Prince Charles had ‘no knowledge’ of the cash-for-honours scandal, according to Clarence House.
It comes after The Prince of Wales’s most trusted aide Michael Fawcett was accused of promising to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a Saudi billionaire donor.
He has already stepped down temporarily from his role as chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation, while the charity investigates his actions.
Now a spokesman for the heir to the throne insists the royal knew nothing about Mr Fawcett’s alleged actions.
A spokesman for the prince said: “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 under way by The Prince’s Foundation.”
Ex-Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker has written to the Metropolitan Police asking the force’s Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, to launch a criminal probe into the scandal.
Mr Baker, the author of a book about royal family finances entitled And What Do You Do?, said: “There appears to be prima facie evidence that an offence has been committed under the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act and it needs to be investigated.”
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “We are aware of the media reports and await further contact in relation to this matter.”
The Mail on Sunday published a letter from 2017 in which Mr Fawcett reportedly wrote that he was willing to make an application to change businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz’s honorary CBE to a KBE, and support his application for citizenship.
The letter, written on headed notepaper in Mr Fawcett’s then capacity as chief executive of the Dumfries House Trust, said the applications would be made in response to “the most recent and anticipated support” of the Trust.
Mr Mahfouz, who is listed as a supporter on The Prince’s Foundation website, is said to have donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Charles.
He is said to deny any wrongdoing himself.
Mr Fawcett was Charles’s most indispensable aide, with the prince once declaring: “I can manage without just about anyone, except for Michael.”
And it even fell to Mr Fawcett to squeeze out the future king’s toothpaste when he broke his arm playing polo, according to reports.
He quit as Charles’s personal assistant in 2003 after being dubbed ‘Fawcett the Fence’ and accused of selling royal gifts.
He faced allegations of selling unwanted royal gifts and pocketing a percentage of the proceeds, but was cleared by an internal inquiry of any financial misconduct.
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The Peat Inquiry, headed by Charles’ then private secretary Sir Michael Peat, found Mr Fawcett did “infringe internal rules relating to gifts from suppliers” but could not be severely criticised because the rules were not enforced and he made no secret of such gifts.
He resigned with an undisclosed cash severance package and an agreement to work as the prince’s freelance events manager, and went on to set up his party planning company Premier Mode.
He organised the private party for the Queen’s 80th birthday, hosted by Charles, and took charge of Charles and Camilla’s engagement celebration dinner at Windsor in 2005.
After five years as chief executive of Dumfries House Trust, he was appointed to the major role of chief executive of Charles’s The Prince’s Foundation in 2018 amid a reorganisation of the prince’s charities.
The Prince’s Foundation said on Monday that the “scope” of its probe had extended after the allegations published in Sunday newspapers.
A spokesperson said: “The scope of the Prince’s Foundation investigation has been extended to cover this weekend’s newspaper reports.
“The Trustees had already arranged an independent review by an external Senior Forensic Accountant from a ‘big four’ accountancy firm.”