There’s ample evidence & a paper trail in Prince Charles’s cash-for-honours scandal

The Prince Of Wales Visits Wales

Ladies and gentlemen, they finally got Prince Charles. For months, the mainstream, non-tabloid British papers have been covering Prince Charles’ fundraising scandals, which range from “tacky but not unethical” to “wow, that’s criminal.” Charles was not only selling access to himself (in exchange for charitable donations), he and his staff were explicitly arranging for government lobbying, citizenships and honours in exchange for donations to Charles’ charities, like the charity operating Dumfries House. In recent weeks, there’s been a narrowed interest on Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, a Saudi billionaire who donated millions to Dumfries House. Mahfouz also donated thousands to Prince Harry’s Sentebale charity, and Harry had some face-to-face meetings with him too, but Harry refused to be dragged into his father’s mess. Harry issued a statement saying that he cut off contact with Mahfouz five years ago and warned others that Mahfouz wanted too much. Charles and his people continued to pursue the relationship, getting millions out of Mahfouz in exchange for… A LOT. That’s what the Sunday Times found: Mahfouz really made Charles work for that money, and there’s a very long paper trail. Some highlights from this Times story:

On a November afternoon in 2016, the Prince of Wales arrived at Buckingham Palace dressed in his gold and black military uniform to conduct an investiture — the bestowing of an honour on behalf of the Queen. Such ceremonies are familiar to both the royals and the public. Up to 60 recipients are usually invited to either the palace ballroom or a room at Windsor Castle, and are called forwards one by one by the lord chamberlain. The Queen, or another member of the royal family representing her, then places the decoration on the person and briefly congratulates them.

This investiture, however, was to be very different. Prince Charles headed not to the ballroom but to Buckingham Palace’s Blue Drawing Room, a stunning hall of hanging chandeliers and gold-rimmed furniture into which members of the public are rarely admitted. Only one person was to receive an award in the resplendent room — which historically has been used by the Queen to welcome world leaders, including Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Narendra Modi.

That recipient was Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, a Saudi billionaire, whose honour had been fixed for him by Charles’s closest aides after he promised millions of pounds in donations to the charity that funds two of the prince’s most cherished estates, Dumfries House and the Castle of Mey.

Last week, Scotland Yard’s special inquiry team sent a formal letter requesting correspondence between royal aides who plotted to secure the honour, to examine whether the fixing of the CBE could breach the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuse) Act, which carries a two-year prison sentence.

Unlike many investiture ceremonies that take place throughout the year, the one for Mahfouz would never appear in the court circular. Nor was Mahfouz required to share his moment with a queue of dozens of other members of the public. He was allowed to bring several members of his family into the palace with him, where they met Charles’s wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. The only others present were a number of ceremonial officials and a photographer. His fixer, who had colluded with royal aides to organise the honour, was asked to wait outside in the nearby music room.

Mahfouz, 51, was beaming: he had spent years seeking recognition for himself and his family. In Charles, he had found the perfect partner: royal aides had earlier told his representatives that, in return for millions of pounds in donations to the prince’s country estate, they would get him an honour.

For weeks, Clarence House has insisted that Charles had no knowledge of the “cash-for-honours deal” that has led to a Metropolitan Police initial investigation, inquiries by English and Scottish regulators, and the resignation of his top aide, Michael Fawcett. But details of the investiture, and further evidence published today, pose new questions as to what Charles knew when and suggest he will be a vital witness to Scotland Yard. The Sunday Times can reveal that Charles had far more contact with Mahfouz than first thought

As well as the private investiture, Prince Charles took part in numerous private meetings with Mahfouz, wrote him a letter and even sent the Saudi a gift. All this took place while Fawcett, his right-hand man and close confidante, fixed Mahfouz a CBE in the background.

[From The Times]

Yep. They’ve got Charles nailed on this. It’s not even the secretive, off-Circular CBE ceremony, where Charles gave Mahfouz and his family the run of several rooms at Buckingham Palace. The Times also has extensive reporting on Mahfouz’s face-to-face meetings with Charles in Scotland, Charles’ inviting Mahfouz to intimate senior-royal gatherings, Charles naming the Dumfries’ garden the “Mahfouz Garden.” Charles sent Mahfouz a hand-written thank you letter at one point, and a gift of a miniature carriage clock (“Clarence House would not say who produced the gift or how much it cost.”).

