According to a report, Prince Charles personally worked to secure a £1million donation to his charity from the family of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
Charles, 73, met with Bakr bin Laden, the patriarch of the Saudi family, and his brother Shafiq at Clarence House in London on October 30, 2013 to broker the payment, according to the Sunday Times of London.
The men are Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers and the meeting came two years after the terrorist was killed by US special forces in Pakistan.
The newspaper reported that the future king had agreed to the donation despite objections from his advisers at Clarence House, the prince’s London residence, and the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, and said at least one of the organisation’s trustees had asked him to return the money .
Advisers told him that if the transaction became known, it would provoke national outrage and damage his reputation, the newspaper said.
“The fact that a member of the highest echelon of the British establishment decided to go into business with a name and a family has not only rung alarm bells, it has triggered terrible horror around the world. . . Why would you do that? What good reason is there for that?” a source told the newspaper.
Charles is said to have found it too embarrassing to return the money to the bin Laden brothers, who are believed not to have been involved in any terrorist attacks.
Sir Ian Cheshire, the chairman of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, told STOL that the donation had been “fully” approved by the organisation’s five trustees.
“Sheik Bakr Bin Laden’s donation in 2013 was carefully reviewed by PWCF trustees at the time. Due diligence was conducted, gathering information from a variety of sources, including the government. The decision to accept the donation was made entirely by the trustees. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate,” Chesire told the newspaper.
A Clarence House spokeswoman said the charity “has assured us that every care has been taken in accepting this donation. The decision to accept was made solely by the trustees of the charity and any attempt to characterize them otherwise is wrong.”
Charles is said to have received other questionable donations to his charity from a controversial Qatari politician, with the cash delivered in duffel bags, a suitcase and several branded tote bags from famed Fortnum & Mason department store between 2011 and 2015.
The revelations led a royal source to state that donations are no longer being accepted in this way.