Prince’s Foundation: Police launch investigation into ‘cash for honours’ at Prince Charles’s charity

Probe into The Prince’s Foundation comes following reports offers of financial help were made to secure honours and citizenship for Saudi national

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 16 February 2022 17:46 GMT
The Prince of Wales is president of the foundation
The Prince of Wales is president of the foundation (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into cash-for-honours allegations linked to the Prince of Wales’s charity.

The probe into The Prince’s Foundation comes following reports that offers of financial help were made to secure honours and citizenship for a Saudi national.

But it’s a marked change from the Met’s position three months ago, when Dame Cressida Dick said they had no plans to investigate the matter.

Pressure group Republic contacted the Metropolitan Police last September and reported both the future king and Michael Fawcett – Prince Charles’s former royal valet – on suspicion of breaching the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.

At the time Clarence House said the prince had “no knowledge” of the alleged cash-for-honours scandal.

Mr Fawcett, who has since resigned as chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation, was accused of promising to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a Saudi billionaire donor.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “The Metropolitan Police Service has launched an investigation into allegations of offences under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.

“The decision follows an assessment of a September 2021 letter. This related to media reporting alleging offers of help were made to secure honours and citizenship for a Saudi national.

“The Special Enquiry Team has conducted the assessment process which has included contacting those believed to hold relevant information.

“Officers liaised with The Prince’s Foundation about the findings of an independent investigation into fundraising practices. The Foundation provided a number of relevant documents.

“These documents were reviewed alongside existing information. The assessment determined an investigation will commence.

“There have been no arrests or interviews under caution.”

The Prince of Wales pictured with Michael Fawcett, who has resigned as chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation (Andrew Milligan/PA )

Charles is president of the foundation but not involved with its governance, with the charity’s trustees overseeing its day-to-day activities.

Clarence House reiterated its previous statement, saying: “The Prince of Wales had no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities.”

In December, Dame Cressida said the Metropolitan Police had not opened an investigation into the allegations, but would consider further evidence if it became available.

The commissioner said police had “considered” a letter they received and made “initial inquiries” but no probe was opened.

Ex-Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker previously wrote to the Metropolitan Police asking Dame Cressida to launch a criminal probe.

The police investigation comes just days after Dame Cressida resigned from her role.

It follows Prince Andrew’s agreement on Tuesday to pay an undisclosed sum as part of a settlement in US civil sexual assault case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre.

Ms Giuffre had been suing the Duke of York, claiming he sexually assaulted her on three occasions when she was 17 – which Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied.

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