Duchess Camilla made her move to cut out one of Prince Charles’ key aides

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, meets young women who have been supported by The Prince’s Trust, ahead of the charity’s ‘Brilliant Breakfast’ campaign, at Clarence House, London.

Over the summer, the Times of London and other “legitimate” British media outlets ran a series of damaging investigative articles about Prince Charles and his foundation. This isn’t about the Prince’s Trust, which is arguably Charles’ more well-known charity (although I don’t doubt there are shady things happening there too). This was about The Prince’s Foundation, which operates various charitable schemes like Charles’ purchase of Dumfries House and his work in Scotland. While much of the foundation’s work is admirable, Charles has spent many years cozying up to all sorts of nefarious and wealthy characters, all in the name of “fundraising.” The articles this summer focused on the various cash-for-access schemes, as in “donate a million dollars and you’ll get access to Charles.”

One of the worst stories involved cash-for-honours, and there was a clear chain of evidence that the Prince’s Foundation’s CEO Michael Fawcett promised a knighthood and British citizenship in exchange for a significant “donation.” In the wake of that reporting, Fawcett stepped down as CEO. Apparently, it was not a full resignation? There’s some concern that Fawcett will quietly come back to the CEO position. That’s what the Times (via the Daily Beast) claims. And their sources say that the Duchess of Cornwall is doing her best to keep Fawcett gone:

Michael Fawcett’s days as Prince Charles’ most trusted aide could be numbered if Camilla Parker Bowles has her way. She sees his actions are “damaging” Charles. “She will be merciless in her pursuit of Michael out of the door,” one source told the Sunday Times.

As the paper previously reported, Fawcett “helped fix a CBE for a Saudi tycoon who donated £1.5 million to royal charities. He also accepted a six-figure donation from a controversial Russian businessman whom Charles later thanked and offered to meet.” Now Fawcett, who temporarily stepped down from the role after the scandal broke, faces being fired as chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation. An inquiry into the allegations was set up, but sources tell the Sunday Times Fawcett should not expect his employment to continue.

“She has said it is time to draw the line,” an insider said of Camilla. “This is the end of the road for Michael.”

Another source said: “The duchess is not keen on having anyone else in the prince’s ear. She is, as far as she is concerned, the only person who should be able to convince the prince of anything. She has definitely become more and more opinionated about how she disliked [Fawcett] over time. She has made it plain she didn’t want him around.”

Fawcett is one of Charles’ longest and most trusted aides.

[From The Daily Beast]

A few things just snapped into place for me. For months, I wondered who was behind the incredibly damaging leaks about the Prince’s Foundation and what was the motivation behind the leaks. I think I get it – some (if not all) of the leaks came from Camilla. This was Camilla’s power play, her little game of thrones behind the scenes. She wants certain members of Charles’ inner circle gone, and Fawcett is the big one. Fawcett keeps turning up in Charles’ life like a bad penny – he’s been fired for cause several times by Charles, and Charles keeps rehiring him and putting him in different positions. They have a very toxic relationship. And so Camilla wanted him out and she made it so.

Incidentally, I don’t even think Camilla is wrong – Fawcett needs to go and Charles needs to cull his inner circle and remove all the dead weight, especially before he assumes the throne. But holy hell, if Camilla was behind the leaks this summer, that’s cold as ice. She’s lucky the scandal was so boring that most people forgot about it in a week. Maybe that’s what she was counting on.

PS… Lord help me, I love Camilla’s glasses.

Duchess of Cornwall attends "Shameless! Festival

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Photos courtesy of Getty, Avalon Red.

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61 Responses to “Duchess Camilla made her move to cut out one of Prince Charles’ key aides”

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  1. Maria says:

    I think that if she WAS the source of the leaks it is potentially ice-cold but I also would not put it past her to be convinced people would be immediately in sympathy with Charles. These people aren’t great at keeping perspective, lol.

  2. Vivica says:

    Is Camilla our Cersei?

    • Truthiness says:

      A new Cersei would be entertaining but there’s always the possibility that Camilla is getting rid of Fawcett with Charles’ approval
      Charles has history with Fawcett and is notoriously weak around him but this time Camilla will ‘insist.’

  3. Name keeps changing cos I delete my cookies says:

    “Camilla Parker Bowles” – I rarely see that, she’s usually DoC… maybe a new campaign is brewing.

