Will there ever be a criminal bribery investigation into Prince Charles?

Here’s the thing I don’t understand about Prince Charles and his endless financial shenanigans: all of the reporting indicates clear financial transactions, with witnesses, a digital trail and a paper trail, and these are all credible accusations of fraud, bribery and public corruption. So why are there not widespread cries for in-depth investigations at a criminal level? For example, the fact that Prince Charles accepted $1.23 million from Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers should have raised red flags with every intelligence agency, counterterrorism unit and police force. The fact that Charles wanders around, accepting suitcases full of cash, is not only a huge PR scandal but an actual criminal matter, especially given that Charles operates entirely through quid pro quo. So will it actually happen in the Bin Laden case? Probably not.

Prince Charles was accused of a ‘serious lack of judgment’ yesterday after it emerged his charity accepted £1million from the family of Osama bin Laden. It received the donation after Charles had a private meeting with the terrorist’s half-brother Bakr bin Laden in 2013 – two years after the Al Qaeda leader was killed by US special forces. The Charity Commission is likely to face calls to investigate in light of the revelation.

Royal sources denied reports that Charles, 73, had ‘brokered’ the donation, or that he agreed to it in the face of opposition from his advisers. Clarence House said the trustees of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) had agreed to accept the donation without the prince’s involvement, and that they carried out ‘thorough due diligence’. But the latest revelation comes only weeks after it emerged the PWCF accepted more than £2.5million in cash donations, said to be stuffed in bags and suitcases, from a former Qatari prime minister. And it raised further questions about the fundraising activities of the prince’s charity, and why it accepted money from the Bin Laden family.

Former Government minister Norman Baker said: ‘Prince Charles continues to show a serious lack of judgment about whom he will accept money from. Is there in fact anyone he would refuse money from? Is this really appropriate behaviour from the heir to the throne?’

Both the PWCF and Clarence House said the £1million donation was made and accepted, but said it was accepted by the charity’s trustees, and not by the prince. Sources denied reports that Charles had accepted the donation, and had done so despite objections by advisers – including at least one trustee – who pleaded with him to return the money.

[From The Daily Mail]

Charles’s argument in the Bin Laden situation is the same as his argument for most of these credible accusations of bribery: that it wasn’t him, it wasn’t his call, his advisors did it without his knowledge, he has no idea what was even in the suitcases full of cash he personally accepted, and he never questioned why he was prancing around, giving special honors to every despot, oligarch, dictator and terrorist relation he came across. That argument falls flat, obviously. Not only are there witnesses who got “shouted down” when they raised the alarm in real time, I’d be willing to bet there are extensive paper trails (with Charles’s spidery signature) of what was promised in exchange for “donations.” Anyway, my point remains: this is not just “bad PR” or a bad look or a matter for whatever toothless charity commission. This is a genuine criminal matter and it’s a giant diplomatic mess.

Photos courtesy of Instar and Avalon Red.

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47 Responses to “Will there ever be a criminal bribery investigation into Prince Charles?”

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  1. Alexandria says:

    If he (and for that matter the Queen and Bulliam) are going to keep claiming they don’t know what they accepted and feign ignorance and blame their team all the time, then I really don’t know what a Head of State is for.

  2. C-Shell says:

    That pic of Charles looking longingly at the crown perfectly captures this moment. So near, yet so far. I can’t claim to know if British law even permits the criminal investigation and indictment of an heir to the throne, but clearly Charles (and Bulliam), and even the Queen, act like they are exempt from compliance with laws or the consequences of noncompliance. Why isn’t there an outcry for an investigation?! Can Scotland Yard even be trusted to do it, if there were?

    • equality says:

      Since they manage to make themselves exempt from all kinds of taxes and laws, why wouldn’t they think laws don’t apply to them? I doubt any heir would be indicted (not even a spare) but, I guess, they could force him out like TQ’s uncle.

      • Both Sides Now says:

        That’s it. They have been excluded from the laws of the nation they govern for decades, so why would Charles think that his dirty deeds are criminal? They all live their lives free from taxes, labor laws or “donations”. As for Charles he knows of every donation and doesn’t give it a second thought for any of them.

  3. GR says:

    So these horrible people gave him a bunch of cash in exchange for some stupid made-up titles? And some of the cash ended up back in his pocket?

    • MeganC says:

      Charles acting like he doesn’t know where the money that funds his charities comes from is ridiculous.

      • Becks1 says:

        It IS ridiculous and I think its sort of….not funny, but interesting, that the defense here is basically that Charles doesn’t know about the funding of his charities and is completely hands off and just signs where he’s told to sign or wherever. for decades we’ve heard how involved he is, how hands on, how his personal charities are his lasting mark, etc. And now they have to walk all that back – “oh he has no idea! oh these millions just appeared! oh he just thought it was a pretty suitcase!”

