Prince Harry also met a shady Saudi donor for donations to Sentebale

Throughout August and September, there were easily a dozen major stories involving Prince Charles’ shady financial practices when it came to donations to his charities and foundations. As I said at the time, I actually found the initial stories somewhat reasonable, just because that’s how I assume all foundations work, especially when those foundations are associated with one primary royal or celebrity. Of course shady millionaires and billionaires are going to give large sums of money with the understanding that they will get access and face time with the primary royal/celeb. Charles’ issue was that his practices crossed over from “tacky” to something involving a criminal access/lobbying scheme. Charles wasn’t simply selling access to himself in exchange for donations, he was selling government lobbying, knighthoods and British citizenships. I guess Charles was tired of being the only one in it, because the Times has a curious story about how Prince Harry also met with a Saudi billionaire a few times?

The Duke of Sussex has been drawn into the “cash for access” scandal involving his father as new evidence shows he held a private meeting with a Saudi billionaire while seeking further donations for royal charities. Prince Harry agreed to see Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz after he gave £50,000 to his charity and hinted he would give millions more.

The pair met at a pub in Chelsea, west London, owned by Mark “Marko” Dyer, a former royal equerry known as Harry’s “second father”, who brokered the introduction in 2013. They discussed Sentebale, the charity Harry founded after his gap year in Lesotho. The following year the duke, 37, saw Mahfouz, 51, at Clarence House after the Prince of Wales had held his own meeting with the Saudi. Harry is alleged to have joked: “Has father beaten me to it and got the money?

Harry was photographed with Mahfouz’s teenage sons at Beaufort Polo Club in the Cotswolds. The prince’s aides simultaneously agreed to throw a banquet in Mahfouz’s honour at St James’s Palace — the most senior royal residence — with his private secretary saying that doing so would be “no problem at all”. The relationship gave Mahfouz the opportunity to pose for photos with the prince, which he used while seeking recognition and residency in Britain, and publicised through his charity.

It helped to open the way for his introduction to Prince Charles, whose right-hand man, Michael Fawcett, had been told that Mahfouz had a “long track record of philanthropy” and was sent details of his donations to Sentebale in the spring of 2014. Fawcett later helped him to secure a CBE. The Sunday Times revealed details of the honour application in September, leading to the resignation of Fawcett and a complaint to the police.

By late 2014 Harry’s advisers allegedly had concerns about Mahfouz and his representatives, opting to wind down the relationship. It is unclear what due diligence they carried out or why Charles’s advisers persisted in their efforts to woo Mahfouz.

Dyer, 57, a godfather to the prince’s son, Archie, two, acted as the key intermediary between Mahfouz’s advisers, royal staff and Sentebale. At the time, Dyer was a trustee of Sentebale, a role he retains. Neither he nor the charity would say if he told the charity’s leadership or board about the apparent “cash for access” arrangement. Dyer did not respond to requests for comment.

Sentebale said: “Sheikh Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz’s foundation was introduced to a trustee of Sentebale as a prospective high-level donor. A meeting with Mahfouz and the duke was arranged to discuss the work of the charity. Beyond the two donations made to Sentebale by Mahfouz, no other activity took place.”

[From The Times]

Excuse me? “By late 2014 Harry’s advisers allegedly had concerns about Mahfouz and his representatives, opting to wind down the relationship. It is unclear what due diligence they carried out or why Charles’s advisers persisted in their efforts to woo Mahfouz.” So, Harry met with Mahfouz several times in exchange for donations (which, again, is how many foundations work) and then distanced himself quickly when the ethics got trickier, and yet Charles and Michael Fawcett continued to pursue the wealthy donor? That accidentally boomeranged back onto Charles, whoops! Anyway, I’m sure the anti-Sussex people will clutch their pearls at the thought of Harry… meeting with a wealthy donor in person, posing for photos with said donor and then ending the relationship when the donor wanted more.

