Prince Charles’ charity is making headlines once again as calls grow for the government and the Charity Commission to investigate claims that the Royal had accepted AU$4.5 million (€3 million) in cash from a Qatari sheikh.
Tabloid newspaper The Sunday Times alleged that the heir of the British throne had personally accepted three lots of cash from the former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani between the years 2011 and 2015.
One donation, totalling AU$1.5 million (€1 million) was allegedly handed over to the Royal in a small suitcase, while another was stuffed into a shopping bag from upscale department store Fortnum & Mason.
“Charitable donations received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim were passed immediately to one of the prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate governance and have assured us that all the correct processes were followed,” the prince’s office said in a statement on Sunday, June 26.
The royal family’s guidelines make no mention of cash donations but do say members are allowed to accept cheques as a patron of or on behalf of a charity with which they are associated.
While The Sunday Times says they make no suggestion the payments were illegal, the claims have raised serious concerns over the future king with anti-monarchy campaign group Republic already demanding an investigation.
We have launched an investigation into allegations of offences under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
Decision follows an assessment of a Sep 2021 letter, related to media reporting alleging offers of help made to secure honours and citizenship for a Saudi national.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) February 16, 2022
Prince Charles’ charity is no stranger to controversy.
In November 2021, Michael Fawcett, who had the position as Charles’s right-hand man for decades, stepped down from running one of the Royal’s main charities after The Sunday Times reported he was offering honours in return for donations.
At the time, Clarence House reiterated its previous insistence that Charles had “no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities”.
The newest investigation marks the second time this year that donations made to the Prince’s charity have been called into question.