A former aide to the King received a £60,000 payout when he stepped down from the Prince’s Foundation amid a cash-for-honours scandal, it has emerged.
Michael Fawcett received the money following revelations that he offered to help a Saudi donor obtain a knighthood and British citizenship.
A police investigation into the sale of awards under the Honors (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 continues. Officers questioned two men under caution on September 6, two days before the Queen died.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police said the investigation had progressed and evidence had been handed over to the prosecution on October 31. No arrests have been made.
Accounts show that Fawcett, as “head of provider”, received £59,582, including £21,923 holiday pay plus £877 in pension contributions.
The foundation also provided an additional £1,200 for “independent legal advice”.
Fawcett, Chris Martin, a senior fundraising executive, and Douglas Connell, the chairman, have stepped down from the charity based in Dumfries House, Ayrshire.
The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is also investigating claims that a donation of hundreds of thousands of pounds was found to have gone missing after being handed over to intermediaries working with the charity.
The latest reports confirm that the king will continue to chair the foundation despite his accession to the throne.
They state: “During the fiscal year, the foundation was the subject of a number of press releases regarding fundraising practices at The Prince’s Foundation in relation to certain donations received by the charity in the past. These reports include questions about “money for honour,” where certain donations were allegedly obtained in exchange for access to the foundation’s chairman, and support from the foundation or associated entities for donor nominations related to the UK’s honors system.
“Following these press releases, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator opened an investigation into the foundation and its board.
Drivers are also aware that the Metropolitan Police are investigating allegations of crime under the Honors (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
“The risks that have been highlighted and considered include the potential for legal, regulatory, employee and reputational risks. The trustees accept the reputational risk arising from these events as probable.”
The Mail on Sunday last year published a 2017 letter in which Fawcett reportedly wrote that he was willing to apply to change businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz’s honorary CBE to a KBE and support his application for citizenship.
The letter, written on stationery letterhead in Fawcett’s then capacity as CEO of the Dumfries House Trust, stated that the applications would be made in response to “the most recent and anticipated support” from the trust. Mahfouz has denied any allegations.
The following year, Dumfries House became part of The Prince’s Foundation, created by a merger of several of Charles’s charities, and Fawcett was appointed CEO.
Clarence House said in September 2021 that Charles had “no knowledge of the alleged offer of awards or British citizenship based on donations to his charities” and insisted he fully supported an investigation by The Prince’s Foundation.
The foundation told the Mail on Sunday: “We are not discussing individual staff salaries or payments.”