King Charles’ charity to receive £4.5m in donations from under-fire Qatar
- King Charles’ charity has agreed to accept £4.5mn in donations from Qatar
- The World Cup hosts are under increasing scrutiny for discriminatory laws
- The King’s son, Prince William, refused to fly to England and Wales matches
- The Prince’s Foundation is under investigation over a ‘cash for honours’ scandal
King Charles’s charitable foundation has agreed to accept millions of pounds in donations from Qatar, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The Prince’s Foundation will receive what is thought to be £4.5 million over the next three years under the deal with the World Cup hosts, according to sources.
The charity is already mired in a ‘cash for honours’ scandal, which is the subject of a police investigation.
The new revelations will raise further concern over the running of the foundation, as Qatar faces widespread condemnation for its appalling human rights record.
It comes after the King had said he would have far less time to be personally involved with the charity having ascended the throne.
But The Mail on Sunday can also reveal that the King made a secret visit in a blacked-out Range Rover to a Prince’s Foundation project at the Qatari-owned Chelsea Barracks in central London on Wednesday.
Taking what is said to be annual instalments of £1.5 million over the next three years from the Qataris can only raise further questions about the King’s charity and the way it is funded.
The then Prince of Wales greets the Qatari PM Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al Thani in 2013
Michael Fawcett, current Chief Executive of the Prince’s Foundation, attends The Prince’s Countryside Fund Raceday at Ascot Racecourse on November 23, 2018 in Ascot, England
Qatar’s homophobic laws and discrimination against women have come under scrutiny in the run-up to the World Cup.
The regime has also been blamed for the deaths of thousands of migrant workers who built the tournament’s stadiums.
Prince William has chosen not to fly out to the matches of England and Wales in the tournament, despite being president of the Football Association.
Wednesday’s visit by the King to the Chelsea Barracks was not publicly acknowledged on the Court Circular, the official list of events undertaken by members of the Royal Family.
The King has launched a Highgrove Shop at the site, the funds from which go directly to the Prince’s Foundation, which has its headquarters in Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland.
Previously, the money from the shops was funnelled into the Prince’s Fund – as separate charitable body associated with the King.
When approached by The Mail on Sunday about the visit, a Palace spokesperson said: ‘His Majesty The King made a brief visit to the Highgrove Christmas shop to meet some of the suppliers and craftspeople whose products are sold on behalf of The Prince’s Foundation, and other supporters.’
The secret visit to one of the shops in the Qatari development is likely to raise eyebrows because it suggests a continuing level of close personal involvement by the King.
During his first address to the nation after ascending the throne, King Charles said his life would ‘change as I take up my new responsibilities’.
The monarch added: ‘It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply.
‘But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.’
It had been thought that Charles would delegate his charitable duties, particularly at The Prince’s Foundation.
Earlier this year it emerged that the King, when he was still the Prince of Wales, personally accepted bags of cash from a controversial Qatari sheikh on behalf of the foundation.
Between 2011 and 2015, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, known as HBJ, made three payments of €1 million.
The sheikh is believed to have handed Charles the first €1 million instalment in 2011 – stuffed in carrier bags from upmarket store Fortnum & Mason.
In 2015, the King accepted a hold-all from the Sheik containing a further €1 million during a one- on-one private meeting at Clarence House.
A suitcase with another €1 million was also personally handed to Charles on another occasion – with total donations of more than £2.5 million.
All the payments were correctly accounted for and paid into the charity’s bank account.
The Prince’s Foundation will receive what is thought to be £4.5 million over the next three years under the deal with the World Cup hosts, according to sources
Prince Edward, King Charles III and Prince William arrive for the Committal Service of Queen Elizabeth II at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Monday 19 September 2022
Other questionable donations received by the Prince’s Foundation include a £1 million gift from Osama Bin Laden’s brothers Bakr and Shafiq.
The King’s former aide Michael Fawcett was forced to quit as chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation after The Mail on Sunday revealed a letter in which he had promised to help a wealthy Saudi donor obtain a knighthood and British citizenship.
A police investigation was launched and two men were questioned under caution under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
A file has now been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for ‘early investigative advice’.
A foundation spokesman said: ‘All donations made to The Prince’s Foundation in support of its work are subject to a stringent due diligence process before they are approved.
‘Trustees always act in the best interests of the charity, which relies on generous donations in order to support its charitable activities.
‘It should be noted that the charity publishes annual financial accounts that are independently audited and in the public domain.’
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