<p>Prince Charles (L) and Michael Fawcett (R)</p>

Prince Charles (L) and Michael Fawcett (R)

Prince Charles’s closest aide could face criminal probe over cash-for-honours claims

Michael Fawcett is ‘the closest person to Princes Charles apart from Camilla’, royal expert claims

Saman Javed
Monday 06 September 2021 16:17

Princes Charles’s trusted aide and former valet could face a police investigation following cash-for-honours claims.

A former Liberal Democrat MP and author of a book on royal finances, Norman Baker, has written to the Metropolitan Police asking the force to launch an investigation into Michael Fawcett.

Fawcett has been accused of promising to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a Saudi billionaire who donated to Prince Charles’ charity, The Prince’s Foundation.

Baker’s request comes after a letter written by Fawcett in 2017 offered to “support and contribute” to Saudi tycoon Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz’s application for citizenship “in light of [his] ongoing and most recent generosity”.

The letter, seen by the Mail on Sunday, added: “I can further confirm that we are willing to make [an] application to increase His Excellency’s honour from Honorary CBE to that of KBE in accordance with Her Majesty’s Honours Committee.”

Mr. Mahfouz was previously awarded a CBE by Prince Charles in 2016. He is also listed as a “community patron” on The Prince’s Foundation website.

In an appearance on talkRADIO on Monday 6 September, Baker described Fawcett as “the closest person to Prince Charles apart from Camilla”.

“The idea that Michael Fawcett would write letters or undertake policies in this kind of rogue operation without Prince Charles knowing is just with the fairies,” he said. “Absolutely Prince Charles knows what’s going on.”

Fawcett, who became chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation in 2018, offered to temporarily step down from his duties at the foundation on Saturday 4 September, while the charity carries out an investigation.

Douglas Connell, chair of The Prince’s Foundation told The Independent: “The Prince’s Foundation has accepted this offer. Michael fully supports the ongoing investigation and has confirmed that he will assist the investigation in every way.”

A spokesperson for The Prince’s Foundation added: “The Prince’s Foundation takes very seriously the allegations that have recently been brought to its attention and the matter is currently under investigation.

“The scope of The Prince’s Foundation investigation has been extended to cover this weekend’s newspaper reports. The Trustees had already arranged an independent review by an external senior forensic accountant from a ‘big four’ accountancy firm.

“We are incredibly proud of The Prince’s Foundation’s charitable work and the positive impact it has on our beneficiaries throughout the UK and across the world.

“Our education and training programmes, in particular, benefit more than 15,000 people every year, and provide our students with the skills and confidence needed to gain employment or start their own businesses.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “We are aware of the media reports and await further contact in relation to this matter.”

Fawcett is one of Charles’s most trusted aides, with the prince once stating: “I can manage without just about anyone, except for Michael.”

Fawcett first began working with Charles as his personal valet, later becoming his personal assistant.

He quit the role in 2003 after he was accused of selling unwanted royal gifts but was cleared of financial misconduct by an internal inquiry.

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