    • ncboudicca says:

      Funny you would point that out, because just the other day I saw something in a British paper about the two of them arriving at COP together, and I noticed that they referred to her by name, and not by title. It jumped out at me, but I assumed that might be normal…being American, I don’t have a clue!

    • Fascinating Fascinator says:

      Good catch – that’s really interesting.

  4. Janethetrain says:

    Holy hell, I think you’re correct! But I bet that it’s so bad behind the scenes that she had no other choice to leak, in order to stop the bleeding. Love her or hate her, she has balls!

  5. OriginalLala says:

    wow, talk about game of thrones level of scheming and machinations….

    • JT says:

      This is just…wow. If it was Camilla, than her marriage must be shitty too. No wonder the royals give H&M the side eye, not plotting against your spouse must be an anomaly amongst that cesspool.

      • Talia says:

        Except she might well see it as plotting *for* her marriage and it wouldn’t surprise me if Charles was in on it – clearing the decks before he becomes King. You notice nobody is saying *he* knew what was going on. Andrew used Fergie as a front for his dodgy dealings and left her to take the blame for selling access to him when it was clear he was in on it. The only difference here if that is the case is that Charles isn’t throwing his wife under the bus, it’s Michael Fawcett who is taking the fall.

      • Tessa says:

        I think Camilla knows not to mess with Fawcett. I think Fawcett would get even and leak some stories of his own. IMO

      • Still_Sarah says:

        @ JR : I think Camilla sees herself as protecting Charles from someone that just isn’t serving Charles’ best interests anymore. He wouldn’t be the first man who let his wife “take out the trash” while he stayed on the sidelines with his regrets.

  6. Eurydice says:

    Sure, she’s been travelling in these royal circles for a very long time and knows how the games are played.

  7. Sunday says:

    When the scandal first broke they made it a point to say “temporarily resigned” or something like that, rather than actually fired. It was clear that the plan was to rehire him as soon as the dust settled. Camilla being behind the original leak makes sense, but her surfacing now with a more direct push to keep him out seems a bit like tipping her hand which makes me think that someone was thinking of bringing Fawcett back into the fold and this is Camilla putting her foot down, albeit more publicly than she originally aimed for.

    Also, those glasses are giving me Sally Jesse Raphael, 100%.

  8. Merricat says:

    Considering past machinations, it does not surprise me that Camilla would deal in subterfuge.

  9. Lizzie Bathory says:

    Fawcett is a snake & needs to go. As far as the timing, it makes me wonder if Camilla & others know the time of King Charles III is closer than the public realizes. As fond as Charles is of Fawcett (and god knows there have been allegations of exactly how close they are), it seems like people realized having Fawcett in the king’s orbit would be a disaster.

    • JT says:

      But how could Charles be so stupid as to keep this guy hanging around for all of those years? He is clearly a liability and as he gets nearer to the throne he should be getting rid of deadweight. Nobody wants the king to be in all of those financial scandals. A messy personal life is one thing, but selling citizenships for money is an entirely different can of worms.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        Fawcett has had so many scandals that I have to think Charles keeps him on partly due to personal affection, or perhaps because he knows where the bodies are buried. But I also think Charles is shadier & more like Andrew than I realized when it comes to money. Fawcett seems to have been a convenient go-between to solicit foreign “donations” in order to make it less obvious that Charles was asking for cash.

        Maybe the Prince of Wales can get away with that after a few bad headlines, but a monarch can’t.

        ETA: Obviously, they can’t get rid of him as king, regardless of the scandal, but I think several people realize the institution can’t afford it with Brexit, Sussexit, COVID, etc.

      • JT says:

        I understand that Charles can’t just drop this guy like a tonne of bricks, but couldn’t he add to his retirement fund or something? Maybe give him a nice severance package because keeping this guy around is just begging for trouble. And you’re right about Charles probably being as shady as Andrew but Charles is slightly better at hiding his shenanigans.

      • Tessa says:

        If Charles did not oust him back then during the scandal, IMO he won’t now. I think at the very least Fawcett knows too much. Charles will probably keep him around to manage the household and he will continue to plan events. Supposedly Fawcett was going to help with planning for Charles’ Coronation or so I read.

    • Concern Fae says:

      I think the problem is money. The Royals need a lot of it to keep their lifestyle going. They don’t know how businesses actually run and are too stingy and snobbish to do what it would take to be able to bring money in successfully. This leaves them ready dupes of social climbing shady types, either rich or pretending to be.

