Two executives with Prince Charles’ foundation stepped down this week

Prince Charles And Camilla visit Berlin To Attend National Mourning Day Events

Prince Charles should thank his lucky stars that his current scandal is so dry and financial. There are totally legitimate issues with Chuck’s foundation and how they’re offering cash-for-access and cash-for-honours. But I do think that some (not all, but some) of the issues are simply… the way many charities or foundations operate, especially when a royal or a celebrity is attached. Of course rich people will donate more to charity if they get ten minutes with a royal or celebrity. That’s how most foundations and charities operate! That being said, Charles’ situation went from “tacky business as usual” into something else. He was offering British citizenship and honours (knighthoods, CBEs, MBEs) to donors to his foundation, and these schemes do become illegal at some point.

In recent weeks, there have been several breakdowns about just how bad all of this is for Charles, and I thought this Vanity Fair piece was pretty good. The pressure is increasing on Chuck to make some big changes, but even then, there’s a lot of pressure for a larger investigation beyond the foundation’s “internal investigation.” Michael Fawcett stepped down a few weeks ago, and this week, two executives with The Prince’s Foundation have stepped down:

The chairman of Prince Charles’s charitable foundation has resigned following claims that a six-figure sum from a wealthy Russian donor was accepted before being rejected by its ethics committee.

Douglas Connell, the chairman of the Prince’s Foundation, stepped down days after the Scottish charity regulator launched an investigation after reports that Charles wrote a letter thanking the businessman Dmitry Leus for his offer last year and suggesting they could meet after the Covid crisis.

A £100,000 donation to the foundation, which is based in Scotland, was turned down after concerns about its provenance, it was reported by the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Times.

Connell, who has been in the role since March, said in a statement: “I am both shocked and dismayed by newspaper reports that rogue activity of various kinds may have taken place within and outside the Prince’s Foundation. I and other members of the board of trustees had no knowledge of any such activity and we have launched a rigorous and independent investigation.

“My view is that the person chairing any organisation should take responsibility if it appears that serious misconduct may have taken place within it. I believe that the correct course of action is for the chair to accept that responsibility and to stand down from the role. That is why I am today resigning as chair of the Prince’s Foundation.”

[From The Guardian]

The Foundation’s development director Chris Martin has also stepped down. It is said that Martin’s resignation is only temporary, or at least until this mess gets sorted out. Right now, the only “investigation” supported by Charles is the internal one, but after all of these resignations, I have no idea who is even conducting the internal investigation. Plus, what is there to investigate internally? Charles knew full well what was happening – he was the one meeting with all of the large donors, and he was being CC’d on all of the requests for citizenships and honours. WTF.

Prince Charles at WaterAid Water and Climate Event

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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53 Responses to “Two executives with Prince Charles’ foundation stepped down this week”

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  1. OriginalLala says:

    a good start – now, I hope they start investigating the Royal Foundation because we’ve talked about their financial shenanigans for years now..bring it all to light, it’s the only way people will start calling to get rid of these clowns

    • marehare says:

      Charles seems to have a drinking problem. Check out how red his face is, which is a sign of heavy drinking. Now he’s selling access. He’s as bad as Andy, the perv. Time to cancel out the non royal family and stop kissing their buts. They are as crooked as the little pickpocket trying to make a living. No one is royal. They’re just common criminals who made a ton of money selling opion in China and worldwide.

      • Jaded says:

        He has rosacea, not alcoholism. The opium trade was active in Britain in the late 1700s, not today. The Taliban have that honour currently. Please get your information right before posting. Other than that, Charles is stepping way over the line with this cash for access bullsh*t and an official, external investigation MUST be done.

      • Lara (the other) says:

        Charles looks like he has rosacea.
        He ans his foundation are problematic and shady enough to offer enough points to critizise without making the signs of a medical condition into an alcohol problem.
        Signed someone who has constantly flushed cheeks from lupus and hates jokes, that I am secretly drinking.

      • Concern Fae says:

        His face has been like that since he was a kid. Not as bad, but he flushed very red.

      • JanetDR says:

        Some of his fellow rosacea sufferers wish that people wouldn’t always assume that!

    • Tessa says:

      I think he does like to drink. It’s not the flushed face it’s the goofy looks and mugging he puts on his face during appearances that are signs. He did not go in for that as much when he was younger now he goes in for a lot of mugging.

