Wednesday August 10, 2022

Prince Charles to Stop Accepting Large Cash Donations for Charities

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Charles, the heir to the British throne, runs two charities that are under scrutiny for how they have handled donations from the wealthy, including $3.1 million from a former Qatari prime minister.

Prince Charles received a cash donation from a former prime minister of Qatar that was delivered in a suitcase and in bags from the English grocer Fortnum & Mason, The Sunday Times reported.
Credit…Aaron Vincent Elkaim for The New York Times

June 29, 2022, 2:30 p.m. ET

Prince Charles will stop accepting large cash donations for his charities, the BBC and other British news outlets reported on Wednesday, after he came under scrutiny over a report that he had accepted a $3.1 million donation, some of it in a suitcase and shopping bags, from a Qatari billionaire.

The announcement came as two charities run by Charles, the heir to the British throne, are facing criticism for how they have handled donations from the wealthy.

The Sunday Times reported this week that a former prime minister of Qatar gave Charles a total of 3 million euros in cash between 2011 and 2015 for one of his charities. On one occasion, the money was presented in a small suitcase and in bags from the English grocer Fortnum & Mason, the newspaper reported.

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The donation, to the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, was from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who was prime minister of Qatar from 2007 to 2013. The news outlets that reported the donation said there has been no suggestion of wrongdoing by either Charles or Sheikh Hamad.

An anonymous royal source told The Times of London that the charity followed its standard auditing process for the donation.

The government agency that regulates charities, the Charity Commission, allows donations to be made in cash.

“We are aware of reports about donations received by the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation,” the Charity Commission said in an emailed statement. “We will review the information to determine whether there is any role for the commission in this matter.”

Charles’s official residence and office, Clarence House, said in a statement to The Guardian that “charitable donations received from Sheikh 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.”

Separately, another of Charles’s charities, the Prince’s Foundation, is under scrutiny after The Times of London reported last year that it had helped secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a wealthy Saudi donor, Mahfouz bin Mahfouz, in exchange for large donations. Mr. Mahfouz has denied any wrongdoing.

In February, London’s Metropolitan Police announced an investigation into the allegations. The chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation, Michael Fawcett, resigned in November.

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