One of the most damning pieces in the article: during Charles’ 2015 tour of the Middle East, he hid the fact that he spent time with Mahfouz and Mahfouz’s extended family, including his father Sheikh Mahfouz. Charles posed for photos with more than ten members of the Mahfouz family. It was this trip that ensured that Mahfouz would receive the honorary CBE – before then, the Foreign Office and Saudi government had been slow-walking it. Charles really went to the Saudi Arabia to grease the wheels on a private donor’s cash-for-honour!! So yeah, there’s now ample evidence that this is a huge scandal involving Charles, Michael Fawcett, the British government, multiple royal charities and on and on. Wow.

Britain's Prince Charles attends an advent service at Holy Trinity Brompton church in London

G20 summit

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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59 Responses to “There’s ample evidence & a paper trail in Prince Charles’s cash-for-honours scandal”

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  1. Jessie Quinton says:

    Between this and all the Boris catastrophes being reported as of late, it seems like the gloves are off between the press and the Royals/Tories.

    *grabs popcorn and lawn chair*

    • Jane says:

      Yes, it seems the tabloids have finally got tired of kicking Labour and have decided to turn their attention to where it really needs to be.

    • Jan90067 says:

      Sadly, we’ll not see anything *really* happen to Chaz. Even though he broke the law. Even if they can trace the cash to his own offshore accts (“Just like Mummy!”). Fawcett and other “Grey Men” will take the fall (and I’m sure, be compensated under the table). While Chaz will be “splattered”, he will never go under for this.

      Meanwhile, think Bitter Brother is probably peeing himself with excitement, thinking THIS might get Daddy Dearest kicked out of the line of succession? Public outcry to “skip” Chaz/pressure on Parliment to do an “oopsie!” and cave to “public pressure”??

      • Esmerelda says:

        Nothing will happen legally, but Charles has weakened the foundation of his own power: when someone says “I got a BCE!” and everyone answers “How much did you pay for it?” instead of “Well done!”, it’s a serious thing. The institution that can hand over “honours” becomes publicly “pay for play” – the institution loses respect and support.
        Harry saw it and got out just in time.

    • Lady Digby says:

      I feel exactly the same: there is no difference between the Tories and RF however we are stuck with the monarchy unless we opt for an elected head of state. Tories are ruthless when PMs have to be replaced but constitutional monarchy means Charles will be King regardless of character or ability.

    • MerlinsMom1018 says:

      @ Jessie Quinton:
      Bringing chips and salsa!! Save me a seat

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      Having seen pictures of the headlines from the 60s, 70s, and 80s…no, this isn’t gloves off. This is an array of warning shots.

      I would imagine the tabloids know a hell of a lot about the contents of the ‘missing’ Westminster pedophile dossier, and since it went ‘missing’ they could safely leak any part of those contents without running much risk of any other part of it coming out. Something of THAT magnitude would be gloves off.

  2. VS says:

    And as the deadbeat father he is, he wanted to drag his own son into it!!! What an asshole

  3. Esmerelda says:

    I’m sorry for all the people who got the awards on merit and have to see them cheapened by this sort of thing.
    But I’m not surprised: it might be a prejudice, but when I see a rich man with an honour I always kinda believe they must have bought it. Clearly the Beckham’s are not rich enough to meet the asking price…
    Also, Chuck should just abdicate – the press make a big deal with Harry’s every slightly political (also unpaid and non controversial) utterance, and here you have the future king lobbying government on behalf of Saudi billionaires for money. Talk about double standards. Just go away, Chuck.

    • MY3CENTS says:

      Funny, that’s was what I was thinking as well. Why did the Beckhams think about just throwing some money at Charles?

  4. Amy Bee says:

    I’ve noticed that the Sunday Times has dropped Harry from the story. Had he stayed quiet, as CH wanted, he would have been dragged into this mess and served a distraction from the real story which is that Charles knew what was going on and was a willing participant in this scheme.

