

The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Hornsey Road Children's Centre

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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78 Responses to “Did the young royals throw themselves a lavish party with foundation money?”

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  1. Plantpal says:

    Please, pretty please tell me this just isn’t true. Please tell me they are NOT this stupid. It would be just plain stupid of them if this is true. Please tell me these are not stupid people doing stupid things. Please.

  2. littlemissnaughty says:

    Are we sure they didn’t pay for it? I’m just asking because while I totally believe they would use foundation money for it, I’m tired of assh*le news. I have a sliver of hope left that these three rich kids are not actually complete assh*les.

    • Kaiser says:

      I’ve read that Hello story a million times, trying to figure it out. I think we can safely say that the royals didn’t pay for it themselves, but I have no idea if someone else paid for a party “in honor” of the foundation. It seems very sketchy and suspicious.

      • Maria says:

        Saw that article too. They “attended” the Gala, but they issued the invites. I find that confusing. Do Patrons of a charity usually issue invites?

      • SoulSPA says:

        I’ve spoken with my trusted friend with experience in the charity sector albeit not in the UK, and who does not have knowledge about the specifics of that situation. In brief, charities spend earmarked funds for specific projects, and non-earmarked funds for projects they choose to. Is some cases they spend money for social events, but those are mostly funds they raised themselves and can work around the books so that they will not have problems. It depends on the conditions set by the donors. It may be likely that someone sponsored the event and no monies of the foundation were used. The only way to check is through auditing.

      • Sixer says:

        In the UK, these are called “restricted” and “unrestricted” funds. Same thing. For example, I run the accounts for a local charity and our area’s council gives us some funding – but it’s “restricted” because we can only use it to pay for a specific service for specific people.

      • Megan says:

        These types of events are pretty common in the foundation world. They provide big dollar donors who wish to remain publicly anonymous access to the foundation principals. I would argue that a royal foundation should not have anonymous donors, but that is another conversation altogether.

    • Abs says:

      Of course foundation money is used for it. It’s an official event for their charities. There’s a budget for events like this.

      I honestly don’t get why this is so unusual? Especially since they have this every year and not once have I heard someone say “oh they are just throwing a party for themselves”. What BS. I don’t even like William and Kate, but this is ridiculous.

      • Angel says:

        +1 you have to have events to drum up people to donate, that’s half of what Prince Charles does is, smooze people to donate. The royals don’t donate thier own money. They can’t all be events for the recipients of the trust. Non story.

      • Lobbit says:

        It’s not unusual at all – half of fundraising is about plying donors with cocktails lol.This sounds like a like a private event for donors, which is why it was invitation only and not on their public calendar.

      • Bumble says:

        ABS- voice of reason!

    • Sixer says:

      I don’t know about paying for this but you can look at the 2016 accounts for a general overview of income, expenditure and, specifically, total of grants made.

      Income for 2016 (p41)


      Expenditure for 2016 (p41)

      Costs incurred for raising funds: £1,093,487
      Total charitable expenditure: £4,320,927

      But if you drill down into what the total charitable expenditure consisted of, only £1,874,761 was the total of actual grants made and the rest is stuff like “governance costs” and “support costs” (p49).

      So, you know, given the vast expenditures on non-grant making, would we be surprised to learn that the foundation paid for its own gala? No, we would not. And many foundations would pay for their own galas – the important point is how many £££s on galas in comparison to how many £££s in direct grants the foundation makes.

      Download link for the accounts is here: http://www.royalfoundation.com/about-our-foundation/

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Help me out here, doesn’t that statement read like someone hasn’t figured out how to reduce costs? I don’t mean to be petty but how do you rack up this much for office supplies? It seems like on the whole, they are spending a lot of money with questionable results. Percentage-wise. If you throw a gala with all three royals present, shouldn’t that event alone raise a LOT? I’m thinking big bucks. Also, their employees are well-paid, I must say (no shade here but damn, maybe I should apply).

        I know it’s very common for charities to throw parties or whatever for their big donors. Or to attract donations. I have always side-eyed that. Hard. I donate. I donate money and I work for a very small charity. I would NEVER want them to spend money on entertaining me. I get angry when Doctors Without Borders sends me too many leaflets and their magazine because that’s expensive. Spend it on people or at most, send it via email. I don’t donate so you invite me to dinner. I don’t work for you so you can throw a Christmas party.

