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A former aide to Prince Charles accused of using influence to help the Saudi businessman

A former aide to Prince Charles accused of using influence to help the Saudi businessman

A former aide to Prince Charles has “temporarily” resigned from his role at head of a foundation set up by the Prince of Wales during an investigation into his links to a Saudi businessman.

Michael Fawcett, Charles’s former assistant butler, is suspected of using his influence to help Saudi businessman Mahfouz Merhi Mubarak bin Mahfouz, a generous benefactor to charities linked to the British monarchy, to get the honour, the Sunday Times and Mail report on Sunday. .

According to the Sunday Times, Mahfouz, 51, was named leader of the British Empire by Prince Charles in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2016, an event not made public in the list of official royal engagements. The newspaper said that obtaining such awards helped support Saudi Arabia’s claim to British citizenship.

The Sunday Times reports that Mahfouz, who denies wrongdoing, has provided large sums of money for restoration projects of particular interest to the Prince of Wales.

The foundation, set up by Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son, said Michael Fawcett has resigned as chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation, which he has held since 2018.

“Michael Fawcett has offered to temporarily step down from his active role as CEO of The Prince’s Foundation while the directors are investigated,” the foundation’s president, Douglas Connell, said Saturday.

The Prince Foundation accepted this offer. Michael fully supports the ongoing investigation and has confirmed that he will cooperate with the investigation.”

A spokeswoman for the Prince’s Foundation said the allegations against Mr Fawcett were being taken “very seriously”.

Mr Fawcett began working for the royal family in 1981 as a man introduced to the Queen, and rose through the ranks to become Prince Charles’ assistant valet, helping him get dressed every morning.

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In 2003, he was acquitted of charges of financial misconduct related to the sale of gifts to the royal family.