Prince Charles charity 'accepted £1m from family of Osama bin Laden'

30 July 2022, 23:56

Prince Charles is believed to have accepted a £1 million payment from the family of Osama bin Laden
Prince Charles is believed to have accepted a £1 million payment from the family of Osama bin Laden. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Prince Charles is believed to have accepted a £1 million payment to one of his charities from the family of Osama bin Laden.

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The future king secured the money from Bakr bin Laden - the patriarch of the wealthy Saudi family - and his brother Shafiq, who are both half-brothers of the former al Qaida leader.

It came after Prince Charles had a private meeting with Bakr, 76, at Clarence House in London on October 30, 2013, two years after Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces, according to the Sunday Times.

The 73-year-old is understood to have agreed to the donation despite the objections of advisers at Clarence House and the Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund (PWCF), where the money was deposited.

The paper added that several advisers pleaded with Charles in person to return the money and that he was told by one of his household staff it "would not be good for anybody".

However, Clarence House has strongly disputed many of the claims, saying the decision to accept the donation to his charity was instead taken solely by trustees.

Read more: Prince Charles would 'never again' handle large cash donations for his charities

Read more: Slave trade history 'should be taught as widely as Holocaust', says Prince Charles

Prince Charles most recently opened the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
Prince Charles most recently opened the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Picture: Alamy

Sir Ian Cheshire, chairman of PWCF, said the donation was agreed "wholly" by the five trustees at the time.

The charity, which was 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.

Clarence House said: "The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund has assured us that thorough due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation.

"The decision to accept was taken by the charity's trustees alone and any attempt to characterise it otherwise is false."

Sir Ian said: "The donation from Sheik Bakr bin Laden in 2013 was carefully considered by PWCF trustees at the time.

"Due diligence was conducted, with information sought from a wide range of sources, including government.

"The decision to accept the donation was taken wholly by the trustees. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate."

It comes after the Met Police began an investigation into an alleged cash-for-honours scandal in February, after Charles and his former close confidant, Michael Fawcett, were reported over the claims.

Mr Fawcett was accused of promising to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a Saudi billionaire donor to another of Charles's charities, the Prince's Foundation.

Clarence House said the prince had "no knowledge" of the alleged cash-for-honours scandal.

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