Last year, the Times of London ran a series of exposés on Prince Charles and his Prince’s Foundation, and how shady he’s been for years about accepting huge sums of money from “controversial” rich people. In exchange for gobs of money, Charles provided access, honors and legitimacy. While there is currently an ongoing investigation about all of the stories from last year, I’m still convinced that Charles will simply throw Michal Fawcett (his longtime aide) under the bus and Chaz will come out “clean.” I also believe that Charles was likely leaking some or all of those stories himself in an attempt to deal with the scandal on his own terms, on his own timeline. Many of those stories simply had to come from someone with intimate knowledge of Charles’s “fundraising activities.” It was likely a combination of Charles, Camilla and various high-ranking executives with Charles’s foundation. I bring all of this up because the Times has yet another story about Charles being a shady a–hole. At one point, Charles accepted a literal suitcase full of cash from a “controversial” Qatari politician.

The Prince of Wales accepted a suitcase containing €1 million in cash from a controversial Qatari politician, The Sunday Times can reveal. It was one of three lots of cash, totalling €3 million, which Prince Charles personally received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar who is nicknamed “HBJ”, between 2011 and 2015.

On one occasion, Al Thani, 62, presented the prince with €1 million, which was reportedly stuffed into carrier bags from Fortnum & Mason, the luxury department store that has a royal charter to provide the prince’s groceries and tea. On another, Charles, 73, accepted a holdall containing €1 million during a private one-on-one meeting at Clarence House in 2015. On Saturday night Clarence House said the money was “passed immediately to one of the prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate covenants and assured us that all the correct processes were followed”.

After the heir to the throne accepted the small suitcase, it was given to two advisers in the royal household who hand-counted the money. It was said to be in the form of €500 notes — a denomination dubbed the “bin Laden” because of its link to terrorist financing, and which has since been discontinued. Palace aides then asked Coutts to collect the cash. The private bank, which is headquartered in the Strand in central London, and has served the royal family for centuries, is understood to have retrieved the suitcase from Charles’s London residence.

Each payment was deposited into the accounts of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF), a low-profile grant-making entity which bankrolls the prince’s pet projects and his country estate in Scotland.

The royal gift policy states that members of the royal family must “never accept gifts of money . . . in connection with an official engagement or duty”. They are allowed to accept a “cheque” as a patron of, or on behalf of, a charity.

One of Charles’s former advisers who handled some of the cash said “everyone felt very uncomfortable about the situation”. The person added that the “only thing we could do was to count the money and make a mutual record of what we’d done. And then call the bank”.

[From The Sunday Times]

What would you do if a billionaire just handed up a nice suitcase full of cash? I would keep my f–king mouth shut. But I’m not royal nor do I have to adhere to royal gift policies or what have you. Charles’s charitable fundraising is pretty ridiculous and has been for years – you can’t just accept suitcases full of cash from random billionaires! In case you wondered if this was another cash-for-access scheme, you would be correct: Charles lobbied on behalf of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani within the UK, specifically for the sheikh’s London-based business interests.

Photos courtesy of Instar.