      Yes, the Prince’s Trust and Duchy of Cornwall appear to be different. My guess is that Charles set up the Trust with reputable people to begin with and they have been able to set the tone and manage expectations. Also, that money doesn’t flow towards Charles at all, hence it has stayed clean and we have the Foundation. The Duchy probably has some issues, but my supposition here is that there are lots of qualified people who want to do organics and environmentalism and the Duchy is a good way for them to do so. Also, farming is basically a land-grabbing tax grift everywhere, so people without the access to buy land themselves are happy to work the Prince’s land for peanuts. And he’s happy to have them do it.

  10. LaraW” says:

    This is really interesting because I went back through the CB archives and I believe the first story that broke about this cash-for-access scheme was about Camilla’s nephew, Ben Elliot (also the Tory Party chair, per the Times August 2nd article). Then Ben quickly faded to the background as the story started focusing in on Fawcett et al.

    So I’m wondering if 1) Camilla used her nephew to break the story and subsequently forced her nephew to give up some information (we all wondered how the hell the Times got such specific information about donors, names of middlemen, and those emails); or 2) there was some power struggle going on already, Fawcett made a move against Ben Elliot and Camilla & Co. retaliated. I’m somehow more inclined to go with option no. 1 because if it had been no. 2, I feel like it would have been a briefing/counter-briefing war. The stories escalated gradually, with a sense that the noose was tightening around Charles.

    We had speculated at the time that it was a campaign mounted by the old guard courtiers trying to protect their positions in anticipation of Charles cleaning house, or, as the Times had presented it, the work of a whistleblower. The introduction of Camilla into this drama puts a different spin on things.

    Either way, when Camilla moves, she really knows how to drive it home. I know we joke a lot about on this site about how Camilla looks like she always has a flask in her bag and wants a drink to get through the family hoopla, but I’m seeing for the first time why/how she and Charles are birds of a feather and drove Diana to such extreme mental duress and anguish.

    One last thing: this was also around the time that we had that weird string of “Camilla hates and always disliked Meghan, she’ll never forgive Meghan for what she’s done to Charles. The stories felt so out of left field. Was that Fawcett trying to brief against Camilla?

    • Becks1 says:

      Yes it is all sort of coming together now. You are right LaraW, I had forgotten the initial connection to her nephew.

      We’ve all said about the cash-for-access story that it was 1) fairly boring and not picking up any steam, but also 2) it had to come from someone on the inside, someone with access. Some speculated that it was Sophie leaking this in retaliation for the duke of edinburgh title thing, but that never made sense bc she wouldn’t have the access required to leak some of this information.

      But camilla would, so that takes care of #2, and camilla would know that it WAS fairly boring and that it would be enough to get rid of Fawcett and sort of lightly damage Charles but nothing significant, so #1, and that’s how it played out – no one even really cares about it anymore but Fawcett is gone.

      Well played Camilla. Well played.

      And yes it would also explain the stories about Camilla hating Meghan that we all said seemed to come out of nowhere, why were we hearing this NOW about Camilla and Meghan not getting along etc? Well it makes sense if it came from Fawcett.

      • Tessa says:

        I think Fawcett is a non-negotiable of Charles and he knows a lot about the inner workings of the family. Imagine what book he would write! I think Charles will not listen to Camilla and she may need to be careful of her trying to oust Fawcett. She may alienate Charles at least for a time.

  11. AmelieOriginal says:

    This reminds me of the way Camilla is portrayed on the show The Windsors as a cartoon villain hellbent on doing anything to become Queen and power hungry, while Charles is dim witted and a buffoon who just wants the people to love him. Need to rewatch that show.

    • Betsy says:

      The only problem with that show is that it then affects how I see the actual people. I don’t see a picture of Kate, for example, without hearing that little strain of folk music that they play on the show. 😀

  12. Nic919 says:

    Fawcett is truly a horrific person so Camilla trying to get him out of the circle permanently is a smart thing to do. There are decades of his awful behaviour and Charles will have enough issues as king that he doesn’t need that albatross.

    What’s interesting is that Camilla has enough power to do this to Fawcett. We know that if Kate wanted to get rid of Knauf it would never happen. She does not have a fraction of the ability to do this. We saw what happened with the Rose debacle and that wasn’t even against a courtier with scheming abilities.

