The former valet of Prince Charles has temporarily resigned as executive director of a royal charity for allegedly coordinating efforts to secure an honor for a Saudi businessman.
Michael Fawcett, a former valet who left the Prince’s service in 2003, was named director of the Prince’s Foundation in 2018.
But he has now given up his role until the investigation into businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz was reported by Sunday newspapers.
the Sunday times says Mr. Mahfouz, who is listed as a supporter on the Prince’s Foundation website, has donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to the prince.
He adds that Mr. Mahfouz, who has been awarded a CBE honorary office for foreigners, denies any wrongdoing.
Mr Fawcett, who was acquitted in 2003 of allegations of financial misconduct related to the sale of royal gifts, is believed to have coordinated the honor of Mr Mahfouz.
Douglas Connell, Chairman of the Prince’s Foundation, said, “Michael Fawcett has offered to temporarily step down from his active duties as executive director of the Prince’s Foundation while the trustees investigate.
“The Prinzenstiftung accepted this offer. Michael fully supports the ongoing investigation and has confirmed that he will support the investigation in all respects. “
It is believed that Emily Cherrington, Chief Operating Officer, will take over in the meantime and that the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has been informed that the Foundation is a Scotland registered charity.
The Prince’s Foundation said, “The Prince’s Foundation takes the allegations recently brought to its attention very seriously and the matter is currently being investigated.
“We are incredibly proud of the Prince’s Foundation’s charitable work and the positive impact it has had on our beneficiaries across the UK and around the world.
“In particular, our education and training programs benefit more than 15,000 people each year and give our students the skills and confidence they need to find a job or start their own business.”
Mr. Fawcett began his royal service as the Queen’s lackey in 1981, rose to sergeant lackey and then Charles’s valet, and put his bespoke suits and shirts on at Kensington Palace every morning.
He was charged with selling unwanted royal gifts as the Prince’s personal assistant and pocketing a percentage of the proceeds, but was acquitted of any financial misconduct through an internal investigation.
The investigation, led by the Prince’s private secretary at the time, Sir Michael Peat, found that Mr Fawcett “violated internal rules regarding gifts from suppliers,” but could not be seriously criticized because the rules were not enforced and so was he made no secret of such gifts.
But the report painted a picture of Mr. Fawcett as an alleged tyrant who accepted valuable gifts from outsiders.
Mr Fawcett resigned after the report was released but continued to have the Prince’s patronage as a freelance fixer and party planner and grabbed an undisclosed cash severance package and an agreement to serve as the Prince’s events manager.
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