Prince Charles accepted a suitcase full of cash as a charitable donation from the former prime minister of Qatar, it has been claimed.
The Sunday Times says it was one of three bundles of cash given as charitable donations which the Prince of Wales received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.
The three lots, which totalled €3m, were handed to the prince personally between 2011 and 2015, the paper adds.
It claims that on one occasion, Sheikh Hamad, 62, presented the prince with €1m reportedly stuffed into carrier bags from Fortnum & Mason, the luxury food store that has a royal charter to provide the Royal Family with groceries.
The cash payments were deposited into the accounts of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF), an entity that bankrolls the prince’s private projects and his country estate in Scotland, it added.
There is no suggestion anything about the payments was illegal.
Clarence House has released a statement following the report.
It said: “Charitable donations received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim were passed immediately to one of the prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate governance and have assured us that all the correct processes were followed.”
Sky News has contacted the PWCF for comment.
Sir Ian Cheshire, its chairman, told the Sunday Times after it was approached for comment on Friday evening: “At a few hours’ notice from The Sunday Times, we have checked into this event in the past, and confirm that the previous trustees of PWCF discussed the governance and donor relationship, (confirming that the donor was a legitimate and verified counterparty) and our auditors signed off on the donation after a specific enquiry during the audit. There was no failure of governance”.
The Sunday Times said he confirmed the latest donation was given in cash. He said: “The donation was made in cash and that was the donor’s choice.”
Asked which donation he was referring to, Mr Cheshire told the Sunday Times: “The assurance of [the] 2015 donation has been verified from records. I believe the same assurance applied to earlier donations and look forward to confirming that in due course.”
The Sunday Times said Sheikh Hamad’s lawyers declined to comment.
It is the latest claim to beset the future king, who has repeatedly run into controversy in the past and who is currently in Rwanda representing the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Investigation linked to The Prince’s Foundation
On Friday, the Prince of Wales expressed his “personal sorrow” in the Rwandan capital Kigali about “slavery’s enduring impact” and addressed the contentious issue of other Commonwealth countries cutting ties with the Royal Family.
In February, police said they were investigating a bid to give honours and citizenship to a Saudi national linked to the Prince of Wales’s charity The Prince’s Foundation.
In September 2021, Clarence House said that Charles had “no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities”.
It said that he was fully supportive of an investigation by The Prince’s Foundation.
Also in February, 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.”
Police said on Sunday the investigation into allegations of offences under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 was ongoing but they would “not be providing a running commentary on its progress”.