Diana trustees to discuss time-scale of fund

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The Independent Online
THE 10 trustees of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund are to hold a special strategy meeting which will consider how long the charity will last, it emerged yesterday.

The "away day", to be held at a secret location this month, will concentrate on policy issues relating to the fund.

Trustees were at pains to insist yesterday that the arrangement was made long before Earl Spencer expressed concerns about the fund's operation at the end of last month. Nevertheless, the trustees have been under considerable pressure over some of the proposals for fundraising using the princess' name and particularly since the earl indicated that he did not feel the trust should continue indefinitely.

One trustee, Vivienne Parry, said: "We always said that we wanted to have some time when we could go off and talk about various things. We have regular meetings, but we have had so much business to deal with that we have not had a chance to discuss long-term issues. We could not arrange a date until we had appointed a chief executive and when we had done that we sorted out this meeting."

Dr Andrew Purkis, an advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, was appointed the fund's chief executive last month.

Ms Parry said that the trustees would be discussing how long the fund should last, what they thought about commercial deals, and other policy issues. The fund's regular board meeting would take place as planned today, she added.

Earl Spencer has made no secret of his unhappiness at some of the fund- raising activities that the trustees have approved, such as promoting lottery scratchcards and allowing Diana's signature to be used on tubs of margarinen.

Paul Burrell, the princess' former butler, is the fund's fund-raising manager. Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Diana's sister, is the fund's president and the princess's former financial advisor, Michael Gibbons, is treasurer.