• Meghan Markle donated over $13,000 to U.K.-based charity Himmah in August 2020, but this was kept under wraps
  • The charity said it was feared that she would damage its reputation
  • Himmah decided to speak up and "show solidarity" after Markle's comments about racism

A U.K. charity kept Meghan Markle's generous donation under wraps until her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month finally pushed the firm to speak out.

The Duchess of Sussex remains committed to supporting various charities and causes following her and Prince Harry's royal departure. One of the organizations that received her support was a Nottingham, England-based charity that tackles racism and poverty called Himmah, to which she had given a £10,000 (around $13,800) donation.

But while the news only recently came out, the charity said Markle had given the money back in August 2020. However, it did not make the donation public until now as it was feared that the duchess could damage its reputation.

According to the firm, it was Markle's comments about racism in her tell-all with Winfrey that pushed Himmah to speak up and "show solidarity."

"The reason we didn't go public is the trustees took a view that she was like Marmite and there could be reputational issues - people not liking our charity because they don't like her - so we decided to keep the donation secret," Director Sajid Mohammad told BBC.

"After the interview we realized we're a poverty and race organisation [and] that we needed to show solidarity," he continued.

The money has been used to stock the food banks and fund the Salaam Shalom Kitchen, the only joint Muslim and Jewish community kitchen in the U.K.

In the interview, Markle made allegations of racism within the institution, claiming there had been "conversations" about how dark the skin of her and Prince Harry's first child would be before he was born. Prince Harry also said racism was a "large part of" their decision to leave the U.K.

By highlighting Markle's donation, Mohammad hoped to encourage people to think "beyond the interview." He also asked the public to remember all the good the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had done when they were still working royals.

"I think that work needs to be recognized," he added.

Mohammad admitted that he initially thought the donation was "an elaborate hoax." However, he said he "cried" upon realizing that it was genuine. The trustees and volunteers were also "completely moved by the very kind and generous and gracious words of the duchess."

In the letter accompanying the donation, the royal couple described Nottingham, which they visited in 2017 on their first joint official public engagement, as a place "very close to their heart."

Meanwhile, the royal family faced backlash following Markle and Prince Harry's revelations. Addressing the racism allegations, Buckingham Palace said in a statement that the "concerning" issues would be "taken very seriously" and dealt with privately.

Prince William also denied the claims during an engagement, insisting, "We're very much not a racist family."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit a local farming family, the Woodleys, on October 17, 2018 in Dubbo, Australia. Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images