  4. Becks1 says:

    there needs to be an investigation. If the next British head of state is accepting money from any and all sources, that needs to be investigated. You have to wonder how much else is going on that we haven’t heard about yet.

    • smarmyo says:

      Charles had dinner with the same brother – Bakr bin Laden, the patriarch of the construction company – two weeks after September 11th, 2001. This was reported in the Guardian on the 13th of October 2001. THAT passed by, nobody thought that was weird, and so the donation 12 years later is just part of the same conversation, shall we say. https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/oct/13/monarchy.afghanistan

  5. Jan says:

    What a father!
    The CIA said Bin Laden tracked Harry’s location in Afghanistan and daddy dearest is in England accepting money from the family of the man, who wanted to kill his son.

    • Snuffles says:

      I wonder if Harry is finding this out for the first time with the rest of us. This must be devastating for him.

      • K8erade says:

        I would be livid if I were Harry. This is just me putting on a tinfoil tiara but I’ve suspected for a very long time that Charles was the one who leaked Harry’s location. I don’t think Tampon King wanted Harty over in Afghanistan and did it knowing he’d be pulled.

    • Mrs. CP says:

      @Jan this throws a whole new light over the security issues!
      My goodness me!

  6. Fortuona says:

    Are Harvard to be investigated as well and they took $2 m of them ?

    He was 1 of 57 siblings the other 56 did nothing but cut him off from the money 4 years before 9/11

    • Snuffles says:

      Yes. They absolutely should be investigated.

      • Eurydice says:

        Those donations were made in 1993. One or more of the bin Ladens went to Harvard, so the university was thoroughly investigated after 9/11. Also, I remember that some amount of money was set aside by Harvard to provide scholarships for the victims families.

    • equality says:

      If it was no big deal why was it secret for so long? Why were the bags of cash secret? And, I think, the larger question is what did all these people get in return for the millions? Was he selling citizenship, honors, some kind of special treatment?

      • Nikki (Toronto) says:

        I asked this on Twitter: When people donate $1M to charity, there is usually a press release, press conference or something named after them. Don’t people find it odd that people are donating to the Prince’s Trust in secret?

      • Eurydice says:

        It’s weird because the Saudi royal family doesn’t need honors and, to them, $1M is the equivalent of loose change under the sofa cushions.

      • Julia K says:

        @eurydice, that’s true. To them it’s chump change. Which begs the question; was this an installment payment? As in Part 2 of 10?

      • equality says:

        Does taking money from big oil make PC, the enivronmentalist, a hypocrite?

  7. Eurydice says:

    I think the answer to your question is “no.” The foundation chair is declaring everything to be above board, even saying that the government was consulted. So, unless someone from the government refutes this…and even then, Osama bin Laden was related to pretty much everyone in the Saudi royal family. I don’t think the UK government wants to cause a kerfuffle with the Saudis over something like this.

  8. CC says:

    So the new excuse is he didn’t know what was in the suitcases when he personally took them? He must have a terrible security team if they allow Charles, heir to the throne, to accept and handle uninspected packages.

  9. Snuffles says:

    He will never be investigated or tried. Maybe if the UK citizens raise enough protest or Charles’ reputation suffers enough, he might be forced to abdicate. I won’t hold my breath though.

  10. Yeah Right says:

    They never know what their team is doing. ( which is total BS they absolutely know) The British press were more angry about not knowing the 7th in line’s godparents than they are about this.

  11. Izzy says:

    Since the attack was on US soil and not UK soil, they won’t care enough to investigate. They DGAF about optics, they’re embarrassing and shady as hell and still the monarchy hasn’t been abolished.

  12. K8erade says:

    The lack of accountability from Tampon King and Burger King is what gets me the most. These are two heads of state who seem to lack being held accountable for anything. If I lived in the UK or Commonwealth, I would be very disturbed by the sheer blame game PR.

  13. Tessa says:

    The dm buried this story but made Bowers book headline news

  14. Lilpeppa40 says:

    I don’t understand this “sources say” reporting for such serious matters. This isn’t about someone being banned from wearing a tiara *eyeroll* this is about legitimate financial concerns. This seems to me to require a full throated statement from Clarence House. But hey, why should I care when their citizens don’t? Didn’t the Charity Commission investigate Sussex Royal when they split cuz that Republic Twitter account raised a stink about the Endeavour Fund money coming over? I don’t remember the details but I’m fairly certain they did, so once again, we see the ridiculous double standards.

  15. Amy Bee says:

    The same people who insist that Meghan didn’t grow up as an only child are now saying that the Bin Laden Family had nothing to do with their terrorist brother. Charles should be investigated for money laundering.

