Charity Commission weighs probe into grant-maker linked to Prince of Wales

Prince Charles (Luke Dray/Getty Images)
Prince Charles (Luke Dray/Getty Images)

The Charity Commission may investigate concerns about a foundation created by Prince Charles, after claims it received donations via bags of cash given to the heir to the throne.

The Prince of Wales Charitable Fund accepted about €3m between 2011 and 2015 after Prince Charles was given the cash in bags and suitcases by the former Prime Minister of Qatar, according to reports in The Sunday Times newspaper (£) at the weekend.

The newspaper said Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani personally handed the cash to Prince Charles during three separate meetings, with the money then passed on to PWCF.

The charity’s trustees at the time of the donation discussed the gift with the auditors KPMG, who signed it off, The Sunday Times said.

The commission said it would review the information it had on the charity before deciding how to proceed.

PWCF is the fifth charity linked to the Prince of Wales to face regulatory scrutiny since September 2021.

The Charity Commission has opened statutory inquiries into the Mahfouz Foundation and Burke’s Peerage Foundation, in relation to claims that Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, a Saudi billionaire, sought access to Prince Charles using donations from his charity. William Bortrick, a trustee at BPF, has been described as an advisor to Mahfouz.

The Scottish Charity Regulator has an open inquiry into The Prince’s Foundation, which is also subject to a police investigation over cash-for-honours claims

Another charity, Children and the Arts, of which Prince Charles is a patron, referred itself to the Charity Commission after being named in media reports about the allegations.

A commission spokesperson said: “We are aware of reports about donations received by PWCF. 

“We will review the information to determine whether there is any role for the commission in this matter.”

PWCF has raised more than £65m since 2017, according to its most recent available accounts, from a combination of donations and licensing deals for selling goods linked to the royal estate.

PWCF did not respond to emails and calls requesting comment, but Ian Cheshire, its chair of trustees, told The Sunday Times: “There was no failure of governance.”

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