details Graduation ceremony of a Saudi businessman And other evidence revealed by the British media Prince Charles’ situation can be complicated On the An investigation into the alleged donation of money to the charity From the heir to the British throne in exchange for honors.
The scandal broke out in September 2021, when the newspapers broke out Sunday times s mail on sunday revealed that Michael FawcettCarlos, a former personal assistant, used his influence to help the Saudi businessman Mahfouz Mari Mubarak bin Mahfouz, Generous donor to charities associated with the British monarchy, to receive a prize.
The authorities suspect that Taking advantage of this distinction was also important to support Saudi Arabia’s application for British citizenship.
give that ornament-Commander of the British Empire– Event At a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2016.
Such celebrations are common in the United Kingdom. As usual, Up to 60 recipients participate in the Palace Hall Or into a room in Windsor Castle, and Lord Chamberlain invited them one by one. the Queenor any other member of the royal family representing it, He places the award on the person and briefly congratulates him. In particular, the title of commander of the British Empire It seeks to reward contributions in the arts and sciences, work with charities and welfare organizations, and public service.
Every detail of the ceremony is carefully kept in keeping with tradition, from the two gorkas which accompanies the King to the ballroom, a practice begun by Queen Victoria in 1876, even interpreting the national anthem and calling the recipients.
but nevertheless, Mahfouz Merhi Mubarak’s starring concert was very differentas detailed in a press article times.
that day, Prince Charles did not go to the hall but to the Blue Room at Buckingham Palacea stunning hall of hanging chandeliers and gilded furnishings that rarely entertain members of the public and has historically been used by the Queen to host world leaders.
And he didn’t ask Saved to share his moments with dozens of other decorated people. Instead, he was allowed to bring several members of his family to the palace with him, where they met Camilla, Charles’ wife and Duchess of Cornwall.
Mahfouz arrived accompanied by a retinue of his two older brothers, Mohammed s AbdallahAnd her teenage son.
As for the ceremony itself, Mahfouz shake handsIn a clear departure from tradition, Both Carlos and CamilaBefore the Prince handed him an award and a certificate signed in the name of the Queen. His family also took pictures of themselves kissing hands, sitting on priceless furniture and posing in front of an oil-on-canvas painting of King George V, according to the report. times.
Other striking details from the party: Unlike many investments made throughout the year, A preserved book has not been published in the Official List of Royal Letters.
but nevertheless, Everything was recorded by a photographer present at the event.
After the scandal was exposed in September 2021, Carlos asserted that he was unaware of the “money to honor agreement” Closed by his associates which led to an investigation by the Metropolitan Police and inquiries from English and Scottish regulators and resignation Fawcett.
But the details of the ceremony and other evidence revealed by British media showed this The future king had much more relations with Mahfouz than was believed, and he himself admitted.
as revealed Sunday times, In addition to private investment, Prince Charles participated in many private meetings with Mahfouzwrote a letter and even sent a gift to the Saudi businessman.
The first meeting between Charles and Mahfouz was held on March 27, 2014 in Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince. they also attended Fawcett And a man who worked as a mediator for a Saudi businessman. according to him timesdiscuss restoration Dumfries Housethe 18th century Ayrshire mansion where Carlos resides four times a year, and the possibility that Saudi Arabia could donate a seven-figure sum to him. Mahfouz confirmed that he intended to do so.
A few days later, the mediator submitted the proposed assembly in writing: In the amount of one million pounds, Carlos renames the newly restored gardens at Dumfries House as “Preserved Garden”. The mediator added that the continued “friendship building” would lead to exclusive access to the Prince and “other very special personal and individual honors based on our conversation,” adding:These are, at this point, too sensitive to be mentioned here.”
Then Charles Send a thank you letter to Mahfouz and even a giftMini wagon watch. Carlos’s office did not say who produced the gift or how much it cost, saying that he sent the letter and gift on order from Dumfries House, an institution then operated by Fawcett.
The fundraiser started a month after the meeting, and became in a One of the main donors to the Prince Foundation. British media estimated a total of 1.5 million pounds ($2 million) in donations, including significant support for the mi castleAnd The last real estate owned by Carlos in Scotland. in a Dumfries Househis contribution has been recognized byMahfouz fountain In the garden. in a mi castlewhere it is said that he paid for the renovation of the windows, an expanse of forest was called Wood preserved.
In addition, the businessman obtained access and recognition that he was promised, including invitations To meet the Queen, Prince Philip and Charles.
In 2015, when Carlos embarked on an official tour of the Middle Eastincluding a visit to meet the Saudi royal family. In this travel The prince took the opportunity to visit his new friend. On February 11, Charles and Fawcett arrived at the British Embassy to meet him and his extended family.
The prince’s office said the purpose of the meeting was Discuss “common charitable interests.”
Less than 24 hours after that meeting, The British Foreign Office finally responded to the prince’s aides over Mahfouz’s nicknameApologies for the delay and personal advice on the next steps.
These discoveries will put new pressure on Carlos, 73, To provide a full description of his link to Mahfouz. actually Prince Harry You may enter into the dispute by saying that he has done so “Expressing anxiety” from Mahfouz’s motivesBefore severing relations with the Saudi businessman.
Who is saved?
saved Not particularly well known in Saudi Arabia, but his family business, Marei Bin Mahfouz Groupoccupy this position Ranked 18th among the private sector companies in the Kingdom. Founded in Makkah in 1965, it has diversified interests in manufacturing, services, real estate and international trade. Mahfouz, his father and three other relatives make up its board of directors.
His rise to the British social ladder began a decade ago with the purchase of the Scottish title of feudal lord. centuries which means it can be known legally as Baron Abernethy. The title itself has no real meaning, but it may explain why he is referred to as “The Lord” is preserved on the family business website. How much he paid is unknown, though the Scottish Barony Titles website currently offers two more for sale: one for $114,000 and the other for $128,000.
Being a baron meant that Mahfouz was also entitled to his own coat of arms, a A unique heraldic shape displayed in earlier times in battle on the owner’s shield or tabard. The design he chose featured a lion, a pair of scales, and a sword, and he officially registered it in his name.
Mahfouz’s first known contact with the royal family was in 2012. When he founded a charity called the Mahfouz Foundation and somehow managed to recruit the Queen’s cousin, Prince Michael Kentas your sponsor.