Prince Charles is under pressure to explain why he accepted bags of cash totalling €3 million (R50 million) from the former prime minister of Qatar.
The heir to the British throne accepted three separate payments between 2011 and 2015 in private meetings with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani.
On one occasion, the Sheikh – known as “HBJ” – handed the future king cash in a plastic bag. On another occasion the prince was handed over a suitcase and on the third occasion, he received the cash in a holdall.
The money was donated by HBJ to charities set up by the prince.
“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,” Clarence House, where one of the deals was made, said in a statement.
Although there has been no suggestion that the deals were illegal, the shady handovers have called into question the judgement of the future king, given Qatar’s human rights record.
“This is what one might expect from a South American drug baron, not the heir to the British throne,” Norman Baker, a former MP and expert on the royal family, told the Guardian.
Prince Charles’s charities have a spotty history. In 2021, the Prince’s Foundation came under fire for offering a Saudi billionaire help in obtaining a knighthood and UK citizenship.
This year, UK police announced an investigation into the Prince’s Foundation “cash-for-access” deal.