William and Kate appoint Bafta chief executive as head of their Royal Foundation

Amanda Berry is taking on the major role at the Cambridges’ charitable organisation.

31 March 2022

Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry is to lead the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Foundation, Kensington Palace has announced.

William and Kate have appointed Ms Berry as their charitable organisation’s new chief executive.

The duke is president of arts charity Bafta, and has met Ms Berry many times over the years, with Kate also being greeted by her at the Bafta awards ceremony.

Prince William At The BAFTA Awards – London
William, accompanied by Amanda Berry, at the Baftas in 2014 (Yui Mok/PA)

William and Kate said in a joint statement: “We are very much looking forward to working with Amanda and are thrilled that she has chosen to join us at The Royal Foundation.

“Her extensive experience will be of tremendous value as we continue our ambitious charitable work.”

Kensington Palace said Ms Berry would lead the foundation as “it continues to deliver an ambitious new strategy, mobilising leaders, businesses and people to address society’s greatest challenges together”.

Ms Berry, who started at Bafta in 1998 and became chief executive in 2000, said: “I am very excited to be joining The Royal Foundation as it continues to step up the global ambition for the duke and duchess’ philanthropic work.

“I have witnessed, and am so impressed by, the unique impact The Royal Foundation can make on the issues Their Royal Highnesses support, from mental health to conservation, and raising awareness of the importance of early years.”

BAFTA Film Awards 2021
Amanda Berry is joining the Cambridges’ foundation as a key aide (Ian West/PA)

Initiatives at the foundation include the development of the Earthshot Prize, Kate’s Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood and United for Wildlife.

She will take up the role in June.

Her appointment comes after the foundation’s previous chief executive, Jason Knauf, announced he was leaving last year.

Royal aide Mr Knauf previously made a bullying complaint against the Duchess of Sussex.

He worked for the Sussexes as their communications secretary when in October 2018 he emailed his concerns about Meghan, who denies the allegations, to William’s then private secretary, in an apparent attempt to force Buckingham Palace to protect staff.

Royal visit to Paris – Day 1
Former chief executive of The Royal Foundation Jason Knauf (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The duchess later apologised to the Court of Appeal during her privacy case against the Mail on Sunday for not remembering exchanges with Mr Knauf.

The aide had divulged how he discussed the Finding Freedom biography multiple times with the duchess, who gave him several briefing points to share with the authors.

Her lawyers had previously told the High Court that any suggestion Meghan collaborated on the book about the Sussexes was a “conspiracy theory”.

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