Scandal plagues royal aide
One of Prince Charles’s closest aides has quit after claims he had fixed an honour for a Saudi tycoon who donated more than £1.5m ($2.8m) to royal charities.
Michael Fawcett, the prince’s former valet, stepped down temporarily as chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation after The Sunday Times provided evidence of Charles’s dealings with the businessman.
Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz paid tens of thousands of pounds to fixers with links to the prince who told him they could secure the honour.
Charles, 72, personally awarded Mahfouz, 51, his
CBE at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2016. The event was not announced in the Court Circular, the official list of royal engagements.
The prince’s aides and senior staff in his charities had helped the paid fixers to secure the CBE after Mahfouz donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Charles, including Dumfries House and the Castle of Mey.
Mahfouz was a Saudi national trying to secure British citizenship or residency via a so-called “golden visa” for investment. He had been advised securing honorary roles and awards would help his cause.