Thursday, 21 Oct 2021

Charity kept £10k gift from Meghan Markle secret ‘to avoid damaging reputation’

A charity has revealed the fear of revealing a large donation by Meghan Markle, saying she is "like Marmite".

The Duchess of Sussex gifted a £10,000 donation to charity Himmah, who help tackle racism and poverty in Nottingham.

The donation was made in August but the charity said the interview with Oprah Winfrey prompted them to speak out about the donation.

The money given to the charity with funds from The Royal Foundation and has been used to stock the food bank.

It also helped provide funds for the Salaam Shalom Kitchen, which is the only joint Muslim and Jewish community kitchen in the UK.

Director Sajid Mohammad said the delay in revealing the donation came due to the fear of Himmah’s reputation being damaged due to her being "like Marmite".

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Mohammad said: “The reason we didn't go public is the trustees took a view that she was like Marmite and there could be reputational issues – people not liking our charity because they don't like her – so we decided to keep the donation secret.

“After the interview, we realised we're a poverty and race organisation [and] that we needed to show solidarity."

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In the interview with Oprah, Meghan opened up regarding a number of topics, including racism and mental health.

She claimed Prince Harry had been questioned by an unnamed royal family member "how dark" their son Archie’s skin colour.

Meghan also alleged that she was refused help after revealing she had been suffering from suicidal thoughts.

The donation to HImmah came via email and Mr Mohammad admitted he thought it was "an elaborate hoax".

Thankfully for him and the charity, the donation was genuine and Mr Mohammed admitted "I actually cried" when it was confirmed.

In the letter with the donation, Harry and Meghan describe Nottingham as being "very close to their heart".

The city holds significance for the couple as it was their first joint official public engagement back in 2017.

Earlier this month, Meghan's dad Thomas Markle was pictured delivering a letter to Oprah Winfrey’s house, asking for an interview with the US TV host.

He drove up to her property in Montecito, California, and handed the letter to a security guard on Thursday, March 25.

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The 76-year-old, who made the 1,000-mile trip from his house in Rosarito, Mexico, wants to tell his side of the story, it is claimed.

A source told The Sun: “Thomas delivered a letter to Oprah asking her to contact him so he could tell his side of the story.

“This was not a note to Meghan and Harry, it was meant for Oprah.

“Thomas watched the interview she did with them and feels he deserves a chance to have his say.”

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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