Why Prince Charles' Cash for Honors Crisis Is Far From Over

Prince Charles should be interviewed by police to determine whether he was involved in a cash for honors scandal at his charity, a former government minister told Newsweek.

The Prince's Foundation is at the center of a police probe after publication of a leaked 2017 letter in which chief executive Michael Fawcett appeared to offer a Saudi businessman help securing a knighthood and British citizenship in return for donations.

The Metropolitan Police announced its investigation on February 16, a day after Prince Andrew settled his sexual abuse lawsuit, brought by Virginia Giuffre.

Speaking to Jack Royston and Kristen Meinzer on The Royal Report podcast, former minister for crime prevention Norman Baker said: "I wrote to the police in September to ask them to investigate this matter and am delighted that they have replied to me saying that they are taking it forward."

The letter suggested Fawcett was happy to "support and contribute" to Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz's application for British citizenship and stated he would be willing to submit an application to have Mahfouz's honorary CBE upgraded to a knighthood.

Mahfouz was presented with his CBE by Charles in a private 2016 investiture at Buckingham Palace, though this was not reported in the court circular—the daily published timetable of royal engagements, The Sunday Times reported.

Baker told Newsweek that he does not believe Fawcett, who resigned from his role at The Prince's Foundation in November 2021, during the fallout from the initial scandal, was acting without Charles' knowledge.

He said: "It's inconceivable for me to believe that Michael Fawcett was acting without Prince Charles' say-so.

"So, Prince Charles clearly needs to be spoken to by the police and they need to make an assessment as to whether he is the person behind this, as I think he may be."

A Clarence House spokesperson previously told Newsweek: "The Prince of Wales had no knowledge of the alleged offer of honors on the basis of donation to his charities."

Baker wrote to Scotland Yard after he interpreted Fawcett's letter as a possible "case of an offense being committed under the honors act 1925 and in that case that was tantamount to corruption."

In a statement released by Scotland Yard announcing the investigation, it was revealed that Metropolitan Police officers had liaised with The Prince's Foundation to view any further documentation relevant to the case.

It was then announced that on reviewing these documents with existing information "an assessment determined an investigation would take place."

This new legal blow to the house of Windsor comes as Prince Andrew settled out-of-court the civil lawsuit brought against him by sexual assault accuser Virginia Giuffre.

It also comes as Prince Harry launches another legal case against The Mail on Sunday for alleged falsities published in relation to his request for a judicial review against the Home Office.

Fawcett's letter, sent in August 2017, was published by The Mail on Sunday in September and read: "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 honour from Honorary CBE to that of KBE [knighthood] in accordance with Her Majesty's Honours 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."

Michael Fawcett and Prince Charles
Michael Fawcett, left, former chief executive of the Prince's Foundation, resigned following the revelation he had offered assistance to a donor to royal charities in securing him a knighthood and British citizenship. Former government minister Norman Baker says Prince Charles, right, should be interviewed by police to determine whether he was involved in the cash for honors scandal. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images