        Rich people are confounding.

      • JustBitchy says:

        Sixer – thanks for the link, I couldn’t navigate to the details, but will try.

        Some thoughts on the foundation
        1. William had hair in the cover photo- god, how old is that
        2. It’s a *.com and not a *.org – not sure if that’s a UK thing,
        3. In the use we have a website (I like this one anyway) that measures charities and guidelines for high performing (being one that spends no more than $25/$100 raised. Curious how the Wales’ apparent slush fund fits in?

      • JustBitchy says:

        Found the accounts… Also when did the Doo Littles do the safari in Africa that is pictured?

      • hmmm says:

        Charities, I understand, have been hard pressed to get money from the Royal Foundation. And even then it’s an arbitrary call.

        Four million pounds spent from donations just for a 2 million pound arbitrary spread to charities? So charities get 1/5 of the donations? I have no words. Yeah, they have money for a lavish spread *celebrating themselves*, again.

      • Carrie1 says:

        Just skimmed the financials, with first target being their actual statements. This looks fine to me. 80/20 charitable expenses vs. Admin Mgt. Plus they’ve partnered with 8 local mental health orgs, which may ease concerns of some.

        The foundation is doing good work and it’s public relations and outreach has significant impact as well, and that’s free essentially due to royal family getting free pr so much. Granted these royals are not doing much themselves in terms of work but they’ve put a fairly large progressive health and sport oriented foundation in place with their clout. That’s the BRF proving their worth. I’m glad to see financials, the accountant in me prefers that so thanks Sixer.

    • Royalsparkle says:

      Good luck! At least the two entitled middleton lambridge are. Beleove they are celebrities than performing dutirs for the goid of GB CW taxpayers and mankind.

      One useles waste of royal protocol. The organization fronting for huge bankroll as shown nothing to benefit individuals in a aerious continous manner other than willnot cannot PR and luxury lifestyle.

      See the middletons waitie tennis cekebrity friend special treatment – their kids invite to play with royal kids. Yet willnot kids are too precious/entitled ‘regular’ to be seen in GB among the people – worse to be at children’s meet greet charities or play with service members children at garden parties.

      Throne Idle willnot (waitie cannot)/middleton hen party decoy – shoyld see The Kg and Qn Crown Prince Jigme, Butan in training at only 1.5 attending meetings funerals greeting people- or Princess Estelle SRF.

  3. Hh says:

    In this instance perhaps the event was a “thank you” or end of the year holiday party to the daily staff who make the organization run. Many places do this, businesses, charities, ngos, government. I know it seems like an excuse to have a party, but when done well employees do feel appreciated.

    Also, was it a “lavish” party? There weren’t any details provided aside from location and attire, but that doesn’t necessarily make it lavish. It could just be a nice cocktail party. Not sure when I become a WKH apologist lol.

    • Abs says:

      That’s exactly what it is. They have this every year btw. It’s just a private event for their charities at the end of the year.

      • Nic919 says:

        Are they required to publish their annual reports and budgets? I agree that an annual holiday party for staff isn’t unusual, but when it’s described as lavish that’s a bit concerning for a charity. The royals are already shady with money in other aspects that it would be unfortunate if the Royal Foundation is just another waste of money to make the trio look good. How much money actually gets sent to charities? That is what matters here.

      • hmmm says:

        How do you know that it’s a private event for their charities at the end of the year? As for ‘every year’, how do you know that?

        The royals are totally shady about their spending, and there is no transparency to speak of. Yet, you want us to believe that the Royal Foundation is above board. Don’t think so.

        Besides, where does the invitation say that it was a holiday party? And a cocktail party can be amazingly lavish.

      • Curious says:

        A party for staffers and helpers would definitely be on the proper records. They had such a party some years ago and it got into the news with Kate in the car etc…

      • bluhare says:

        They do publish annual financial reports. I have not waded through one in a while, but I did one year, and they did not have a wide range of charities/endeavors. Or they didn’t in the year I looked. The biggest recipient was Harry’s Invictus Games.

