Mystery surrounds Meghan and Harry’s new charity – but WITHDRAW application just nine minutes later


Prince Harry and Meghan did an astonishing U-turn within just nine minutes today by withdrawing a formal notice to change the name of their charitable foundation.

MailOnline revealed exclusively how Companies House documents showed the couple were rebranding their Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Paperwork for a formal winding-up order stated that the directors, who include Harry and Meghan, would be changing it to the MWX Foundation while it was being dissolved.

It led to speculation that the name could be short for the Markle Windsor Foundation. 

A formal document to make the name change official – called a Change of Name Notice – was then filed within hours of the details becoming public.

But just nine minutes later at 11.46am, a notification was sent by Companies House, saying that the same document had been withdrawn.

It added further mystery to the future and branding of the couple’s charitable aims.

The withdrawal of the new document was made the more baffling by the fact the original earlier paperwork – which fist revealed the name – is still available online. 

A Companies House spokesperson refused to shed any light on the mystery or comment on the reasons for the document suddenly being withdrawn.

The spokesperson said: ‘Unfortunately we cannot comment on specific companies, or disclose such information. This information can only be made available at a written request by the company.’

Meghan and Harry have already announced their Archewell charity but no mention of MWX

Meghan and Harry have already announced their Archewell charity but no mention of MWX

The notification of an official name change came at 11.47am

Then the withdrawal notification came at 11.56am

Before and after: The official form to change the name was made live at 11.47am, but just nine minutes later at 11.56am it was withdrawn from the Companies House website

Duke and Duchess of Sussex Harry and Meghan agreed to stop using their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand after officially stepping away from The Firm on April 1 this year.

Their departure – nicknamed Megxit – prompted talks with aides, which ended with the agreement that they would be unable to use the word ‘royal’ as part of any of new branding.

Paperwork published about the winding-up of their ‘Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ cause said it would change its identity.

New publicly available paperwork showing the Sussex Royal Foundation's new name

New publicly available paperwork showing the Sussex Royal Foundation’s new name

Companies House documents state: ‘The charity’s name be changed to the MWX Foundation’.

The papers also show the Sussex Royal Foundation had £99,000 in the bank and how it will cost £16,000 to wind up the good cause.

They also show that the charity was owed £200,00 from an unknown source.

Financial expert Robert Leach, who looked over the publicly available documents, told MailOnline: ‘I have never heard of a company changing its name while it is being would up.

‘It does take a little bit of time to wind up a company though, so perhaps it’s a break from the ‘Royal’ name for that period.

The Sussex Royal logo for the charity, which incorporate the letters H and M in the design

The Sussex Royal logo for the charity, which incorporate the letters H and M in the design

Previously Harry, Meghan, Kate and William had been involved in the Royal Foundation

Previously Harry, Meghan, Kate and William had been involved in the Royal Foundation

‘The Companies Act 2005 section the papers quote is simply the procedure for changing a company’s name. A name may be changed for any reason. The most commons reasons are because the existing name has become toxic, because it no longer represents what the company does, or because the name is not permitted.

‘In this case, it is probably the latter. Many terms require permission from someone to be used in a company name. The word ‘royal’ is strictly guarded.

‘It is unusual to have a figure for ‘receivables’ in a charity account as that indicates sums owed but not yet paid, such as an invoice not yet paid.

‘Charities rely on donations which are not sums legally owed before being paid.

‘The fact that the sum is a round figure of £200,000 suggests that whoever it is coming from is making periodic payments, possibly with future payments to the new charity.’

The Duke of Sussex speaking during a sustainable tourism summit about Travalyst in February

The Duke of Sussex speaking during a sustainable tourism summit about Travalyst in February

This is not the first time the MWX brand has been linked to the couple.

They established the company MWX Trading Ltd last August, naming their lawyer, Gerrard Tyrrell, as its secretary.

Natalie Campbell, who worked for their charitable foundation Sussex Royal, is the director.

They registered it at Companies House and have already used the business to apply for trademarks, which included the name Travalyst.

Sussex Royal was also the title of their Instagram page and their website, which still bear the name.

The couple used their social media to put out visits, talks and speeches the couple were attending and delivering. 

One of the Instagram posts showing the The Duchess of Sussex visiting Victoria Yards

One of the Instagram posts showing the The Duchess of Sussex visiting Victoria Yards

They said of the July transition: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not plan to start a ‘foundation’, but rather intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally.

‘The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to their cause driven work that they remain deeply committed to.

‘While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word ‘Royal’, it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation will not utilise the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of ‘Royal’.’

After announcing they were launching a new charity Archewell in the US back in April, the couple said they were ‘looking forward’ to getting started with the foundation, which will replace their Sussex Royal brand.

Harry and Meghan also revealed the Greek word in the project Arche – meaning source of action – was the inspiration behind the name of their son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

The final stage in Sussex Royal’s closure begins amid the fallout from the Finding Freedom biography, which has exposed the resentment and mistrust that led to Harry and Meghan quitting as working royals.

Documents filed for the Sussex foundation on July 7 gave a new service address for Harry and Meghan at Buckingham Palace, following their decision to base themselves in Los Angeles.

It also emerged that an error at Companies House had meant that the prefix of Meghan’s name was initially filed as ‘Dr’ even though she has never been a doctor. The error was quickly corrected after it was spotted.

Harry and Meghan have been reported to be planning to shift their emphasis on to helping other charitable endeavours and good causes such as their new Archewell foundation which still has to be properly launched.

They are also said to be keen on promoting Harry’s eco-tourism scheme ‘Travalyst’

The company – which has been set up independently – hopes to help the hard-hit tourism industry survive the coronavirus crisis and to promote more sustainable forms of travel and holidays.

It brings together some of the biggest operators in the travel industry – including Visa, Booking.com and Skyscanner – to help travellers pick low carbon options more easily and chose destinations that will have more benefit to local communities.

Responding to media reports back in April about Archewell, the duke and duchess said they were focusing their efforts on the coronavirus pandemic but felt ‘compelled’ to reveal details of the venture.

A spokesman for Meghan and Harry did not respond to a request to comment about MWX when contacted by MailOnline.

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Manoj Prajapati

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