Former aide to Prince Charles, Michael Fawcett, has temporarily resigned from his position as chief executive of prince’s Foundation (Prince Foundation, in Portuguese) after the press revealed that he would have offered an honor to a Saudi businessman in exchange for donations.
According to the Sunday Times, Fawcett would have used his position and influence to help Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz obtain the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). The newspaper presented emails with conversations involving the businessman.
The honor was awarded in late 2016. According to the BBC, which cites sources close to royalty, Prince Charles was not aware of any links between donations to the foundation and the honor.
The Prince’s Foundation is an educational charity and encompasses a range of Prince Charles’ charitable interests. Fawcett became chief executive in 2018, but previously worked with the royal family.
A CBE is one of the highest honors that can be received by a citizen from outside the UK.
Also according to the Sunday Times, Mahfouz was seeking various honorary positions to reinforce his claim for British citizenship through the “golden visa” given to people with a lot of money as an “Investment”.
A spokesperson for the foundation told CNN that it “takes very seriously the allegations that have recently been brought to its attention and that the matter is currently under investigation.”
Douglas Connell, president of the Prince’s Foundation, told BBC News that Fawcett offered his temporary resignation yesterday while an investigation is under way.
“The Prince’s Foundation has accepted this offer. Michael fully supports the ongoing investigation and has confirmed that it will help in every way,” he said.
The resignation comes weeks after another scandal that has hit the royal family: the accusation of sexual abuse against Prince Andrew. The abuse was allegedly committed in 2001 against Virginia Giuffre, then 17 years old. Andrew denies the charges.