Prince Charles gave honors & contracts to a dude who bailed out his eco-village

The thing which will ultimately “save” Prince Charles is that his current scandals are all complex financial crimes involving tax schemes, suitcases full of cash, shadowy arrangements ensuring access and honours and failed property deals. Charles had plenty of sex scandals in the past, but the sexiest controversy Charles has been involved in recently is accepting those multiple suitcases full of cash. I just worry that younger people won’t even realize how utterly corrupt Charles has been this whole time too. Speaking of, there was yet another horrendous financial story about Charles’s corruption when it comes to his charitably endeavors. I won’t post the whole Times story, but here are the basics:

The Prince of Wales gave an honour to a controversial Tory peer who spent £1.7 million bailing out his failed eco-village in a string of secretive deals being investigated by the charity watchdog. Prince Charles presented Lord Brownlow with the award during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace after accepting millions of pounds in donations from him.

His flagship charity also opened up Dumfries House, his 18th-century country estate in Scotland, for Brownlow’s 50th birthday — a black-tie event involving fireworks, bagpipes and a performance by a celebrity magician — and awarded the businessman’s company a £1.2 million construction contract.

In 2013 Charles, 73, appointed Brownlow as a trustee of the Prince’s Foundation, which manages Dumfries House. Charles had bought the mansion from the Marquess of Bute by taking out a £20 million loan six years earlier. He also acquired a nearby piece of farmland, Knockroon, at a cut-price rate. Charles saw the construction and sale of faux-Georgian homes there as an ideal way of repaying the Dumfries House debt. The development was also supposed to bring jobs and homes to a depressed former mining community and exhibit his values of traditional and sustainable architecture in practice.

There was a severe shortfall in demand: just 31 of 770 homes were built and its value was written down from £15 million to £700,000. By 2015 Hope Homes, the prince’s developer, had withdrawn from the project and a leading Scottish architect, Professor Alan Dunlop, described the prince’s vision as an “imported pastiche” and a “curious mix” of relatively expensive homes dropped into a rural setting that should have never been built. Today plans to complete Knockroon have been abandoned. Residents complain it is a ghost town that Charles rarely visits despite routinely spending weekends entertaining donors and relaxing and unwinding at his nearby estate.

Brownlow incorporated his own property company, Havisham Properties, and started buying homes at Knockroon from a subsidiary of the Prince’s Foundation. Between 2012 and 2017 he spent £1.7 million purchasing 11 properties and converting them into buy-to-lets and a café, according to official documents. The charity did not declare any of the purchases as “related party transactions”. This is a standard measure used to guard against perceived conflicts of interest and to demonstrate that trustees knew that money was going to someone who had existing ties to the charity.

During this period the foundation also awarded Brownlow’s company a series of contracts. In 2015 it gave him an estimated £1.2 million worth of work to build three properties on the estate, which a source said were cottages for staff. In the same year the charity seconded charitable staff to run Da Vinci’s, his company’s café, housed in what was supposed to be Knockroon visitor centre. It also “purchased an item of home furnishing on behalf of Mr Brownlow” which he later repaid, and paid him £8,590 in rent. The following year, accounts state that his company received £715,668 for building the staff homes. The foundation would not say if there was an open competition or tender exercise to award the contracts.

[From The Times]

So… again, Charles is lucky that this is so complicated and dry. The basic gist is that Charles once again pursued a relationship with a wealthy man under the auspices of charitable fundraising. Lord Brownlow was added as a trustee to the Prince’s Foundation, which seems like one of the biggest money laundering schemes in the UK. When Charles’s wacky housing development project set his foundation back millions of dollars, Brownlow bought up all of the now cheap properties and, in exchange, Charles gave Brownlow (who is still a foundation trustee) multiple no-bid contracts.

The thing that strikes me is that the Prince’s Foundation must have tens of millions of dollars/Euros just sitting there, not being used. I mean, we’re constantly hearing about how Charles secured millions from this shady Qatari or that scammy Russian, yet Charles’s foundation is also, somehow, always in a constant state of need for additional cash infusions. What’s really going on there?

Photos courtesy of Instar.