  2. Merricat says:

    And they all lived together in a crooked little house (castle).

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Merricat, committing their crooked little crimes and campaigning a hate/racist/lying smear campaign against Harry’s wife since she stepped onto White Salty Anger Island. All the while, never putting a bad foot forward or working with politicians to keep a CW country within it’s clenched, greedy fists.

  3. Snuffles says:

    I don’t know how it is in the UK, but offering citizenship for cash and allowing someone to jump the line would land your ass in jail. Like SERIOUS trouble with the government. A federal crime.

    • North of Boston says:

      Unless it was during the last guy’s term and your last name was Kushner. (Technically Golden Ticket visas in exchange for personal investments)

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ North of Boston, or her married name is Drumpf for her entire family, before shutting down the program.

    • Amy Bee says:

      @Snuffles: It’s known as citizenship by investment. If you have a load of money you can qualify for citizenship. A lot of countries do this but it looked upon by many as unethical and unfair. Charles’s active involvement in this scheme is problematic and is political interference.

    • Eurydice says:

      Maybe someone here who’s an expert can clarify, but there’s “citizenship by investment” and “resident by investment.” I think the UK (also the US and Canada) give resident visas, not automatic citizenship. There are criteria to meet, like the money must belong to the applicant and must be from a legal source, etc. – so, I imagine the problem is in the criteria and Charles’ involvement. Does a donation to Charles’ foundation meet the criteria for a golden visa, or does the money have to go to the UK government?

    • Mac says:

      Every member of Congress has the power to expedite citizenship for someone who has already applied. It’s generally reserved for emergencies, but who knows what games get played.

  4. ABritGuest says:

    They shouldn’t be allowed to just step down- really sounds like the police should be investigating especially if they were sponsoring honours& citizenship in exchange for donations. Andrew misappropriated charity funds to pay a staffer recently & was just allowed to pay it back. Wonder if the charity regulator would have been so lenient with a person with a lower profile.

    Still curious who’s selling Charles out

    • Sofia says:

      “Still curious who’s selling Charles out”

      My personal theory is BP courtiers who don’t want a King Charles because he may fire a lot of them and bring in his own established team from CH. You can up the tinfoil ante as I would say maybe even the government who may want to warn Charles to be quiet and not get too involved as he could meddle (as he has done so in the past)

      • Amy Bee says:

        @Sofia: I agree.

      • Becks1 says:

        I agree too that I think its BP.

        Part of me keeps circling back to the Cambridges, because this makes Charles look really bad, and its kind of the only thing he has going for him – his charity work. “yeah yeah he was a shit husband BUT he has done good things with his charities.” “yeah yeah he’s an awful father BUT he has done good work in other areas so we think he’ll be okay as king.” Now that “BUT” is starting to carry less weight, because its becoming more “well he might have done good things with his charities but he was also doing all this other illegal stuff as well.” I said below that this hits Charles where it hurts and I can see William going for that angle.

        The issue with that thinking though – and why I come back to your theory about BP as being the better one – is that William is so incompetent and heavy handed that we would never see this kind of slow drip from him/KP. We would have heard “he was selling access AND honors AND citizenship AND he kicks dogs!!!!!!” in the first story. It would have been a lot messier than this and would have used different sources and just been…..well, messy, lol.

        This is a lot more organized and coordinated and coming from sources who are really familiar with what went on behind the scenes (and I don’t think William would have access to any correspondence from Charles etc.) So that brings it back to the BP courtiers who seem to be trying to weaken Charles before he ever gets to the throne. I think a lot of them may know they’re on the chopping block when Charles is king so they’re trying to maintain position/status?

      • Deputy Dot says:

        Could it be the Queen and her loyal team trying to deflect attention away from Noncey Drew’s current ‘difficulties’?

      • Snuffles says:

        I can see that. Charles is probably threatening to overhaul everything and cut a LOT of people off. Maybe they would prefer William because William wouldn’t change anything and let them continue to run things as they please as long as they make him look good.