    • Sofia says:

      Which I why I was glad Harry released the statement. It put the spotlight and front page back on Charles which is what he didn’t want (hence why he tried to bring Harry into it).

    • Izzy says:

      And I’m willing to bet that somewhere, Harry has some kind of paper trail showing that he felt this way and severed ties because of it. Certainly if he communicated with staff at his charities about it, they would still have those emails somewhere.

    • Becks1 says:

      You’re right, and I’m glad Harry spoke out as soon as he did and as strongly as he did. He’s done being dragged in the press to cover for you Charles (and for you too William, so you better be taking notes here.)

      • SnoodleDumpling says:

        And I’m glad that Harry CLEARLY has far more competent PR people that any of those dingdanged palaces have. This could EASILY have turned ugly for Harry if either he or his team were not so on the ball here.

  5. Nikki says:

    He should relinquish the throne in favor of his son, who is no prize either!! So glad we don’t have a monarchy!!

  6. Tour malinn says:

    Well, Harry’s words – that he saw the business modell and he didn’t like it – beginning to gain more and more sense.

    • Snuffles says:

      Exactly! I remember that quote and thinking that Harry knows full well the sketchy way The Firm operates and wanted no part of it.

      • bros says:

        where was his statement?

      • Becks1 says:

        @bros – which one?

        the line about having seeing the business model and not liking it is from the podcast Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd.

        The statement about this particular donor/scandal was put out last week by his spokesperson, Kaiser covered it here if you go back to the stories from last week.

  7. SarahLee says:

    Wait – am I reading this correctly that the “charitable” gifts were to fund Charles’ estates? Not actual charity, but to fund the lifestyle of an inbred bore? How do Brits justify this nonsense?

    • Amy Bee says:

      @SarahLee: The money went to fund Dumfries House which is registered as a charity but in reality, it’s another Highgrove. Charles used the charity to purchase this house instead of his own money.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah Castle of Mey was the Queen Mother’s (if you watched the Crown, its the remote house in Scotland she buys in the second season I think) and Charles now operates it, I *think* he still uses it as a residence but its also open to the public during the late spring and summer. So I think that’s how its a charity. And Dumfries House is a little bit messier, Norman Baker talks about it in his book “and what do you do” and basically it just seems like a scam, its a charity but not really.

      So yeah, he wasn’t even getting donations to the Prince’s Trust for this.

      • Mac says:

        Dumfries House is open to the public and has one of the world’s best collections of Chippendale furniture. There was a legit reasons for Charles to purchase it beyond just vanity, although vanity certainly played a large part.

      • Becks1 says:

        @mac I’m not insulting Dumfries House itself, I’m talking more about how the whole thing was handled and the town that was supposed to be built or whatever.

    • KSK Pamuk says:

      they don’t justify it, they ignore it, that’s what they have been programmed to do. Its the same when Americans swallow the line that they are the greatest country in the world. No state funded health care, guns in the street and Jan 6, but yah, the greatest country in the world lol.

  8. Woke says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this cash for access scandal recently. I wonder if they’re trying to have a Juan Carlos 2.0 situation they keep bringing up the scandal but so far there’s nothing really that is sticking and Charles still has plausible deniability and even the tabloids are not going that hard on Charles. So all of this seems to me about laying the groung for something bigger when the time come.

    • A says:

      I mean. The Juan Carlos thing is honestly a lot more serious from my perspective. He helped with a contract for some infrastructure project in Saudi Arabia and received a kickback for that. The stuff that Charles is involved in is just pure vanity for a lot of the people involved. To fork over cash in exchange for knighthoods or whatever the f-ck else is just for clout chasers to boost their ego. Which, honestly now that I write it out, is actually a lot worse.

  9. Alexandria says:

    Burger King and Fries are waiting in the wings, Chuck. #AbolishTheMonarchy

  10. mariahlee says:

    And jack sh-t will come out of it. Bc the rich and powerful are hardly ever held to account. But wouldn’t it be something if this kept its legs and Charles had to abdicate? Bill would get to be a young king, and the British establishment would have a puppet for decades to come. It’d be a brilliant plan.

    • Alexandria says:

      British establishment and allegedly Putin.

