Prince Harry’s Travalyst Plans a Summit, Will the Duke of Sussex Make a Rare Public Appearance?

Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moved to Los Angeles after stepping down as senior members of the British royal family earlier this year, they have kept a relatively low profile. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are reportedly living in Tyler Perry’s $18 million Beverly Hills mansion with their one-year-old son, Archie Harrison. During the COVID-19 lockdown, they are working on different initiatives for their new Archewell charitable foundation, formerly known as Sussex Royal.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry | Samir Hussein/WireImage

What is the Travalyst initiative?

Before leaving the royal family and moving out of the UK, Harry and Meghan worked under the Sussex Royal brand. In September 2019, the Duke of Sussex launched Travalyst — a sustainable travel initiative with the goal of helping tourists make more eco-friendly decisions when they are booking trips and traveling.

Major travel industry players like Booking.com, Trip.com, TripAdvisor, SkyScanner, and Visa have joined Travalyst to become a “catalyst for change.” They believe in the power and importance of travel, but they also recognize that they have a “shared responsibility to our planet and to each other.”

“We want to be the driving force that paves a new way to travel, helping everyone explore our world in a way that protects both people and places, and secures a positive future for destinations and local communities for generations to come,” reads the Travalyst mission statement.

Prince Harry could take part in upcoming Travalyst summit

The only way that royal fans have gotten the chance to see Prince Harry lately is when he takes part in charity work. Since the pandemic began, cameras have caught the Duke and Duchess of Sussex outside of their home just a handful of times.

According to Express, Travalyst recently announced that it would be conducting a global summit at the end of July, as the travel and tourism industry adapts to functioning during and after a global pandemic.

The stakeholders will be getting together on July 30 to discuss reviving the travel sector while “keeping sustainability at the heart” of their plans.

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Prince Harry hosted a summit for the organization back in February at the height of the Megxit scandal, and some believe that he will make a rare public appearance at the upcoming summit since he leads the Travalyst initiative.

In a statement, the Duke of Sussex said the growth of the tourism industry was on an unsustainable trajectory before the pandemic, and he hopes it can make changes moving forward. He also noted the challenges and the “uncertain reality” that communities who rely on travel and tourism for their livelihoods are facing.

“As the travel and tourism industry begins to recover, we want to learn from those who are keeping communities and sustainability at the heart of what they are doing to build back better,” Prince Harry stated.

Charity watchdog accuses Prince Harry of misusing funds

In what now seems like ages ago (early 2018), Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were once part of a royal foursome with Prince William and Kate Middleton. They all ran different charitable projects through the Royal Foundation. 

But before Megxit, Harry and Meghan split from the Royal Foundation and created Sussex Royal. At that time, they also split the organization’s funds. Some of the cash at Royal Foundation went to Sussex Royal, and more money went to Travalyst.

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According to Newsweek, the anti-monarchy group Republic is accusing Prince William and Prince Harry of misusing more than $350,000 when dividing their charities. The problem is that Travalyst isn’t a registered charity, so Republic doesn’t believe it should have received any money.

Republic’s letter to the U.K. Charity Commission states: “The Royal Foundation gave a grant of £145,000 ($183,000) to Sussex Royal and £144,901 ($183,057) to a non-charitable organization (Travalyst). In both instances, it appears the only rationale for the decision was the personal relationship between two patrons, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge.”

Chief executive of Republic, Graham Smith, says the Royal Foundation lost almost £300,000 to Prince Harry’s “pet projects,” and now that Sussex Royal is officially closing “he appears to be taking the charity’s money with him.”

The Royal Foundation spokesperson said: “The grants made to Sussex Royal were to support the charitable work of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They were fully in line with governance requirements and were reported transparently.”