Prince Charles allegedly secured $1.22M donations for his charity from Osama bin Laden's family
Prince Charles reportedly secured £1 million ($1.22 million) in a donation for his charity from the family of Osama bin Laden, a report has claimed. The 73-year-old Prince reportedly met Sheik 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.
These men are the half-brothers of the 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. The meeting came two years after US special forces in Pakistan killed the terrorist. According to the Sunday Times of London, Charles agreed to the contribution despite objections from his advisors at Clarence House, the prince’s London residence, and at the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund. At least one of the organization’s trustees urged him to return the cash. Advisors told him that should word of the transaction get leaked, his reputation would be shattered and there would be public outrage.
“The fact that a member of the highest level of the British establishment was choosing to broker deals with a name and a family that not only rang alarm bells but abject horror around the world . . . why would you do this? What good reason is there to do this?” a source reportedly said.
Charles, however, thought it would be embarrassing to return the money to the brothers. The bin Laden brothers are believed not to be involved in terrorist activities. Sir Ian Cheshire, the chairman of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, told the STOL that the organization's five trustees "wholly" agreed to the donation.
"The donation from Sheik Bakr Bin Laden in 2013 was carefully considered by PWCF Trustees at the time. Due diligence was conducted, with information sought from a wide range of sources, including the government. The decision to accept the donation was taken wholly by the trustees. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate,” Chesire said.
A spokeswoman for Clarence House said the charity “has assured us that thorough due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation. The decision to accept was taken by the charity’s trustees alone and any attempt to characterize it otherwise is false.”
Charles was previously said to have secured donations from a controversial Qatari politician. The cash was reportedly delivered in duffel bags, a suitcase, as well as branded shopping bags from the popular Fortnum & Mason department store from 2011 to 2015. Once word of these donations surfaced, a Royal source said that donations were not accepted in this way any longer. “Everyone felt very uncomfortable about the situation,” a former adviser to the Prince of Wales said at the time, according to the New York Post. The “only thing we could do was to count the money and make a mutual record of what we’d done,” the source said. “And then call the bank.”