Charities fear funding crisis after accession of Charles to throne

Convention would prevent Prince from raising money for his charitable interests

More than a dozen charities supported by the Prince of Wales have been warned they could face a funding crisis when he accedes to the throne.

During his time as heir, Prince Charles has built up and supported a series of charities that promote his interests and that rely on his patronage for their income. But convention dictates that the monarch does not actively raise money on behalf of any individual institution – no matter how worthy the cause.

As a result The Independent understands that representatives of a number of the charities have contacted Clarence House to express concerns that their livelihoods could be in jeopardy if they can no longer use his name or count on his attendance at fundraising events.

The Prince’s charitable interests, which range from running a drawing school in east London to improving the sustainability of British farming and tackling youth unemployment, require extensive annual funding.

Accounts filed by 13 of the charities set up in the Prince of Wales’ name show total income of £103m in 2012.

Prince Charles serves as president and regularly attends gala dinners to raise funds, appeal for donations and reward existing supporters. These events, such as a Shakespeare-themed evening at Buckingham Palace in February for his educational charity Children & the Arts, are particularly important for some of the smaller enterprises. When the Prince failed to hold such an event in 2012, the charity warned in its accounts that donations for the year would “fall significantly as a result of not having a high-profile Palace Gala event”.

Another annual event, the Invest in Futures dinner for The Prince’s Trust, raised £1.2m this year, and the Prince used his speech to make a direct appeal to the audience of wealthy financiers to give money.

On occasion, the Prince’s involvement in funding deals has attracted criticism. Earlier this year The Independent reported that The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community signed a £700,000 agreement with the Bahraini government to advise on a sustainable-housing development. The deal came a week after the Prince hosted Bahrain’s Housing Minister at Clarence House.

But when he eventually takes on the duties of monarch, Prince Charles will be unable to take such an active role and will also lose the Duchy of Cornwall lands which currently provide some funding for his charities.

Dr Bob Morris, of University College London’s Constitution Unit, said: “Whereas it might be acceptable for the Prince of Wales to be seen drumming up the cash, as it were, that’s not something one would expect of the head of state.”

While there was no restriction in law, he said it was a “question of what is appropriate conduct”.

Noel Cox, professor of law at Aberystwyth University and an expert in constitutional law, said: “Prince Charles will not be able to hold executive positions in any of his charities once he is sovereign and in any case he would not have the time as king to devote significant time to them.”

Senior staff and trustees at a number of the Prince’s charities admitted they were unsure what would happen to the organisations once he becomes king. Richard Martin, the chairman of the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise, said: “I don’t know what will happen. We obviously plan for all kinds of contingencies, but to be honest, like any other organisation we have to deal with them as and when they arise.”

A spokeswoman for Clarence House said: “The Prince’s charities are independent charities and so will make their own decisions about what will happen in this eventuality.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'