Prince Harry Condemns 'Deliberately Vague' Report on Royal Honors Scandal: 'No Knowledge or Involvement'

The Duke of Sussex said he raised concerns about a Saudi businessman at the center of a cash-for-honors scandal involving Prince Charles' charity

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry. Photo: Gotham/GC Images

Prince Harry has condemned what he calls a "deliberately vague" report in a statement regarding a scandal involving Prince Charles' former aide Michael Fawcett.

The departure of Fawcett — who rose from being a footman to Queen Elizabeth to Charles's valet and ultimately to chief executive of the Prince's Foundation — came after a series of reports about how he allegedly offered help securing a knighthood and British citizenship on behalf of Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz in exchange for charity donations.

An inquiry last week found that Charles's one-time closest confidant did work with "fixers" over nominations for honors between 2014 and 2018.

Now, Prince Harry is speaking out after a report in The Sunday Times stated that his Sentebale charity received donations from Mahfouz in 2013 after a private meeting with the Duke of Sussex.

"It is disappointing that The Sunday Times, knowing all the facts, has chosen to encourage speculation by being deliberately vague to try to create a falsified link between the Duke of Sussex and the CBE scandal, of which he had no knowledge or involvement," the statement reads.

"The Duke and his advisers, as well as his non-profit Sentebale, severed ties with Mr Mahfouz and his associates in 2015, no longer accepting further donations to Sentebale and discontinuing any plans for a fundraising event amid growing concerns over the motives for his support."

Michael Fawcett, former valet to Prince Charles
Michael Fawcett with Prince Charles. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

"The Duke had one planned meeting with this donor nearly eight years ago, did not introduce him to any members of the royal family, and expressed his concerns about the donor," the statement concludes.

According to last week's inquiry, Fawcett operated under the radar of the trustees of the foundation, who were unaware of the communications at the time. The report also stated that Ernst & Young found "no evidence that employees or trustees of the Prince's Foundation were aware of private dinners being 'sold' or arranged in exchange for money."

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In response to the report, a spokesperson from Clarence House said: "The Prince of Wales is grateful to independent auditors for reviewing procedures at the Prince's Foundation, who are today announcing a series of findings. It is important to His Royal Highness that the charities which bear his name operate to the highest standards, in accordance with rules established by charity regulators. We are taking this opportunity to reinforce guidance to these charities, particularly in respect of their relationships with supporters."

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