Harry was mad about the way the Times reported this, which I understand – the Times wanted to bury the fact that Harry cut ties with Mahfouz more than six years ago and Harry had no role in his father’s cash-for-honours scandal.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.

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51 Responses to “Prince Harry also met a shady Saudi donor for donations to Sentebale”

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  1. Andrew's Nemesis says:

    This sounds more like a William move – trying to drop both his father and brother in it.

    • Amy Bee says:

      I know some people believe William is behind everything but Charles has been scapegoating Harry since he was a teenager. This is Charles’ doing.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think it’s William too only because this just makes Charles look even worse. So your son could figure out that this person was problematic but you couldn’t?

      • Margaret says:

        Well with the recent reports of Charles and harry talking again, this reeks of silly willy, full stop. Silly is so low and defiencent in morals he is trying everything to ruin the Sussexes, and now his dear old dad.

      • Amy Bee says:

        @Margaret: Harry’s statement yesterday confirmed that the story about him and father talking is not true, imo.

  2. Royalle says:

    Every single one of them is sketchy , everyone knows this

  3. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    So what I’m reading is Harry’s advisors caught a vibe and decided not to go further with a shady situation and Charles’s advisors caught a vibe and decided to go with it because… money.

    • Gabby says:


    • Abby says:

      That’s what I’ve taken from this too.

      Also I dislike how they said “In 2013, Harry, 37…”

      No he is 37 NOW. He was in his 20s then. Not that it makes a difference, but that is just bad journalism.

      • Emmitt says:

        Actually it is important, because a person in their late 20s/early 30s was able to sniff out this dude being shady news, but this worldly future King in his 60s could not?

  4. girl_ninja says:

    Good on Harry for stopping the “relationship” when the it got shady. These rich people are on a dirtier level than us regular folks.

    • Margaret says:

      This, and sad on the loving family members, to try and deflect their bad behavior to their usual scapegoats the Sussexes. Tck, tck.

    • Christine says:

      Right? You would have to be purposely obtuse to not see that this speaks in Harry’s favor. Yet, I can hear the wails from the rota from here. Hiya, how about you focus that gaze on the pedophile in the family.

  5. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    But also to assume anyone with millions or billions is doing nothing shady to maintain their wealth is fantasy. They can appear as nice as pie on the outside but no one hoards wealth without a price and yes that includes Harry. The entire royal family probably does it (definitely does it) and he was likely raised to, as quietly but by any means, maintain the financial status quo, and that’s not something that is shaken.

    • GuestWho says:

      Then why did he (Harry) refuse to work with him further when he caught the vibe that it wasn’t on the up and up?

    • WithTheAmerican says:

      I don’t want to sound rude, but I’m baffled by your comment. Did you just read the headline and not the rest?

      I think it’s so damaging to conflate nefarious behavior with good faith efforts to be ethical, which is what Harry did here. Harry isn’t just like the rest of the family. Obviously. Because he fled from them. To your broader point, of course Harry was raised in privilege and maintains that privilege. He is a part of that world that most of us are not. But he ended a dubious relationship with a donor before it even got started, whereas his father jumped in full force for the cash. Not the same? Not at all

      • CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:


        I have a comment above this defending Harry, this was my second broader thought so if you would like to go above and read that, you should.

        That having been said, my point stands. Harry can be a good person. I’m sure he is. I’m also sure he does morally grey things to protect his finances. Does that make him evil? Not necessarily, it just makes him another part of a system of wealth.

    • bisynaptic says:


  6. Lauren says:

    They are now whining that Harry is not letting Chuck push him under the bus. The take on it is Harry met the guy a couple of times, decided he was shady AF, cut ties, and warned his father about it, his father decided to ignore Harry’s concerns and continue affairs with the shady guy. Chuck should get the message already that Harry is not willing to be the scapegoat anymore and he will answer back himself without using unnamed sources.

    • Mac says:

      Harry is done with “never complain, never explain.” Charles and William haven’t figured that out yet.