        But aren’t foundations mostly tax dodges anyway? If I recall correctly, a foundation only has to give out 5% of its assets to maintain its non profit status in the US. Not sure about the UK.

    • Abs says:

      It is only described lavish by Hello! All we know is the location and the dress code which doesn’t scream lavish to me. But to each their own.

      • hmmm says:

        Perhaps it’s like that event where William and Kate hosted guests from India and Bhutan. Water and cheesy snacks.

        Everyone understands what ‘lavish’ means. There is no reason to believe that it wasn’t lavish unless you want to argue that “Hello” is lying. And how would you know?

  4. Zondie says:

    Will eating “quite alive” things is the least surprising part of this story.

    • Angel says:

      I like my steak blue rare so I don’t understand the problem.

    • Lady D says:

      William enjoys the slaughter of animals too, is what Zondie’s getting at, I believe.

    • Red Snapper says:

      I watch a lot of cooking shows, and most of the professional chefs on tv like their beef medium rare, I like mine rare. Fun fact: Donald Trump likes his steak well done with ketchup.

    • Citresse says:

      And so different from his father who is practically vegan.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I used to be able to tolerate being around the smell of cooked meat but in the last year or so the smell makes me a little nauseous. I am a vegan, but this is the first year it has ever happened. I don’t want it to become a problem socially, so I have ginger mints but not even those would help me if I had to watch Willy eat a bloody steak.

  5. Tiffany says:

    If this is true, Meghan, this is what you want to marry into.

  6. KA says:

    Side note: When can we be done calling them the “young” royals? I mean, obviously everyone in that family is young compared to Liz & Phil, but seriously, they are in their mid-30s. Not really “young” anymore.

  7. minx says:

    Why these “royals” are allowed to live like pampered poodles is beyond me.

  8. Abs says:

    Look they can be criticised for a lot, but this is basically an annual event for the charities they are working with. It’s not for them to be celebrated or have a night out. It’s simply a private dinner event for all charities to come together. Other royals attend these too and they are never announced before. It’s not a press event.

    • Natalie S says:

      Why would you not want the public to know? It’s promotion for the charities. You can even highlight accomplishments by people in the charities.

      • Abs says:

        The public obviously knows. They didn’t hide it. It’s simply not a press event, just like other meetings and dinners aren’t. A few days ago Harry gave a dinner at KP for the Gurkha Welfare Trust. Just like here we only found out about it because it was on the Court Circular the next day.

      • Natalie S says:

        Why would you not want to highlight the individuals attending? You put forward a theory but we don’t actually know what the party was for and should be careful not to treat your theory as fact until it’s confirmed by the charity organizations.

      • Abs says:

        It’s not a theory. It’s the same event they have attended the past two years. If you follow them, you will know that this is a dinner for their charities. The past two years some people posted pictures on social media. Not much, but enought to know what this is about. It’s not about highlighting anything, but for the charities and royals to mingle and look back on the year. Similiar to a holiday party.

        Personally I think the Royal Foundation (as most royal projects) should be a lot more transparent. But this dinner really isn’t anything unusual for ANY royal.

      • hmmm says:


        The fact is that the public did not know until it came to the attention of the press, NOT the court circular. Can’t compare it to Harry’s Gurkha dinner which was announced and had nothing to do with a foundation’s expenditure.

        The Royal Foundation is a charitable endeavour. The dinner was NOT announced. If it’s not a big deal why wasn’t it announced in the CC? I actually don’t know what it was for anyway except for Lara, Moe and Curly to celebrate themselves.

      • Abs says:

        Neither was announced. We (and the press) foud out about it because of the CC. I don’t know how much clearer I could be. The Court Circular is published AFTER the event. The CC for November 16, was published today in The Times. That’s how we knew they had a dinner last night. As I mentioned above, this is an annual dinner for their charities. In 2015 it was at the end of October, in 2016 in mid November. Charity partners plus donors are invited. End.

      • notasugarhere says:

        If there is nothing to hide here, why hide it? Forbidding cell phone photos and social media postings, it not being mentioned in their upcoming schedules, only posted after the press found out via social media? It reads like they were hoping no one would find out.

