Prince Charles' Close Aide Faces Calls for Police Investigation Over Honors Scandal

A close aide to Prince Charles is facing calls for a police investigation over allegations he offered to help a charity donor secure a knighthood and citizenship.

Michael Fawcett was once so close to the future king that he squeezed the toothpaste onto his toothbrush after the royal broke his arm playing polo.

The former valet and now head of charity empire The Prince's Foundation has been forced to quit following investigations by two British newspapers, The Sunday Times and The Mail on Sunday.

Reports suggest Fawcett offered to help Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz—who according to The Sunday Times gave more than £1.5m to the prince's charities—secure a knighthood.

The U.K. broadsheet published an email the newspaper said indicated a request for Fawcett to upgrade Mahfouz's existing OBE to a higher CBE honor.

Charles gave an honorary CBE to Mahfouz personally at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2016.

The Mail on Sunday also quoted a letter sent by Fawcett to Busief Lamlum, an aide to Mahfouz, a year later on August 17, 2017.

It reads: "In light of the ongoing and most recent generosity of His Excellency, Sheikh Marei Mubarak Mahfouz bin Mahfouz I am happy to confirm to you, in confidence, that we are willing and happy to support and contribute to the application for Citizenship.

"I can further confirm that we are willing to make [an] application to increase His Excellency's honor from Honorary CBE to that of KBE in accordance with Her Majesty's Honors Committee.

"Both of these applications will be made in response to the most recent and anticipated support of the Trust and in connection with his ongoing commitment generally within the United Kingdom. I hope this confirmation is sufficient in allowing us to go forward."

The scandal caused uproar in Britain and led royal experts to call for a full police investigation.

Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt wrote on Twitter: "Will the existence of this letter (courtesy of@DailyMailUK and@KateMansey) prompt a police investigation under the 1925 Honors (Prevention of Abuses) Act?"

Will the existence of this letter (courtesy of @DailyMailUK and @KateMansey) prompt a police investigation under the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act? https://t.co/28NURmmUTh pic.twitter.com/UikCCF5uu7

— Peter Hunt (@_PeterHunt) September 5, 2021

Former government minister Norman Baker told The Mail on Sunday: "Charles has repeatedly shown he is willing to accept cheques from almost anybody and everybody, without ever seeming to realize—or, perhaps, to care—that the large cheques have been forthcoming because the donors want something back for themselves.

"His own father, Prince Philip, once described Charles as 'rent-a-royal.' And the greater the sum, the shadier the donor."

He added: "It is a criminal offense to sell an honor under the Honors (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. Tomorrow, I shall be writing to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, to ask her to open an investigation."

Heavily laden with legalese, the act outlaws "any person" from accepting or attempting to obtain "any gift" for "any purpose" as an "inducement or reward" for helping secure a "dignity or title of honor to any person."

It reads: "If any person accepts or obtains or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain from any person, for himself or for any other person, or for any purpose, any gift, money or valuable consideration as an inducement or reward for procuring or assisting or endeavoring to procure the grant of a dignity or title of honor to any person, or otherwise in connection with such a grant, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

The Metropolitan Police told Newsweek they had yet to receive a complaint.

A spokesperson said: "We are aware of the media reports and await further contact in relation to this matter."

Newsweek has approached Prince Charles' representatives at Clarence House for comment.

Michael Fawcett and Prince Charles
Michael Fawcett, former valet to Prince Charles and current Chief Executive of the Prince's Foundation, and Prince Charles attend The Prince's Countryside Fund Raceday at Ascot Racecourse on November 23, 2018 in Ascot, England. Fawcett has resigned accused of offering to help a Saudi tycoon who donated to the foundation secure a knighthood. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images