  7. Amy T says:

    Wonder if KP is warming up to make this Harry’s version of “Meghan made Kate Cry.”

  8. jazzbaby1 says:

    Wait, did this article just out one or Archie’s godparents, or did we know this one already?

    • Couch potato says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard about him before. If he is the godfather, “the press” clearly knew the names of at least some of them. Probably all, but without KP releasing the names publicly, the RR couldn’t argue the godparents were public figures, and thereby give them carte blanche to smear Meghans friends.

  9. Amy Bee says:

    CH tried to throw Harry under the bus and he wasn’t having it. Good for him.

  10. lanne says:

    Man, they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren’t they? Dragging out the Meghan bullying Kate and now this Harry talked to a Saudi guy? Like Queen Elizabeth didn’t host Idi Amin and Vladimir Putin? I know, she had to do that on behalf of the government, but once again, holding Harry to a different set of standards is so, so tiresome.

    Are they going to go back to talk to a kid he stole scissors from in art class in primary school to talk about what a bully he is? And again, this just brings mroe attention back on Charles. These people really should remember that cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face is unadvisable.

    My god, these idiots are going to destroy the prestige of the monarchy in their futile attempt to punish Harry for marrying a black woman and punish Meghan for existing.

  11. Sofia says:

    Glad for Harry’s statement. The point of it was to say “no dad, I see what you’re doing and you won’t be throwing me under the bus” and also clarify the facts. You could argue that Harry should have given the money back and I won’t argue/disagree with someone who says that but it’s good that Harry realised the guy doesn’t have good intentions and stopped all meetings. The statement also put the spotlight back on Charles which is not what he wants.

  12. Becks1 says:

    Yeah I think this has William’s fingers all over it. He’s going to drag Harry into Charles’s cash-for-access mess. I don’t think he expected Harry to clap back like he did, but he should have since he dragged Sentebale into this.

    I mean on its face this doesn’t seem like a scandal – Harry met with someone who wanted to donate money or who already had, when Harry got a bad vibe (or his advisors did), Harry cut ties. In 2014.

    • Nic919 says:

      I feel like this is more of a courtier thing than William himself. Not that William would stop them from going to the Times, but courtiers would have more knowledge of who Harry interacted with.

  13. KFG says:

    Dude they’re really still trying to scapegoat Harry. Like how is he responsible for his father’s choices? This is why he and M severed ties with the royal trust. These fools are embezzling money. Chuck needs to own his corruption.

  14. Mia4s says:

    Not that I would ever mistake the Royal family for being honourable, but I seriously did not even blink at any of this. The number of public figures, athletes, and celebrities, (many of whom are admired and thought of as woke) who entertain “shady Saudi donors” (I’m still pissed at Jason Momoa and Jackie Chan) would fill a stadium. It’s icky, it’s often hypocritical, and it’s common.

  15. iconoclast59 says:

    Replying to CidyKitty(CidySmiley) — the system inserted my comment at the end instead of as a reply – I was thinking the same thing: When you get to a certain level of wealth, it’s hard to keep your hands clean because most of the other people at that level are likely involved in something that’s unethical and/or illegal. Few get mega rich simply by working hard; they’re usually gaming the system. And the more wealth you accumulate, the easier it is to do that. As George Carlin so aptly put it, it’s a club, and we ain’t in it!

    Harry and Meghan have definitely chosen the more difficult path of trying to do honest work. I admire their perseverance in the face of these coordinated, relentless attacks. I really feel that we’re all caught up in an epic battle of Good vs. Evil right now. I hope H&M prevail; we could use the victory!

  16. Lizzie Bathory says:

    I tried to reply above, but it didn’t work. Anyway, I’m not so sure this is William. The cash for access thing seems frankly, a little over his head, plus if anyone did much digging into the Royal Foundation’s finances, I doubt William would come out looking good.