      • Sofia says:

        @Becks1: Your second and last paragraph is why I don’t think it’s KP either. KP isn’t known to be subtle and unless they’ve changed up their staff, they wouldn’t be doing this in drips and drabbles. And I agree that whoever is telling this to the media, has a lot of access to Charles’ charity’s communications. It’s not “A source close to the Prince”, people are being named using both first and last name. It’s not “Russian rich guy with a mysterious past”, again, said Russian is being named. I imagine Charles’ charity does share some communications with BP as he’s preparing to be King/may be a shadow regent and that’s how courtiers found out.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        I definitely think this is BP. The royal court, made up of men who were formerly M16, armed forces and civil servants, are showing who is in charge.

      • Mac says:

        It’s obviously someone at the foundation. No one else would be privy to these details.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Sofia, I think it purely the actions of BP courtiers. The reason I don’t think it’s the Lamebridges, is due to the fact that TOB isn’t that clever and wouldn’t offer little slips of information, he would sing like a canary. BP courtiers have the experience and the know-how to throw out a nugget or two and allow it to snowball all on its own merits. Which gives them the opportunity to slip more nuggets, deepening the hole.

      • Seaflower says:

        I think BP. I know there is this whole theory about W wanting to be King next but I personally don’t think he does – too much hard work and no ability to hide. He will want to wait until his children are old enough to do engagements by themselves. Let Chuck do the hard work for a few more years and then W can continue to play.

    • smarmyo says:

      Ref: police. That’s why Cressida Dick got a DBE in July, 2021.

    • Tessa says:

      In many ways I think William will be worse than Charles. Charles reportedly has a temper and sometimes it shows in public (like the “open mike” comments he made about media on a photo call). I think William is a whole lot worse and perhaps throws actual tantrums. Charles did nothing to Rein In William and let him try to boss Harry around and also allowed William to work against Harry.

  5. SarahLee says:

    I find it interesting how they are becoming “fair game” with the British media now. I believe when the Queen dies, the gloves will come all the way off and they’ll be treated like the mere “celebrities” that they are. The Queen holds a special position given her longevity, but even she has not been free from fairly severe criticism. Recall after Diana’s death? Charles – who isn’t well-liked anyway – is going to have a really rough go of it.

    • SarahCS says:

      I really hope so. They are so heavily supported by the ludicrous PR from the BM. Honest reporting would absolutely impact public opinion AND sell newspapers/generate clicks. Of course then the ‘journalists’ would have to work for a living and not just wait for various royals and their flunkies to pick up the phone.

  6. Amy Bee says:

    The Princes Foundation tried to do damage control last week by inviting the Royal rota to Scotland for the unveiling of some knitted banners. The timing was off because if this was serious project, the banners would have been unveiled at the beginning of summer not the end and it was done just as all this mess was coming out. Unfortunately it didn’t work as the new report involving the Russian donor came out. For Charles to say he didn’t know anything about this is a blatant lie and he should fold up the Princes Foundation which sole purpose is to buy property and artwork for Charles with other people’s money.

  7. Jais says:

    Just saw there’s 3 billboards up in Wales with Charles’s face on it and words that say Wales doesn’t need a prince. Another one states the price of the monarchy.

  8. Kiera says:

    I feel like this and associated issues may have been one of the reasons why Meaghan especially had issues working within the palace. Based on the work she’s done I could see her hearing about these types of things and being very uncomfortable with them and wanting them to change. But there’s a lot of people making a lot of money off of these types of deals who I am sure didn’t want it to stop.

    • Amy Bee says:

      @Keira: I have no doubt some the problems between William and Meghan was that she was asking too many questions about the running of the Royal Foundation.

      • Becks1 says:

        I’m with you both – I think Meghan asked too many questions about where the money in the RF came from and where it was going.

      • Snuffles says:

        Exactly! I think the fact that she asked ANY questions angered them. The fact that she protected the money from the Together Cookbook enraged them. I think all of these foundations take most of the money for themselves and do next to no actual charity work.

        I wonder how much Harry knew this because most of his projects like Sentebale and Invictus were set up to operate outside of the Royal Foundation and he was able to leave with them intact.

    • SarahCS says:

      That’s a very good point, I’ve just had to complete an online ethics training module and it all comes down to ‘does it make you feel uncomfortable’. I bet her radar was pinging constantly around this lot but sadly they do not have a robust code of conduct, ethics supervisors you can talk to, retaliation not being tolerated,. etc.

