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