Charity linked to Prince Charles hits out at ‘unfounded’ claims after regulator decides against inquiry

The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund had faced questions about millions in cash donations

(Photo by Jason Cairnduff - WPA Pool/Getty Image)
(Photo by Jason Cairnduff - WPA Pool/Getty Image)

The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund said it was the victim of “unfounded” claims about its work, after the Charity Commission decided not to take any action against the organisation.

The commission said yesterday that it had “no further regulatory role” after reviewing the circumstances in which PWCF accepted millions of pounds in cash originally given to Prince Charles by the prime minister of Qatar.

The Sunday Times newspaper reported last month that PWCF received about €3m in cash between 2011 and 2015, transferred to the charity after it was initially given to the Prince of Wales in suitcases and bags by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

Third Sector understands that following the reports, PWCF’s trustees sent the commission a serious incident report and other documents.

Having assessed the materials, the commission is not believed to have any concerns about the charity’s governance, at the time it received the cash or now.

Sir Ian Cheshire, chair of trustees at PWCF, said: “The trustees of PWCF note that the Charity Commission are taking no action relating to donations featured in The Sunday Times article, and that they confirmed that there was no failure of governance, as we have also previously stated. 

“It is disappointing that over 40 years of our charitable grants, totalling over £70m to various good causes, should be overshadowed by unfounded suggestions of improper management.”

A Charity Commission spokesperson said: “We have assessed the information provided by the charity and have determined there is no further regulatory role for the commission.”

Three other charities linked to Prince Charles are still being investigated by regulators.

The Scottish Charity Regulator opened an inquiry into The Prince’s Foundation last September, and extended its investigations into further conflict of interest claims earlier this month. The Prince’s Foundation is also subject to an ongoing police investigation into cash-for-honours claims

The Charity Commission has also opened statutory inquiries into the Mahfouz Foundation and Burke’s Peerage Foundation, in relation to questions about whether donations intended for one charity connected to the Prince of Wales were redirected to another organisation without the donor’s knowledge. 

A fourth charity, Children and the Arts, where Prince Charles is a patron, referred itself to the Charity Commission after being named in media reports about the allegations. Children and the Arts subsequently announced plans to close down.

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