      • JT says:

        Harry and Meghan also created their own foundation shortly after the whole Fab Four nonsense was rolled out. Now people want to act like William kicked them out, but at the time people were wondering why H&M would need their own foundation. I have know doubt it was because some shady things were going down. Why do charities keep closing underneath W&K’s foundation if money is allegedly coming in and where does the money go?

  9. Becks1 says:

    yeah I think everyone expects there to be a little bit of “pay to play” so to speak with these kinds of organizations and people – remember when the Clooneys made a large donation to the Prince’s Trust, and a few weeks later Amal was named some type of ambassador or something for the Trust, or there was a scholarship named after her or something? I think that’s the kind of thing people expect. I think if this was just about Charles meeting some of these people, it wouldn’t be that big a deal. It may still not be legal (I am not an expert on nonprofit laws and fundraising etc so I have no idea what is legal or ethical) but it seems in line with how the game is played.

    But once honors and citizenship come into play, then its a different thing in my opinion.

    I find this interesting because someone is going after Charles where it hurts – his charity work.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      It’s not just the honors and citizenship that tarnishes this, but the fact that the royals are involved. they need to leave the administrative work to the civil servants and keep it out of prince’s trust. getting any kind of favor from a Politician (make no mistake, that is what Charles is), needs to be investigated for money laundering implications.

  10. NCWoman says:

    Are we wondering if William or Andrew leaked this? I mean, I can see either of them going there to try to take the monarchy away from Charles.

    • Jais says:

      Yeah I’m honestly not sure. It could be William or Andrew. It seems to distract from the Andrew headlines? But I also wonder about the wessexes getting payback after the possible revoking of the duke of Edinburgh title.

    • MissMarirose says:

      I doubt it’s William simply because I suspect he’d do the same thing once his father is king. This will only add more scrutiny to his shenanigans as next in line. My guess is Andrew; he really wants that spotlight off him.

  11. Merricat says:

    I do enjoy the fact that the rf is unraveling before our eyes. We predicted that when H&M were gone, the press would eventually have to turn on the remaining members of the rf. Now H&M are global icons, and the rf is…a huge mess.

  12. Margaret says:

    The back stabbing is is quite the spectacle, but who couldn’t see it coming. Harry and meghan are not filling the void, as much as they use to.
    After the sussexes left, the writing on the wall for Charles was obvious. Why can’t you smell lamebridges, and cohorts, the wessexes. Photos of their heads together were there. I however think the wessexes are going to be in for a rude awakening if they place their money on the lowlife lamebridges, no honor amongst thieves comes to mind.

  13. Rapunzel says:

    Tinfoil theory: financial shennanigans like this are the real reason behind the Meg hate in the family and smear campaign of the Sussexes. It’s what Harry meant when he said “if you only knew what I knew.”

    The whole hate machine went into overdrive around the time of Together cookbook. The Sussexes asked too many questions. And this goes along with the RRs who at the time said there was a big story they couldn’t discuss legally that had nothing to with Will and Kate or The Sussexes. It also explains why Harry seems madder at Charles than Wills.

    • Nic919 says:

      That’s possible and I have to imagine that William is doing similar things with his foundation. After all he is notoriously cheap and loves getting rich people to let him use their jet or vacation spots. So it’s one of the reasons why I don’t think he’s behind these stories because he is just as dirty.

    • Merricat says:

      I think there’s something to this.

  14. Lesley says:

    Is part of the reason why this was exposed due to Michael Fawcett and the guy who owns “Burke’s Peerage” receiving a cut of any money donated to the Foundation? Could it be that these practices have been exposed because some don’t like either of these two men?

    I would be interested to discover if Charles was aware that Michael Fawcett was making some extra money on the side, as well as being paid a salary to work for the Foundation?

    • Tessa says:

      Fawcett is perhaps the employee that Charles trusts the most and I think treats like family. He met Fawcett in the early eighties and has kept him on the payroll for many years. I think Charles is very well aware of Fawcett’s activities.

      • SnoodleDumpling says:

        As many times as he’s had Fawcett ‘step down’ from some position or another due to a scandal and then quietly brought him back in some other role? Oh yeah, Charles is DEFINITELY aware.

  15. phlyfiremama says:

    My, my, my. The phrase “lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas” seems to be entirely appropriate.