Prince Charles Sparks Fury Over $1M Charity Donation From bin Laden Family

Britain's Prince Charles has come under fire after a newspaper reported that one of his charitable funds accepted a $1.2 million (£1 million) donation from relatives of Osama bin Laden.

The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund received the money in 2013 from Bakr bin Laden, patriarch of the wealthy Saudi family, and his brother Shafiq, according to The Sunday Times.

Both are half-brothers of the former leader of al-Qaeda who masterminded the September 11, 2001, attacks and was killed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan in 2011.

There is no suggestion that Bakr or Shafiq bin Laden sponsored or supported acts of terrorism and the family disowned Osama bin Laden almost 20 years ago.

According to the Times, Charles, the heir to the British throne, accepted the donation after a meeting with Bakr bin Laden at Clarence House in October 30, 2013, despite the objections of advisers.

Clarence House confirmed the donation was made, but disputed that Charles had brokered the deal or made the decision to accept it.

The decision to accept the money was taken by the charity's trustees and "any attempt to characterize it otherwise is false," the spokesperson said, according to The Guardian newspaper.

Ian Cheshire, the fund's chairman, also said the decision to accept the donation was agreed "wholly" by the trustees at the time.

Charles has been excoriated on social media since the report was published.

"Having taken £1million from the Bin Laden family, it's clear Prince Charles has terrible judgement," Nigel Farage, a broadcaster and the former leader of the pro-Brexit U.K. Independence Party, tweeted.

"Perhaps he should just retire and talk to his plants more instead?"

Journalist Jake Hanrahan wrote: "The British monarchy proves itself once again to be corrupt, lawless, and without principles, as Prince Charles has taken £1million from the family of Osama bin Laden and those close to the brutal regime of Saudi Arabia."

Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, a political commentator, said Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, would have been "vilified" and "abused" by the British press and public if she or her charity had accepted such a donation.

"The haters would demand for her to be divested of every title including Wife, Mother & Duchess. Hypocrites," she wrote.

Prince Charles meets with community groups
Prince Charles is seen during a meeting with local community groups on July 29, 2022 in Wick, Scotland. Andrew Milligan/WPA Pool/Getty Images

BBC journalist Alistair Coleman noted that while the optics of the donation were "terrible," Osama bin Laden had been disowned by his family and expelled from Saudi Arabia in the 1990s.

"The optics of taking a charity donation from the bin Laden family are terrible as the name is so absolutely tainted, but they had no connection with the Al-Qaeda terrorist for the 17 years leading to his death," Coleman wrote.

Charles recently came under fire after it emerged that he had accepted a €3 million cash donation—some of it in a suitcase—from a Qatari politician between 2011 and 2015.

Meanwhile, another of the prince's charities, the Prince's Foundation, is under police investigation over allegations that its chief executive offered to help a Saudi billionaire secure honors and citizenship in return for donations.

Clarence House has said Charles had no knowledge of any such offer.

Newsweek has contacted Clarence House for further comment.