    • IForget says:

      I didn’t even make that connection, but so true. These people. Abolish the monarchy. Eat the rich.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      I’m someone who fully believes that Meghan grew up as an only child and is not saying that Bakr bin Laden is the same as his half brother. I’m basing that on stories I’ve read from the New Yorker and WSJ(pre Murdoch days). Along with formerr President Jimmy Carter accepting a $200,000 donation from Bakr bin Laden in 2000 to his Carter Center. JC questioned the donation before accepting it. He was given the all clear. Osama was an issue for years. I remember exactly where I was when 9/11 happened. Also remember how the 20-25 people, 15-20 ? students in the US, that were bin Laden relatives were secretively relocated, at that itme, due to fears regarding their last name even though they completely opposed their maniacal relative. Disappointed in Americans that harassed people that may have looked like Osama or believed they were part of the Taliban/movement. Some were. A lot were not.

      The big problem with Charles/BRF is that QE2 is just as guilty with the secrecy/lack of transparency with donations. It sounds like a normal day for them and their long history. We are also talking about a BM publication that put out a story that Meghan was associated with terrorists regarding her freaking awesome cookbook.

      You have to laugh a little bit that a Murdoch owned paper/outlet put out this story. The same (Murdoch) ownership that put out a multitude of articles/stories within no time flat regarding Meghan wearing earrings given to the Queen in March 2018. The same Murdoch owned group that were all crickets mentioning how Murdoch HOSTED a dinner party for bin Salman in April 2018. Meghan wore earrings, Murdoch hosted a freaking dinner party for bin Salman.

  16. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Paging Shaggy.

    Seriously, Charles cannot be head of state if he doesn’t know about or cannot control the actions of everyone in his employ. But especially not if he does. (Note; Charles knows about and controls every action of those in his employ,)

  17. cabooklover says:

    Diana said he wasn’t fit to rule, she was not wrong.

  18. Jasper says:

    Shaggy’s song “It wasn’t me” should be playing on loop in Clarence House.

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      Maybe Andrew can loan Charles a cassette, I’m sure he’s got a few of them so he can keep the song running continuously while the one that’s just been run is rewound.

  19. aquarius64 says:

    Anybody who works or wants to work for a royal household needs to rethink their choices. You get little to no pay and you are the fall guy or girl when the boss gets bad press. See Cambridge Caribbean Flop tour.

  20. Cerys says:

    There will never be an investigation into Charles’ finances or those of any other royal. In the U.K., it is one rule for the aristocracy and another for the Plebs. Those in power collude with each other. The sooner the monarchy is abolished, the better.

  21. Theresa says:

    I could see Wills using this to his advantage to promote himself to the throne sooner rather than later…that way he could quit “trying so hard” to be relevant.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Theresa, lest we think otherwise, I would be willing to bet that Wont is also taking money behind the scenes. He was in Jordan last year, but do we know that’s the only country he was in? I seriously doubt that Wont wants any spotlight on his actions.

  22. Bisynaptic says:

    The Sovereign is above the law; and Charles is almost the Sovereign.

  23. Nuzzy says:

    Silly question: is it possible to bribe royalty? Do they do anything of worth for anyone that it would matter if they did one thing versus another? It’s like if I gave a cat a bunch of cash… what did I do that would matter enough to anyone for it to be a crime?

    Don’t get me wrong. The bin Ladens suck and need to die in bunkers and not palaces. I understand optics and acclimation by association, etc. This was just a silly rant about the pointlessness of rewarding a particular genetic line over another.

    • HamsterJam says:

      Whether or not the person who gets the bags of money does something “worth it” to the person handing over the bags of money is beside the point. The transfer of the bags of money is money laundering by definition.

      You are not allowed to put more than 10K cash into a bank in England without having to explain where it came from.

      You are not allowed to enter the UK with more than 10K in cash.

      Those laws are there to stop money laundering when your cat deposits the money in the bank.

      So in your example, Yes, you and your cat are guilty of money laundering at the point when your cat deposits the cash in a bank.

  24. MtlExPat says:

    Best line of the article – “…he has no idea what was even in the suitcases full of cash he personally accepted, and he never questioned why he was prancing around, giving special honors to every despot, oligarch, dictator and terrorist relation he came across.”
    THIS. All day long this. When the Queen goes, time for Canada to sever ties with these grifters.

  25. blunt talker says:

    The late Princess Diana saw through Charles when she made that statement-he truly is unfit to rule-being unfit and changing the rules to let William rule is two horses of a another color-but I think the Cambridges enjoy this to make Charles and Camilla be more disliked before ever getting on the throne-hoping the British subjects will rise up and demand that Charles be replaced because he can’t be trusted to do the right thing.