Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund is an independent grant-giving foundation established in September 1997 after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, to continue her humanitarian work in the United Kingdom and overseas. It is a registered charity under English law.[1]


Governance and funding

The Fund was co-founded by the Princess's lawyer, Anthony Julius, who was its first Chairman. It was endowed with donations given in memory of the Princess by people around the world in the days and months following her death on 31 August 1997. These totalled about £20 million.[2] In addition, a further £80 million was generated through commercial activities - including a large donation from Sir Elton John and Polygram's recording "Candle in the Wind 1997", as well as the sale of products under the Fund's commercial licensing programme.

The current CEO is Dr. Astrid Bonfield. The President of the Fund is Lady Sarah McCorquodale, eldest sister of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The summarised financial statements available on the Fund's website indicate that during 2008 there was a net disbursement of £3.1 million, and that on December 31 of that year the Fund had £21.5 million in resources.[3]

Mission and activities

The Fund's mission is by giving grants to organisations, championing charitable causes, advocacy, campaigning and awareness-raising, the Fund works to secure sustainable improvements in the lives of the most disadvantaged people in the UK and around the world.

The Fund is currently operating under its Strategic Plan 2007 - 2012, which emerged from a process during 2005–2006 that included strategic planning, consultation and dialogue with the voluntary sector. The Strategic Plan focuses on three initiatives, each of which has a desired outcome and a set of strategic objectives to be achieved over the five year period.

Under the Palliative Care Initiative, the Fund is committed to spending up to £10 million to promote the scale-up of palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa.[4] The desired outcome is that palliative care is accepted as an essential part of, and integrated into, the care and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

Under the Refugee and Asylum Seekers Initiative, the Fund is committed to spending up to £10 million to raise awareness and highlight the needs and issues of young refugee and people seeking asylum.[5] The desired outcome is that the rights of young refugees and people seeking asylum are upheld.

Under The Partnership Initiative, the Fund is committed to spending up to £5 million to build on previous investments to in selected programme areas, to ensure that they are leveraged to their fullest potential. The desired outcome is that systemic change takes place in the UK in penal affairs and internationally in the area of landmines and explosive remnants of war.

Legal issues with Franklin Mint

In 1998 the Fund refused Franklin Mint a licence to produce Diana memorabilia but the Mint went ahead and produced Diana bric-a-brac anyway. The Fund sued in 2002 and lost the case because in the California courts right of publicity may only be filed on behalf of a dead person who is a Californian.[6] The costs to the Fund were nearly £4 million.[7] Franklin Mint counter-sued, on grounds of malicious prosecution, claiming exemplary and punitive damages and seeking $14 million.[6][8] Consequently the Fund announced in 2003 it was "legally obliged to freeze not only new grants but payment of existing grants".[6] The case was settled out of court in 2004 with the Fund agreeing to pay £13.5 million.[8][9] Franklin Mint stated "While the precise terms of the agreement are confidential, the goal is to release funds to excellent charitable causes which resonate with the memory of the princess".[8] By agreement with Franklin Mint the Fund was able to pledge £14m of grants over a period five-years.[8]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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