Prince Charles’ charity boss resigns after being accused of fraud

London (AFP) – Prince Charles’ former aide Michael Fawcett has temporarily stepped down as CEO of a charity founded by the British heir amid allegations of financial fraud.

The Prince’s Foundation said chief executive Michael Fawcett had agreed to suspend his duties pending an internal investigation into the allegations by The Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday.

Fawcett, a former valet to Prince Charles who is said to remain close to Queen Elizabeth II’s heir, is alleged to have coordinated work to grant a royal honour and even UK citizenship for Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz.

Mahfouz had donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to the Prince of Wales and reportedly denies any wrongdoing.

Charles’ foundation, which helps jobless people get back into work and start small businesses, said it took the newspaper reports “very seriously” with a spokesperson saying, “The Prince’s Foundation takes very seriously the allegations brought to its attention by the Mail on Sunday relating to third parties who have introduced prospective donors to our charity in the past.”

“Michael fully supports the ongoing investigation and has confirmed that he will assist the investigation in every way,” they added.

As a trusted valet, Fawcett would squeeze Prince Charles’ toothpaste onto his brush and help to dress him, according to reports. “I can manage without just about anyone except Michael,” the prince was said to have once commented.

In 2003, Fawcett was cleared of allegations of financial misconduct over the sale of unwanted royal gifts. He was subsequently appointed as head of the foundation in 2018 following a reorganisation of Prince Charles’ charities.

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