Charles 'Stupid' to Accept €3m in Cash as Calls Grow for New Investigation

Prince Charles's decision to accept €3 million in cash from a Qatari politician was branded "appalling" by U.K. Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage.

The Prince of Wales took a series of cash donations from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani to his charity the Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund, according to The Sunday Times.

During a one-on-one meeting in 2015, Charles was given €1 million ($1.06 million dollars) stuffed in a suitcase, while on other occasions wads of money were put in bags from the high end food store Fortnum and Mason, according to the newspaper.

There is no suggestion the cash payments were in any way illegal, and they were deposited into the prince's Charitable Fund, said the newspaper, with the charity carrying out the "appropriate governance." Charities are permitted to accept cash donations.

The cash was reportedly in €500 notes, a denomination nicknamed the "Bin Laden" that was scrapped in 2016 due to its links to financial crime.

Nigel Farage, GB News presenter and former UKIP party leader, wrote on Twitter: "Prince Charles is even more stupid than I thought, this is appalling."

Meanwhile, anti-Monarchy campaign group Republic said they will write to U.K. regulator the Charity Commission asking for an investigation.

Graham Smith, chief executive, said in a statement: "This story is shocking. Prince Charles met Sheikh Hamad in private, with no officials present and with no disclosure of the meeting in the court circular.

"The Sheikh then made three payments directly and personally to Prince Charles, totaling €3m, which Charles gave to a charity he set up to pursue his pet projects and help run one of his estates.

"Sheikh Hamad faces serious accusations over human rights and has significant financial and other interests here in the UK.

"Given that Prince Charles has direct access to the British prime minister and all government ministers, as well as all cabinet papers, this raises serious ethical questions about what the sheikh expected in return."

Prince Charles and Hamad Bin Jassim
Prince Charles, seen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Dinner, in Rwanda, on June 24, 2022, reportedly took a suitcase of cash from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. The former Prime Minister of Qatar, known as HBJ, is seen at the wedding of Prince Guillaume Of Luxembourg and Stephanie de Lannoy on October 19, 2012. Chris Jackson/Getty Images and Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

The saga comes at a time when Charles is taking on more and more king-like duties due to Queen Elizabeth II's declining health.

And Peter Hunt, former BBC royal correspondent, wrote on Twitter: "What's surprising is how unsurprised politicians appear to be. None of them has queried if this is a royal norm.

"The upholders of our constitutional democracy appear comfortable with the de facto king receiving 3 million euros, cash, no questions asked."

He added: "Just imagine the reaction if the headline read, Harry accepted...."

Sir Alistair Graham, who previously chaired the committee on standards in public life, told The Sunday Times the payments were "truly shocking."

He said: "I wouldn't make a distinction between a politician and a member of the royal family. If the Qatari government wants to make a gift to his foundation, then there are proper ways to do these things rather than handling large sums of cash."

However, Dickie Arbiter, the queen's former spokesman, told Good Morning Britain: "A cash donation, rather than a bank draft, the optics are not brilliant but if someone is going to hand you a cash donation you are not going to turn it down."

He added: "There's no suggestion of any wrongdoing so I'm not terribly sure why everyone is getting so excited about it.

"It is unusual to handle a cash donation, normally it's a bank draft or a bank transfer, but this is unusual.

"He probably accepted it on the basis of not wanting to offend."

When €500 bank notes were scrapped, Michel Sapin, French finance minister, was quoted by The Guardian saying: "It is used more to facilitate transactions that are not honest than to allow you and me to buy food to eat."

A spokesperson for the prince said in a statement: "Charitable donations received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim were passed immediately to one of the prince's charities who carried out the appropriate governance and have assured us that all the correct processes were followed."

The new allegations come on the back of an existing cash-for-access scandal at another of the prince's charities, The Prince's Foundation, where chief executive Michael Fawcett resigned.

A police investigation and a separate investigation by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) are ongoing.

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