One of Prince Charles' closest aides steps down after allegations he fixed a CBE for wealthy tycoon

Prince Charles Prince’s Foundation has been rocked by allegations, leading to its chief executive stepping down

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 23: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attends a meeting of The Prince’s Trust Group at St James Palace on June 23, 2021 in London, England. The meeting is to discuss the ‘Future of Work’ Report and its implications for young people across the world. The Prince’s Trust Group is now active in 18 countries around the world and has helped over one million young people to transform their lives, start careers and launch businesses. In the UK, The Trust has been working hard to support young people into growing sectors such as digital, green, technology and health and social care. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Charles
(Image credit: Tim P. Whitby - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Charles Prince’s Foundation has been rocked by allegations following an investigation into the dealings of its former chief executive Michael Fawcett.


Prince Charles' charitable organization, The Prince's Foundation, has been rocked by an investigation into its chief executive's dealings with a wealthy tycoon. The news comes as many of the royal family enjoy their summer break in Balmoral.

The chief objective of the foundation is to create sustainable communities through education and placemaking initiatives in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. However, the scandal surrounds how donations for Charles' project to renovate the stunning Dumfries House, a Palladian mansion in Scotland, were gained and what was potentially offered in exchange. 

The Sunday Times claims their investigation found that Michael, the prince's former valet, and trusted aide, fixed an honor for a Saudi tycoon who donated to royal charities. Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, who denies any wrongdoing whatsoever, subsequently received a CBE from Prince Charles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2016. The ceremony wasn't published in the Court Circular, according to the publication.

The investigation claims that the businessman's fixers had been in contact with individuals close to the prince about potentially acquiring an honor and citizenship for him since as far back as 2011. 

A letter to one of the businessman's aides shared by the Daily Mail, which they claim was penned by Michael on August 18, 2017, says, "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."

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, President of The Prince’s Trust meets staff and young people involved in the ‘Launched in Lockdown’ Programme

(Image credit: Photo by Matthew Horwood - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

It continues, "I can further confirm that we are willing to make [an] application to increase His Excellency’s honor from Honorary CBE to that of KBE in accordance with Her Majesty’s Honours Committee."

In response to the revelations, the chairman of the Prince's Foundation Douglas Connell said, "Earlier today, Michael Fawcett offered to step down temporarily from active duties as chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation while the trustees’ investigation is ongoing." They added, "The Prince’s Foundation has accepted this offer. Michael fully supports the ongoing investigation and has confirmed that he will assist in every way."

Aoife Hanna


Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with over 1500 bylines and a background in creative writing, comedy and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the soon-to-be-published Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.