Relations between Prince Harry and Prince Charles could be even worse after it was revealed one of Harry’s charities received money from Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, the Saudi billionaire at the center of controversy. Mahfouz was honored by Prince Charles with a British medal called a CBE after giving £1.5 million to some of Charles’ charities.
Cash-For-Honors Scandal Draws Harry In
It’s the latest scandal in the ongoing cash-for-honors storm surrounding Charles and his charity foundation. Michael Fawcett, chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation, resigned over allegations that he offered knighthoods and citizenship in exchange for charity donations.
It’s now been discovered that Harry’s Sentebale charity received £50,00 in 2013 from Mahfouz. It was also reported that the prince and Mahfouz met at a pub for a photo op and to discuss a potential charity auction or thank-you dinner that ultimately never happened.
Harry’s team quickly issued a statement about the situation, saying, “It is disappointing that The Sunday Times, knowing all the facts, has chosen to encourage speculation by being deliberately vague to try to create a falsified link between the Duke of Sussex and the CBE scandal, of which he had no knowledge or involvement.”
It continued, “The Duke and his advisers, as well as his non-profit Sentebale, severed ties with Mr. Mahfouz and his associates in 2015, no longer accepting further donations to Sentebale and discontinuing any plans for a fundraising event amid growing concerns over the motives for his support.”
The statement also claims that the Duke of Sussex was suspicious of Mahfouz at the time of their meeting, attempting to raise concerns about his involvement in the charity donations. It is unclear to who he allegedly expressed his unease, but some suspect it was Charles himself.
If this is true and Charles was warned about Mahfouz as early as 2015, it could further complicate matters for him, as an inquiry from the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator is still ongoing.
Did Charles Know?
In a letter Fawcett sent to one of Mahfouz’s aides, he wrote, “In light of the ongoing and most recent generosity of His Excellency, Sheikh Marei Mubarak Mahfouz bin Mahfouz I am happy to confirm to you, in confidence, that we are willing and happy to support and contribute to the application for Citizenship. I can further confirm that we are willing to make [an] application to increase His Excellency’s honor from Honorary CBE to that of KBE in accordance with Her Majesty’s Honors Committee.”
There is no evidence that Charles knew of this arrangement, and the Metropolitan Police, who have reviewed an internal probe’s findings, has not launched an official investigation. In a statement released by the charity, it said, “With respect to the allegation of securing honors for a donor in exchange for donations, there is evidence that communication and coordination took place between the CEO at the time and so-called ‘fixers’ regarding honorary nominations for a donor between 2014-18. There is no evidence that trustees at the time were aware of these communications.”
Harry and Charles are still struggling to repair their relationship after “Megxit” and the infamous Oprah Winfrey interview, so this new drama could not come at a worse time for the father and son.