The Met Police has launched an investigation into allegations of a ‘cash for honours’ scandal involving Prince Charles’s charity.
The probe was launched following reports that offers of financial help were made to secure honours and UK citizenship for a Saudi billionaire who had donated money to the Prince of Wales Foundation.
Clarence House has previously said Charles has ‘no knowledge’ of the alleged controversy.
The inquiry is being led by the Met’s Special Enquiry Team, the same unit that is in charge of the Downing Street ‘partygate’ investigation.
Scotland Yard said in a statement: ‘The Metropolitan Police Service has launched an investigation into allegations of offences under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
‘The decision follows an assessment of a September 2021 letter. This related to media reporting alleging offers of help were made to secure honours and citizenship for a Saudi national.’
The pressure group Republic contacted Scotland Yard last September and reported both the future king and Michael Fawcett, Charles’s former royal valet, and close confidant, on suspicion of breaching the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
Mr. Fawcett, who has since resigned from his post as chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation, was accused of promising to help secure a knighthood and British citizenship for Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, a donor to the charity.
The Met said it has contacted people believed to hold information relevant to the investigation.
It added that officers have liaised with The Prince’s Foundation about the findings of an independent investigation into fundraising practices.
‘The Foundation provided a number of relevant documents.
‘These documents were reviewed alongside existing information. The assessment determined an investigation will commence.’ the Met said.
This is coming as a further headache to the royal family, who are under pressure to reveal if the Queen is helping Prince Andrew fund a settlement he reached with accuser Virginia Giuffre.
The deal with Ms. Giuffre, a sex trafficking victim of paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, is believed to be worth up to £12million and questions are being raised over how Andrew is paying for this.
A spokesperson for The Prince’s Foundation said: ‘It would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.’
Clarence House reiterated its previous statement, saying: ‘The Prince of Wales
had no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the
basis of donation to his charities.’