Prince Charles ‘won’t handle big cash donations’

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The Prince of Wales will never again handle large cash donations to be passed to his charities, a royal source says.

Charles faced criticism this week after being presented with cash – reportedly totalling €3 million euros ($4.6 million) packed in a bag and a suitcase – from a former Qatari prime minister between 2011 and 2015.

The Sunday Times said the heir to the throne personally accepted the donations for his charity the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, who was prime minister of Qatar between 2007 and 2013.

A royal source insisted on Wednesday the future king operated on advice and such incidents had not happened in the past half-decade and would not happen again.

Campaign group Republic had demanded full disclosure over the incident, describing it as shocking and saying it raised “serious questions about Prince Charles’s judgment” amid other accusations of cash-for-honours.

“It was passed immediately to his charities and it was his charities who decided to accept the money – that is a decision for them,” the royal source said.

“They did so, and as they confirmed, it followed all the right processes, the auditors looked at it.

“The Prince of Wales operates on advice. Situations, contexts change over the years.”

Clarence House said the donation was “passed immediately” to one of the prince’s charities and that “appropriate governance” was carried out.

According to the Sunday Times, a donation of €1 million was handed over during one meeting at the prince’s residence, Clarence House.

The charity, which was founded in 1979 with a mission to transform lives and build sustainable communities, awards grants to British registered non-profit organisations to deliver projects in Britain, the Commonwealth and overseas.

This week’s revelations came after the Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into an alleged cash-for-honours scandal in February after Charles and his former close confidant, Michael Fawcett, were reported over the claims.

Mr Fawcett was accused of promising to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for a Saudi billionaire donor to another of Charles’s charities, the Prince’s Foundation.

Clarence House said the prince had “no knowledge” of the alleged cash-for-honours scandal.

-AAP

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