      • TheHufflepuffLizLemon says:

        say what now? Putin is pulling PWTs strings? Off to Google!

      • Mac says:

        I seriously doubt it. There was some kind of who-ha a few years back where William lobed a thinly veiled threat at Putin.

      • Jaded says:

        William was in Stockholm a few years back and said in a speech “your security concerns are our ours”, reassuring Sweden that it has Britain’s full support against a growing threat from Russia and to continue close ties after Brexit.

      • BlueToile says:

        @Jaded Eh, the Royal Family/Establishment say a lot of things in public. It is what they do in private that matters. Just because they won’t let Russia move into Sweden does not mean they won’t help them in other ways. We all know that Will is a bitter, angry, entitled, colonialist. He is perfect prey for someone like Putin, who will have forgotten more about political intrigue than Will could ever hope to learn.

  11. Sofia says:

    They’re not going to prosecute the Prince of Wales. If Scotland Yard do prosecute, it’ll be Michael Fawcett. He’s been told to fall on his sword and if that includes a potential criminal investigation, he’ll do so.

    • TQ says:

      Exactly this. Fawcett is toast.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      And this is why we had stories a few weeks ago that Fawcett was distraught over this whole business.

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah Fawcett is toast and Charles is going to say he was just ignorant of the whole messy business.

      And if the papers keep talking about this, he’ll give them something juicier to talk about to make this go away. William better watch his back.

      • Mac says:

        I don’t know how Charles can claim ignorance. It seems impossible he didn’t know how much was being donated to his own charity.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Mac oh he’ll know it was donated but not realize it was in exchange for the CBE (which also seems hard to deny since it was an off-the-record CBE that Camilla attended but was done in private…..)

        It’s not a smart claim. But is that a surprise?

    • Tessa says:

      Fawcett will be set for life. I doubt he will get in serious trouble he will be protected by Charles for “taking the fall.”. Charles will give him a pension and keep in on as an assistant.

  12. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Would love for this to be a huge scandal and for people to finally rally to abolish the monarchy…right when Bullyiam can just taste all the power the spices pilfered from everywhere on earth but his drizzly rock.

  13. equality says:

    I wonder how much Charles and Fawcett raked in personally that is now in off-shore accounts or hidden away somewhere. Think how easy it would be to launder money through the Duchy of Cornwall.

  14. Harla says:


    That’s all I’ve got .

  15. Eurydice says:

    Huh, it’s like being anointed by God doesn’t mean anything anymore.

  16. Lauren says:

    Between this and the Christmas parties that Boris hosted the tabloids could eat for months lol, but they’ll be back to cry about Meghan pretty soon.

  17. Mslove says:

    Wow, Charles got caught doing something the BRF has been doing for centuries. Don’t worry, he won’t be held accountable. The royal grift will continue.

  18. Nivz says:

    But. But. Meghan’s earrings.

  19. Missy says:

    I’ m honestly not surprised or bothered by this scandal because this is basically how the world and especially how the world of power and money work. Everything is for something. Access, lobbying, influence, rubbing elbows with the who’s who. Unless you’re giving McKenzie bezos level money on the scale she is , nothing surprises me.

  20. Cathy says:

    There has always been titles, honours, whatever given to cash “donors” to the Royal Family. The difference this time, I think, is that Michael Fawcett and the guy who now owns Debretts Peerage both received a percentage of what was donated. They were making good money off selling introductions to Charles. He was a fool for letting it happen, imo, should have been paying attention eh Charlie?

    But this still doesn’t change the fact that Prince Charles will be the next King, it won’t jump to William no matter what the tabloids say. But, hey, if the very unlikely happened… why jump to William? Why not let it go straight to George? Afterall, he’s without controversy?

  21. PrincessK says:

    I always admired Charles for his work with The Princes Trust and his networking skills. Throwing luncheons and dinner parties in exchange for donations is one thing but cash for access to getting government lobbying, prestigious awards and citizenship is something else. Charles must have known what was happening and it is very disappointing. I do however feel camp Cambridge have a hand in this expose, though l cannot believe Billy and his wife want to sit on the throne just yet.