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39 Responses to “Prince Charles gave honors & contracts to a dude who bailed out his eco-village”

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  1. OriginalLala says:

    I’m certain most of the money donated to any royal foundation is just going directly to said royal’s coffers. They enrich themselves on others money, that’s the business plan.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      There was an article years back saying the difference between foundations and actual charities. How much has to be given to the cause. And how much you can keep. Even what we might think of as the best charities out there still might only donate 15% of what they raise for the cause. Many are single digit percentages.

      • OriginalLaLa says:

        I read a great article a while back about ‘celebrity philanthropy” and how so much of it was, not a scam per se, but definitely shady as hell. I’ll try to find it and link it!

      • BeanieBean says:

        There are websites out there that tell you exactly how much of your donated money goes to the stated cause, how much goes to ‘overhead’, & etc., so that you can make informed decisions about where & how to donate. What Charles seems to be doing is a bit of money laundering here, a bit of self-payment there, & a bit of influence-peddling just to maintain the whole filthy system. Burn it to the ground folks, to the ground.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ BeanieBean, there are as I use Charity Navigator for all of my donations!

        As for this Lord Brownnose, he seems to have his hand in every friggin pie with the Tory’s as well as PoW…..

        Charles is certainly playing cash for honours……all across Britain and the Middle East 😳

        I agree wholeheartedly with Kaisers assessment, with regards to Charles lacking access to cash, where is his money exactly?? Why is it that Charles never seems to never have access to cash??? They have been hiding millions of pounds for decades but he seems to be lacking funds with the Princes Trust on a regular basis…..

  2. Lady Esther says:

    Isn’t Lord Brownlow the Tory donor Boris Johnson tried to tap to build his son a 150,000£ treehouse? Okay then…

  3. Sam says:

    Does it also come up in your media that all conservative MPs in England have committed some kind of sexual offense? Nothing surprises me anymore on this island.. In any other country in Europe, that would be the scandal of the century!

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      Charles is very sheltered, but I’m betting he’s been to the island.

      • The Hench says:

        He definitely has – since the ‘island’ in question here is the UK itself 🙂

        As to the other island – I’m presuming you meant Epstein’s hangout – actually, whilst I’d happily consider Charles for quite a lot of shady financial dealings he’s never shown any inclination for young women/girls. See his preference for Kanga and Camilla over Diana for a start. If anything, I’d say he’s looking for a motherly type…

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Lol 🤢
        I never thought enough about it that Charles has an Oedipus complex of sorts.
        I need a palate cleanser!

    • NeedCoffee says:

      Yep, the latest is a Conservative MP with the surname of Pincher (not a joke).

  4. Slippers4life says:

    It’s terrible and shady of Charles AND this was likely an open secret that is only coming out now as retaliation for him criticizing Boris’s disgusting Rawanda plan.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I am still beyond appalled at that whole ‘ship ’em to Rwanda’ thing. What an absolutely reprehensible way to think about & treat people, both refugees AND Rwandans.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ BeanieBean, what BoZo Johnson is doing is reprehensible!! This asinine program will hopefully be his downfall. This program makes absolutely ZERO sense as Britain will still be financially supporting the refugees daily expenses, in addition to the Rwanda government not having the necessary staff to process their claims!!!

        I am pleased that Charles spoke out AGAINST it!!!! This is worse than having immigrants coming to the US and keeping them across the boarder.

        I think BoZo and Drumpf are cut from the same cloth…. Both heartless, selfish as well as incapable of proper governing.

      • Dee says:

        There’s also now a “Nigeria plan”, to ship who the UK GOVERNMENT ITSELF is describing as “hardened criminals” to a country already dealing with unprecedented insecurity and headed into an election year. I know the UK brand under BoJo is “euro-Trump”, but this is actually worse than anything he ever did.

  5. C-Shell says:

    This painfully incremental dropping of PC’s corrupt shoes is raising my eyebrows. Is this BoJo retaliating for the Rwanda kerfuffle, is it CH trying to get all the dirt out and quieted before the ascension, is it Bulliam/Joffrey playing GoT (he’s not bright enough IMO)? This is all pretty old news, so why now, why the weekly installments? How does any of this jive with C&C hiring the Fail editor to be their comms secretary? I have so many questions!