    And as Kaiser pointed out, this quickly comes back to Charles & Michael Fawcett, even though the story is ostensibly about Harry. I wonder if Chuck & Mike are scheming about how to get Fawcett to stay on in some capacity & Camilla wants to shut it down. Camilla wouldn’t mind throwing Harry under the bus & she seems to have been the source of other cash for access stories leading up to Fawcett “resigning.”

    • Margaret says:

      No silly willy is definitely behind all if this including, leaking on Charles. Harry is popular , and his charity is a thing of pride for him. Who benefits most for the take down effort again Charles and harrys charities?. That’s right, of course SILLY WILLY!!!. Don’t be fooled, this reeks of his stench.

    • MsIam says:

      Do you honestly think that if this guy met with Harry to make a donation to Sentabale that he didn’t meet with William too about the Royal Foundation? This guy was trying to get in anyway he could. Sounds like he’s a money launderer trying to line up funnels for his cash in exchange for favors. So I’m sure he met with a bunch of folks.

  17. Jan says:

    After all the years of hearing Harry was so dumb, you start to believe it, this is how the tabloids get into your head. Now the leash is off, it’s a different Harry the World is seeing.
    Just saw that the students at Cambridge were pissed that they let Cain into the University with his low grades, because his father was on the University board.

  18. Jais says:

    This whole thing is their new operating system. They are mad p*ssed about the lawsuit so now they are just throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Harry and Meghan. The kraken is unleashed lol. They are literally goading Harry and Meghan into interacting with them. After Harry wrote this statement, the author of the article then tweeted about how Harry was “intervening” by saying this. B*tch, please. He only made this statement due to your shady article and you know that, but sure he incited this intervention, whatever. I’m expecting to see a lot of this foolery in the papers post-lawsuit and it’ll be interesting to see what comes out in the rinse. Meghan and Harry have the right to reply and then they have the right to go relax under a tree after doing a day of real work.

  19. RoyalBlue says:

    So what I am hearing is, wealthy foreigners know that the monarchy has a pay for play scheme going on and utilize it to their mutual benefit. only, it is now being questioned because of shady source of income and immoral granting of knighthoods and citizenships. this is how Charles and Andrew raise their income. so why not abolish the monarchy and aristocracy to eliminate this corruption.

  20. Magdalena says:

    “So, Harry met with Mahfouz several times in exchange for donations (which, again, is how many foundations work) and then distanced himself quickly when the ethics got trickier…”

    Doesn’t Harry’s statement makes it clear that he met the man ONCE, not “several times”?

  21. Edith says:

    This is another “palace source “aka William. Archie’s God parents is secret, how on earth did they tabloids know?

    • Jasper says:

      I’m curious to find out that too. I’m guessing that very same “palace source” leaked it.

  22. L4Frimaire says:

    What Harry did was not out of the ordinary . You donate a large sum, you meet the face of the foundation, or get your name on a building, etc. However, when it became a quid pro quo, he decided not to continue ties. Hope he applies this toward how Archewell conducts itself on what NOT to do. If Charles had done the same thing, put the brakes on this relationship, this cash for honors scandal wouldn’t exist. What I’m curious about is the strong reaction to Harry’s statement thinking he would just take it. Big philanthropy, involving big money, is messy. So if there is a trial regarding this, will Harry be called as a witness now? Also, side note, it’s interesting how this whole thing is making wealthy Arabs the villains here.We’ll take your diamonds and cash, but don’t take a photo with us that will be used against us later. I’m not feeling sorry for the despots the royals hang out with but this is low key racist. Didn’t something similar happen with Russian oligarchs and the House of Lords? Instead of reforming how they conduct business and add more oversight, they’ll “investigate “ themselves and probably just use this to drag Harry. Reform and accountability, for the Prince of Wales? Not gonna happen.

    • Emma says:

      I’m sure racism is playing a part here. The white English establishment can’t be thrilled at rich foreigners— Russians, Asians, Africans, Middle Easterners — making plays in the philanthropic realm, buying great estates, entering society, etc. It used to be a way they could gatekeep, but they don’t have the power and money for that anymore.

