Prince Charles' royal aide Michael Fawcett steps down amid 'golden visa' scandal

据报道,沙特阿拉伯亿万富翁 Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz 支付了数万美元以获得大英帝国最优秀勋章名誉指挥官的称号 [CBE], one of the highest accolades for non-British citizens, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Fawcett was paid to coordinate the title and help Mahfouz receive agolden visa,” through which he hoped to achieve UK citizenship and residency, the report alleges.

The Prince personally bestowed the award to Mahfouz at a private ceremony in 2016 at Buckingham Palace. The ceremony was not published on the official list of royal engagements, according to The Times.

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迈克尔·福西特 (大号) accompanies Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales as they attend The Prince's Countryside Fund Race Day at Ascot Racecourse on November 23, 2018 in Ascot, 英国.

迈克尔·福西特 (大号) accompanies Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales as they attend The Prince’s Countryside Fund Race Day at Ascot Racecourse on November 23, 2018 in Ascot, 英国. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Mahfouz — who denies any wrongdoing — has been one of the biggest donors to the prince’s charities, and even has a forest named after him, having reportedly donated more than $ 2 million to help restoration projects at the prince’s estates among other charities.

The Saudi claims he is anhonorable philanthropist.

Leaked emails obtained by The Times names Fawcett as the middleman and explicitly shows that the donations were in exchange for the OBE award.

One email between a paid advisor of Mahfouz and William Bortrick, the owner of Burke’s Peerage publication, says the award waspromised to MBM [Mahfouz Bin Mahfouz] to get the £1.5 million he paid for Dumfries [屋] 和 [The Castle of] Mey,” two of the Prince’s projects, according to The Times.

Bortrick addedMF [迈克尔·福西特] needs to keep to his side of the bargain and sort out the Hon OBE immediately; then assist with citizenship.

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Prince Charles is first in line to the British throne.

Prince Charles is first in line to the British throne. (盖蒂图片社 )

Fawcett was able to organize a meeting between the Prince and Mahfouz that led to his award.

Fawcett has helped run The Prince Foundation for most of the last decade, 时报报道, and has been described as anindispensableaide by the Duke of Wales.

在 2003, the royal aide resigned from Charles’s service following allegations of mismanagement.

The Prince Foundation is an umbrella organization for several charities and projects and educational opportunities centered at the historic Dumfries House estate in Scotland.

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