Prince Charles faces investigation over 1m euros donation from sheikh

A series of meetings between the Prince of Wales and former prime minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, have come under scrutiny after the Sunday Times claimed he accepted cash donations of three million euros for his charity. Geraint Vincent reports

The Prince of Wales is facing an investigation over a suitcase containing a donation of 1m euros from a former Qatari prime minister.

The Charity Commission said it would be reviewing the donations received by The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation (PWCF).The Sunday Times claimed the prince personally accepted cash donations of three million euros in total for his charity the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF) between 2011 and 2015 from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim who is a former prime minister of Qatar.

Clarence House said the donations were “passed immediately” to one of the prince’s charities and that “appropriate governance” was carried out.

“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,” a statement said.

Charities are permitted to accept donations in cash, but the Charity Commission has guidance that encourages all to follow to ensure appropriate due diligence when accepting donations. 

The Prince of Wales with the then Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim in Doha in 2013. Credit: PA

The Sunday Times reported that on one occasion a donation of one million euro in €500 notes was handed over in a suitcase during a meeting at the prince’s residence, Clarence House.

PWCF has been contacted for comment but its chairman Sir Ian Cheshire told the newspaper “there was no failure of governance."

The charity, founded in 1979 with a mission to transform lives and build sustainable communities, awards grants to UK registered non-profit organisations to deliver projects in the UK, Commonwealth and overseas.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said he was confident the donations would have gone through “proper due process."

“This isn’t a government issue, but what I have seen is the palace have been very clear, that all monies go through proper due process, the charities obviously go through proper due process," he said, when asked about the report on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme.

“I’m confident having had some dealings with charities, The Prince’s Trust, The Prince’s Foundation, around the palace in the past myself, that these will have gone through proper due process.”

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It comes as another of Charles’s charities, the Prince’s Foundation, is currently under investigation by the Metropolitan Police over an alleged cash-for-honours scandal.

The prince, and his close friend Michael Fawcett, were formally reported to the Met Police last September when allegations of cash-for-honours first surfaced in newspaper reports.

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

Clarence House has previously said that the prince had “no knowledge” of the alleged cash-for-honours.