Prince Charles Will No Longer Accept Large Cash Donations for Charities Following Scandal

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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales smiles as he attends Royal Ascot 2022
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales smiles as he attends Royal Ascot 2022

Chris Jackson/Getty Images Prince Charles at Royal Ascot

Prince Charles is reacting to reports that he accepted almost $3 million in cash from the former prime minister of Qatar for one of his charities.

A royal source announced Wednesday that the Prince of Wales, 73, would never again accept a large cash donation on behalf of his charities after it was reported that he accepted large sums from Sheikh Hamad bin Jasseim bin Jaber Al Thani as a donation to Charles' Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, which gives grants to other non-profit groups that reflect the prince's interests.

The source at the palace said that donations had not been made like that in the last five years —and "wouldn't happen today" — and noted that Prince Charles passed the money onto his charities.

"They followed the right processes and auditors looked at it," the source said.

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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales smiles as he departs the CHOGM opening ceremony at Kigali Convention Centre
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales smiles as he departs the CHOGM opening ceremony at Kigali Convention Centre

Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images Prince Charles

The sheikh gave Prince Charles three separate donations totaling $3.1 million over a period between 2011 and 2015, The Sunday Times reported. One bundle of cash was given during a private meeting between Charles and Sheikh Hamad. The money was then counted by two aides at the palace and passed along to royal bank Coutts for deposit in the fund.

Charles's office at Clarence House said in a statement on Monday: "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."

It is not illegal for charities to accept donations in cash, however, the regulator of non-profits in the U.K. recommends that a series of checks for due diligence is carried out when accepting donations.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend a reception to celebrate the British Asian Trust at the British Museum
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend a reception to celebrate the British Asian Trust at the British Museum

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

The scandal comes just months after another one of Charles's charities, The Prince's Foundation — which is not connected to his Charitable Fund — was caught up in cash for official honors allegations. The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation and the head of the Foundation, Michael Fawcett, stepped down in November amid the inquiry.

The Sunday Times and The Mail on Sunday reported allegations that Fawcett helped support a campaign for official honors for Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz. A letter from Fawcett to an aide to Mahfouz in August 2018, published by the Mail on Sunday, reportedly said, "In light of the ongoing and most recent generosity of His Excellency ... I am happy to confirm to you, in confidence, that we are willing and happy to support and contribute to the application for Citizenship."

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Charles's office responded at the time, saying, "The Prince of Wales has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the investigation now underway by The Prince's Foundation."