    • MsIam says:

      My money is on the government because I think this whole scandal taints all of them and puts them all under scrutiny. I can’t see William wanting that just to take a swipe at Charles. I think its a punishment for Charles and a warning to William to not step out of line. Its also a further illustration that Harry was right about his brother and father being trapped.

  6. Amy Bee says:

    The silence from the British press is deafening. If this was Harry and Meghan the press would be screaming about this.

    • ABritGuest says:

      It really brings home how much hypocrisy there is because the rota will have meltdowns about H&M “trading on their titles” for the Netflix & Spotify deals but there is barely a whisper about money bags Charles various cash for honours scandals. I saw more press outrage over Harry & Meghan not revealing Archie’s godparents.

      The Times seems to be trying to show Chuck who the real boss is with these weekend briefings of old dirt. No wonder he and Camilla have resorted to hiring a daily fail hack as their new comms guy. Notice how these stories rarely make the radio or breakfast shows & there are no polls about it showing that they are zinging chuck but not trying to sway opinion against him

      • Blue Nails Betty says:

        Hypocrisy is right. Harry and Meghan could completely renounce all ties to royalty, drop all titles, and still be absolute rockstars.

        Chuckles and William the Pathetic? Not so much.

  7. The Hench says:

    Right. I’m losing count of how many laws have been broken or twisted in just this one example. And yet, do I have any hope that any consequences will land for either Charles or Brownlow? Nope.

  8. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Sounds like someone is setting the stage for Charles being declared unfit to be king (or at least riling up the Brits in that direction) when the Queen passes. Unclear who is doing this, but I don’t think it will have the desired result. See—if you open the box “Skip Charles,” someone is going to open a bigger box “Bin then all.” So William is not ever going to be king if this campaign succeeds. And if William is the one who has launched this campaign and is drip-drip-dripping this scandal, well, lol.

    • Nedsdag says:

      Someone like Andrew, perhaps?

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Perhaps as Bullyiam is much too stupid to place all of these ducks in a row to pull this off. Bullyiam is more of a checkers dumbass while everyone else is playing chess.

  9. Veda says:

    This Prince’s Foundation funds Charles’ Scottish bolt house, Dumfries House. I bet the money is funneled in to its upkeep.

    • Original penguin says:

      Charles doesn’t actually live at Dumfries house- it’s just a front for his ‘charitable activities’. His bolt hole is Birkhall- he would never let the public anywhere near there

    • A says:

      I have seen a documentary about that place and I am sure it takes just a shocking amount of money to keep going. And it wasn’t covered in the docu, obvi, but I am equally sure that every expenditure that someone could possibly, vaguely, even theoretically connect to the property is covered by the foundation and not by his personal accounts.

  10. Mslove says:

    I really think Chuck is trying to get his scandals out there, before he takes the throne. Maybe he hopes his subjects won’t care, financial crimes are boring to some folks. 🤷‍♀️

  11. windyriver says:

    Presumably it’s being called an “eco-village” to make it sound oh-so-woke, but planned community is a more accurate description. It was an attempt to duplicate the relative success of Poundbury, a similar project near Dorset that Charles was also involved in. For anyone interested in the background details on Knockroon (with a bit on how Dumfries House came about) and why it wasn’t as likely to be successful in this location, here’s a good article (warning, it’s long) – and note the reference to the Barony Learning and Enterprise Campus, a concept project nearby consolidating multiple schools in the area:

    The article also gives a clue about where some of the questionably acquired money could be going. Note too that when Michael Fawcett resigned in December as CEO of the Prince’s Foundation (cash for honors scandal), he also quit roles in several other separately incorporated entities related to Dumfries House, one of which was connected to this project. So, his sticky fingers are likely involved here as well.

  12. Jaded says:

    Two-buck Chuck is teflon, someone else will inevitably take the fall for him and he’ll skate.

  13. Original penguin says:

    This is all retaliation for him speaking out against Rwanda. There’s no way people didn’t know. This is Boris’ wallpaper dealer after all- compromat kept in hand for when Charles stepped out of line

  14. Puppetgirl says:

    So what will this cash scandal accomplish? nothing? Will Charles still become king or is after the Queen’s death will the government overthrow the monarchy?

  15. Nlopez says:

    Nothing will happen to Charles. The monarchy is one of the greatest scams ever. A real emperor with no clothes!