      With that said, if this man was shady and Harry and his advisors backed out, the fact Charles and his advisors decided everything was A-OK speaks volumes.

  23. Well Wishet says:

    William assumed the position of frontman to bash the BBC’s decision to do a documentary about specific journalistic practices used in the coverage of some of the Royals.
    In return, he was given the usual infantile treatment as noted in Disney faily tales. At least five articles plus in the fail. Unfortunately, no one would spend enough time reading about him, and what about the need to have an evil personality to make Bill ‘shiner ‘?
    Solution: Papa will make an excellent scapegoat, and throw in the former scapegoat -in-resident, Harry.
    It would not hurt, since negativity sells, more traffic to the platform(s), more sales.
    The idea is that Papa will be forced to make Bill co-reign (despite appearances) so that the real powers, Murdoch,etc will have the influence the royal family presently enjoys.
    The problem with this idea is of the intra-web having images and past printed items putting Bill front and centre with Papa.
    This is excellent timing, and a reminder that ultimately, Prince Charles will be responsible for his eventual reign and it will be entirely up to him how it unfolds, irregardless of his errand son and his use of irresponsible journalistic practices. I suggest he rehire Mr.Geist or have him provide a recommendation of some one similar of his stature, one who is thorough in the execution of his duties, strong and independent to confront intimidation.

  24. Same says:

    Meh – people with that level of cash are all shady . They make donations to feed a public image, charities benefit. They met , shook hands , took a pic . That’s how it works .

  25. Athena says:

    Who has William met with to raise money for his foundation? Isn’t it more important to know who the FK and FFK are meeting with.

    What exactly can the 6th in line offer other than an introduction to someone further up the chain.
    These people are awful, at least Elizabeth’s dad left his brother alone to live his life no matter how pissed he was at the position the brother put him in.

  26. blunt talker says:

    I am happy that Harry spoke up for himself-the never complain principle does not apply to the Sussexes anymore-If these tabloid rags put their name in some bullshit story -Harry and Meghan have a right to respond if necessary-more peace to the Sussex family.

  27. Monica says:

    Harry’s gonna get sh-t for “complaining and explaining” but I’m glad he clapped right back.

  28. Velvetess says:

    I’m still on the ‘did they just out a godparent?’ train. Wth!!

    • aftershocks says:

      LOL! Mark Dyer being a godparent of Archie is no big deal. I guessed it. Dyer has always been described as a ‘second father’ to Prince Harry. Dyer mentored Harry during some trying times. Reportedly, Dyer is responsible for suggesting that Harry visit Botswana and other countries in southern Africa during his late teens (a period when Harry was in dire need of regrouping emotionally). The visit led to Harry meeting Prince Seeiso, and the rest is history (re: their co-founding of Sentebale).

      Dyer’s son, Jasper, is Prince Harry’s godson, and Jasper served as a pageboy at M&H’s royal wedding. Dyer is an easy guess as one of Archie’s godparents. In fact, I can guess the identity of all Archie’s godparents, and I’d bet money that I’m right.

      In addition to Dyer, my guesses are: Harry’s best friend, Charlie van Straubenzee, who had a front row seat at the royal wedding; Tiggy Legge-Bourke (Pettifer), a former nanny/ companion to the Wales boys. On Meghan’s side: Markus Anderson, a close friend who is like an older brother to Meghan; Genevieve Hillis (one of Meghan’s college friends); and probably Benita Litt, a close friend of Meghan’s from California. Litt’s daughters were flower girls at the royal wedding.

      Regarding Meg’s other close friends: Lindsay Roth is Jewish, as are Jessica Mulroney, and Misha Nonoo, so they could not be considered. In addition, Serena Williams is Jehovah’s Witness, which means she was not considered either. Another possibility is Abigail Spencer, but Meghan has known Benita Litt longer. Janina Gavankar, and Daniel Martin are close to Meghan, but I don’t know their religious affiliations, which potentially ruled them out from consideration too.