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Prince Charles ‘cash-for-honours’ controversy

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales (Photo: Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty)

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Prince Charles ‘cash-for-honours’ controversy

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Further disclosures in the royal “cash-for-honours” controversy involving intermediaries who allegedly received a cut for setting up meetings between affluent donors and the Prince of Wales have raised new issues at Clarence House.

According to the Sunday Times, Prince Charles “met at least nine times” with William Bortrick, the alleged fixer at the center of the allegations, who is accused of receiving thousands of pounds in exchange for securing an honor for a Saudi billionaire and brokering a personal thank you letter from Charles to a Russian donor.

Clarence House previously stated that it had “no knowledge” of paid middlemen arranging access to the royal family or honors in exchange for donations to the prince’s charities.

Meanwhile, according to the Mail on Sunday, Charles met Bruno Wang, a Chinese philanthropist who contributed £500,000 to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation.

Wang is wanted in Taiwan for alleged money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, according to the publication, which Wang firmly denies. Wang is compared to Russian financier Dmitry Leus.

Leus was also charged with money laundering and donated £500,000 to the organization. The conviction of Leus was reversed.

Bortrick allegedly obtained two invites to private gatherings at Charles’ royal palaces in Scotland for the Russian financier. Because of the pandemic and worries about the donor’s background, they were both canceled.

The claims caused the Prince’s Foundation to launch an inquiry, which resulted in Michael Fawcett stepping down as chief executive for the time being. Fawcett stated that he completely supports the probe. The chair of the Prince’s Foundation, Douglas Connell, also resigned, citing evidence of probable “rogue activity” and “serious misconduct” of which he claimed he was unaware.

 

 

Prince Charles has ‘no knowledge’ of alleged cash-for-honours offer by former aide

 

After Charles and his most trusted aide were reported to the police over the accusations, Clarence House stated that the Prince of Wales had “no knowledge” of the purported honours and citizenship controversy.

The pressure group Republic has reported Charles and his former royal valet Michael Fawcett to Scotland Yard for allegedly violating the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.

Mr Fawcett, who has temporarily stood down as CEO of Charles’ charity, The Prince’s Foundation, is accused of offering to help a wealthy Saudi contributor achieve a knighthood and British citizenship.

According to The Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday, Saudi Arabian billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz spent tens of thousands of pounds to be named honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [CBE], one of the highest honors bestowed on non-British nationals.

The Sunday Times reported that Mahfouz, who was awarded a CBE in 2016, donated £1.5 million to restoration projects associated with Charles, including Dumfries House, where a garden and fountain are named after the prince, and Castle of Mey in Scotland, where a wood bears his name. Mahfouz denied any wrongdoing.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Fawcett wrote in 2017 saying he was prepared to make an application to change businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz’s honorary CBE to a KBE and assist his citizenship application.

“The Prince of Wales has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the investigation now underway by The Prince’s Foundation,” Clarence House, Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s official residence, told People magazine on Monday.

Former Liberal Democrat minister Norman Baker wrote to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to demand an inquiry into the matter.

“The history of him and Michael Fawcett is that when things go pear-shaped, Charles disappears into the background and pretends he doesn’t know the bloke and Michael falls on his sword, and then when a decent period of time has elapsed he gets brought back in when no-one is looking,” he wrote.

Baker, a royal critic and novelist, wrote to Dick “to say that in light of the full transcript of the letter, there appears to me to be prima facie evidence that an offence has been committed under the Honours [prevention of abuses] Act 1925.”

“If politicians had engaged in selling honours, or in offering support for citizenship, they would be in big trouble. And the same thing should apply to Prince Charles,” he said.

The Foundation’s Chair, Douglas Connell, announced Fawcett’s departure.

“Michael Fawcett offered to step down temporarily from active duties as Chief Executive of The Prince’s Foundation while the Trustees’ investigation is ongoing,” he wrote to the outlet. “The Prince’s Foundation has accepted this offer. Michael fully supports the ongoing investigation and has confirmed that he will assist the investigation in every way.”

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