    • Sofia says:

      The difference is that Camilla has not just been in those circles since she was born but also accepted by those people. Kate was not. Plus she’s got Charles’ support (maybe not for Fawcett but everything else) while Kate doesn’t have William’s (or at least to the level Charles has for Camilla).

      You’re right that we saw what happens when Kate tried to phase someone out and it was not pretty for her.

      • Merricat says:

        Kate is a dandelion in the garden of aristocracy, and no amount of fertilizer will change that.

  13. luna says:

    I think Camilla is much more powerful in the royal family than anyone lets on. I never suspected her until articles defending her came out of nowhere when Harry announced his memoir iirc. She plays the disgraced old mistress role so perfectly that no one really cares or suspects anything from her, which shows the delicacy of her gameplay. Now I think she is the ringleader of anti-Meghan camp, and I expect Harry to destroy her when the right time comes.

    • Merricat says:

      I doubt that she is ring-leader. The fingerprints belong to KP.

    • Nic919 says:

      The Kate crying story came from Kate and her own mother and uncle trashed Meghan in public interviews. Camilla was the only one to open welcome Meghan when the engagement was announced and she was smart enough not to openly ice out Meghan and Harry at the commonwealth service. KP took the lead on the smear campaign, because all the Knauf messiness is linked to William too. The crazy reaction after the Oprah interview announcement was all KP as well.

      Camilla may not be best friends with Meghan, but she wouldn’t be involved unless it related to charles.

      • Amy Bee says:

        Camilla’s team complained to the press that Meghan stole her spotlight so she’s not as innocent as you may think she is. There’s a reason, CH is afraid that Harry spills the beans about Camilla in his book.

      • Nic919 says:

        I don’t think she’s innocent, but she’s not the leader on the attacks. That was KP. Camilla likely briefed on not liking that Kate took away some of her spotlight as well. It was kate, William and Carole who put out information about Meghan making kate cry and being a bully to the staff. Camilla wouldn’t have had access to any of this stuff.

      • Tessa says:

        Camilla also smirked at Harry and Meghan’s wedding and I don’t think Harry or Meghan trust her much.

    • Murphy says:

      Camilla doesn’t care about Harry or Meghan, that’s all Bill.

    • Tessa says:

      I think Camilla knows that if Charles predeceases her, her influence or whatever influence she has will disappear. Charles probably provides for her so she does not have to depend on William. But I think he will take over Clarence House and she will be asked to move out and stay at Raymill. I think he will be civil but she won’t be seen as much. I don’t think she has all that much power and influence though right now. She had witnessed (according to Lacey) William’s temper as he lost his temper with Charles and she probably does not want to have much to do with him if she can help it.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Camilla may not be the greatest person but she is not behind the smear campaign & false bullying allegations. That’s KP/W&K/Knauf/Wootton. Has Wootton ever said anything really negative about Will? Or call him woke and discussed the Cambridges use of private jets like he has about H & M and Charles & Camilla? With whatever is going on with the Queen we will probably see more slyly unflattering stories about Charles/Camilla. There is a significant portion of the British media that does not want Charles to be king. Courtiers too. Charles has made his share of mistakes and not a great father, but he probably isn’t as pliable as Will.imo I don’t believe it was Camilla/Clarence House briefing the press about Meghan’s pictures overshadowing her event back in March 2020. If that was actually an issue and some breach of protocol with events, then W & K would not have posted the cliff? pictures of their Ireland visit on the same day. The same day Harry had the Silverstone Circuit? event. Camilla being big mad at Meghan seems like a manufactured story by someone else.

  14. Coco says:

    “Fawcett is one of Charles’ longest aides.”
    I know they mean longest-serving, but the way they wrote it makes me imagine a row of aides being measured for height (or length, if you want to get salacious).

  15. Sofia says:

    When this first happened, I thought it was courtiers or a whistleblower because there were names, dates and times instead of it being vague so the person had to have access to things. Makes sense that Camilla would have access to the books and knew what Charles’ schedule was like. It seemed to me that someone was trying to permanently get rid of Fawcett and keep Charles in the clear as much as possible – which matches up with Camilla getting rid of Fawcett but (presumably) not wanting Charles’ name dragged through the mud.

    Between this and the “will Camilla be promoted to counsellor?”, it seems maybe Camilla is doing her own power plays and preparing to be Queen. If she manages to permanently get rid of Fawcett, I’ll honestly give it to her for pulling it off. Game salutes game after all.

