Prince Charles Rocked by Reports of $1.2 Million Charity Donation From Bin Laden Family
Prince Charles is facing several allegations about impropriety at his charities.
Britain's royal family is no stranger to major controversy, particularly in recent years, and it surfaced again this weekend when the UK's Sunday Times reported that Prince Charles accepted a donation from family members of Osama Bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on New York City. Read on to learn how this had happened and what does it mean for the future of the Royal Family.
According to the Sunday Times, Prince Charles accepted a payment of $1.2 million from two of Osama Bin Laden's half-brothers in 2013, two years after the al-Qaeda leader was killed by U.S. special forces. The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund (PWCF) accepted the donation, although close advisers counseled him not to do so, say reports.
Clarence House, the prince's official residence and office, said the PWCF claimed it had done "thorough due diligence" on the donation, and the decision to accept the money was made by trustees, not the prince. "Any attempt to characterize it otherwise is false," officials told the BBC.
The fund's chairman, Ian Cheshire, said the donation was agreed "wholly" by the five trustees at the time, and "any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate."
Bin Laden was disowned by his family in 1994. There's no evidence the family was involved in his terrorist activities against the United States. Bakr bin Laden, patriarch of the large and wealthy Saudi family, and his brother Shafiq, made the donation.
According to the Associated Press, Prince Charles is facing several allegations about impropriety at his charities. In July, the Sunday Times reported Prince Charles had accepted $3.1 million in cash, some of it delivered in bags and suitcases, from the former prime minister of Qatar. London police are investigating another claim that people connected to the Prince's Foundation, a separate charity, offered to help a Saudi billionaire secure British citizenship and other favors in exchange for donations.
The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund was founded in 1979; it officially describes its mission as "to transform lives and build sustainable communities by awarding grants to a wide range of good causes within our core funding themes: heritage and conservation, education, health and well-being, social inclusion, environment and countryside."