      • Natalie S says:

        If this is how it’s listed in the CC, then I stand corrected but, why would you not be more promote something like this? It makes no sense to me.

        I hope we see pictures in the coming weeks of the three posing with people from the charities and highlighting their accomplishments. Will, Kate and Harry are supposed to be putting the spotlight on these people and their work.

        Pictures of William singing with Taylor Swift at a charity gala were considered okay for the public to see but I’d much rather learn about the rank-and-file members of these charities.

  9. HoustonGrl says:

    I give them a pass on this one. People who work in the non-profit charity sector work for peanuts. They also work long hours and have to hustle A LOT to keep things afloat. It’s a nice gesture to throw them a lavish party, it’s probably for the holidays. Plus, if there are rich people there, it encourages donations.

  10. Ollie says:

    Sounds like x-mas/end of year office party for the charity workers.

  11. Tina says:

    I’m certainly no big fan of William, but medium rare is the perfect way to eat a steak. It’s not actually bloody, it has a warm red centre. You can taste the meat but it’s not rare. Damn it, now I want steak.

  12. Starlight says:

    Maybe Kate should stay quiet rather than always trying to compare their lives to the normal joe on the street. Totally can’t understand how a single parent probably on that much money can be compared to Wills fumbling over a new baby with a bunch of Nannies showing him the ropes and taking over when the going gets tough.

    • Royalsparkle says:

      Making up for lack of substance.

    • magnoliarose says:

      I always find that obnoxious. Find something else to say but don’t try to act like it is the same experience. It is why when people excuse her work ethic because she is a stay at home mother it infuriates me. I loathe wealthy people who try to equate their stress or pretend some things are just like the average middle-class person’s experience. It is far more gracious to ask about their experience and find common ground that is universal.
      But she is rather incurious, so I am not surprised.

  13. Kitty says:

    I hope this isn’t true because if it were that’s messed up.

  14. PettyRiperton says:

    The young royals moniker needs to be retired. They are washed!

    • Nic919 says:

      George and Charlotte are the young royals. Not their parents. It’s just used to excuse how they don’t work like real adults.

  15. Scarlett says:

    Young? Snort, yeah right.

  16. Dirty Deeds says:

    I run a nonprofit. We just had a very chichi dinner that the restaurant hosted and paid for as a charitable support. I issued the invites and used it to ask for additional support. This is totally the way charities gain more supporters. Nothing unusual or suspect about this. They are using who they are to ask donors to support the charity. Typical non profit / foundation business.

    • Curious says:

      The unusual / suspect thing about this party is that it is allegedly a charity party but it wasn’t published anywhere. As pictures of Royals attending charity parties have a positive impact on the donations and the prestige of a charity it is odd that this party wasn’t announced anywhere. It is odd.

  17. LRob says:

    No concerns here. Hosting a dinner for their foundation’s staff, key donors, or volunteers, etc. does not equate to hosting a party for “themselves.” And I can certainly see why those guests might enjoy a private evening to get together. Seems totally in line with building foundation esprit d’corps, thanking all for their hard work, and motivating the attendees to work toward future goals.

    • SoulSPA says:

      Yes, but that being a royal foundation, the BRF has a huge opportunity to highlight the work of the organizations and make a snowball effect. Major PR opportunity that was missed. The BRF are major amateurs. ’nuff said.

  18. why? says:

    I don’t believe there is any wrongdoing here.

  19. Overit says:

    It’s quite normal for Foundations to have invite only parties/functions , usually the invite list is for the high rollers to hob nob with celebs, shakers and movers and in this case royals. I’ve seen a lot of strong arming going on at events like this and many invitees are expected to part with fat cheques by the end of the evening or be left of future party lists. Also the no cameras /phones etc usually means there might be a few shady billionaires on the list who could cause a few eyebrows to raise.

  20. raincoaster says:

    It was a dinner. If it lasted from 7pm-10 it had to have been a dinner, not just a cocktail party.

  21. Curious says:

    I would like to point out that a lot of my comments on both this article and on the article on Amber heard have vanished!