    • LaraW” says:

      If there ever was a time to expend political capital, it would be now. Camilla is limited in what she can get away with, particularly in moves that draw public attention. I think she stayed out of Sussexit because she has her own, Camilla-centric agenda. There was no need to pile on since the Keens were so very willing and downright gleeful taking Meghan down, and she wasn’t going to waste any of her limited public goodwill by standing up for Meghan.

      I guess I’m vindictive in some ways— if I had been forced to leave the (alleged) love of my life to marry Charles, get swept into the public eye that doesn’t particularly like me, and have to start working in an official capacity when I had planned to spend the rest of my life lounging about in my country estate hanging out with my grandchildren and chilling with my social circle, I would damn well decide I’m going to be named Queen Consort and the person who holds Charles’ ear as compensation for being dragged into the mess.

    • Tessa says:

      Fawcett knows all the secrets. I think Camilla will not be able to get him out. He’s been around since the early eighties, Camilla cannot make him budge. I think Fawcett knows too much. He did side with Camilla and planned some birthday parties for her and Charles. I think Camilla needs to be careful of the Keens they don’t care for her, they play happy families but I think they totally distrust each other. Charles will provide for her so she does not depend on William’s “good will.” She needs to be thankful that she has some security in life now. I think Fawcett is another “non-negotiable” in Charles’ life.

  16. Cg2495 says:

    These old farts and their power plays. Abolish the monarchy!

  17. Scorpion says:

    They are going to eat each other alive. Imagine plotting on your spouse and his aides. Camilla probably should be worried about what Harry will say in his memoir.
    Camilla always been a shady, adulterous B!

    • Tessa says:

      Camilla should be thankful every day of her life, she was the other woman and married mistress and still is set to be Princess Consort or Queen Consort. I think Charles will provide for her so she does not depend on William; I don’t think Kate and William are fond of Camilla. She should stop scheming and just be happy with her life now.

  18. TheOriginalMia says:

    If Camilla was behind the leaks, bully for her. It’s a smart and right move to rid Charles of an albatross that brings more scandal than goodwill to his reign. Also…Fawcett (if I remember correctly) said some disparaging things about Harry & Meghan, so he needs to go anyway.

    • Tessa says:

      Fawcett did support CHarles during the Diana years. I don’t think Camilla will get him out. In essence, Fawcett did support Camilla also.

  19. Amy Bee says:

    If Camilla is behind the leaks then that means she’s thrown her nephew under bus because he is also involved in some of the cash for access schemes that Charles has been implicated in.

  20. Myjobistoprincess says:

    I wonder if the timing was what she chose it to be. Did she want to make sure prince philip was gone or is this planned because she knew the queen was frail? hmmm, was this thought for her to have ultimate power, be the only one in Chaws ear after the queen is gone?!!!

  21. what's inside says:

    Charles is the behind the screen moving the puppets. Camilla does not give 2 hoots as long as she can do what Camilla does, which is support Charles in all of his machinations.

  22. Liz version 700 says:

    So are kids in this family given their first knife to back stab with in Pre-school? Lordy what a family

  23. Emily says:

    Look up “Michael Fawcett” + “George Smith”. 👀

  24. Tessa says:

    I think Fawcett is here to stay. I don’t think Camilla will be able to get him out. He’s been there since the early eighties. Charles will put his foot down IMO.

  25. Likeyoucare says:

    Camilla had experience in cutting someone from charles life.
    Maybe she is the one who is controlling all the BRF puppets.

    Can’t wait for Harry book. Maybe he will expose Camilla did have a hand in making their life a living hell there.

    • Tessa says:

      Camilla IMO had the upper hand re: Diana. But IMO not with Fawcett. She apparently never tried to oust Fawcett. She I think realizes Fawcett is Non Negotiable. to Charles. Fawcett even helped plan Charles and Camilla’s respective birthday parties or so I read.

  26. Kalana says:

    Fawcett has a lot of influence on Charles and I can see Camilla not liking that. Camilla has benefited from Charles being isolated. Demonizing Meghan elevated Camilla, not just Kate. Charles and William will never be truly close, and Harry has been pushed out.

    • Tessa says:

      And it is bad for Charles. In isolating Harry and letting William force Harry and Meghan out, Charles lost an ally. Charles does not see all the implications. He wanted to “humor” his direct heir and the spare was “dispensable” but Harry could have sided with Charles in disputes with William. Charles IMO will live to regret this if he has not already.