Prince Charles is alleged to have accepted €3million from a Quatari Sheikh – including €1 million of cash in a suitcase.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani is said to have handed over banknotes to the Prince of Wales in meetings between 2011 to 2015.
It is claimed that on one occasion €1million was handed over in a holdall at a meeting at Clarence House
The newspaper reported the money was given over in €500 notes – a now discontinued denomination dubbed the ‘Bin Laden’ for its links to terrorist financing.
Clarence House said the money was ‘passed immediately to one of the prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate covenants and assured us all correct procedures were followed’.
The charity in question is the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, whose stated aim is to ‘transform lives and build sustainable communities’, by awarding grants to good causes in areas like conservation, education, health and social inclusion.
It is understood at least one trustee had no idea about the gifts from the Qatari Sheikh.
None of Prince Charles’ meetings with him appeared on the Court Circular record of royal engagements.
There is no suggestion the payments were illegal. However, it does raise questions about the prince’s personal judgement.
Charles is already embroiled in a cash for honours scandal amid claims former aide Michael Fawcett helped fix a CBE for Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz.
The Metropolitan Police said earlier this year that it is investigating the claims under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
The revelations come even though Prince Charles vowed to make amends for the UK’s human rights record by announcing a national day of remembrance for victims of the British slave trade.
Qatar has often been questioned about its human rights record.
It is illegal to be gay in the Arab state and women are heavily discriminated against. The country hosts the World Cup this year amid claims emerging from Amnesty International showing 6,500 migrant workers died in construction schemes. Qatar contests the figures.
The controversy has overshadowed reports that Charles is advocating for the slave trade to be taught as widely as the Holocaust.
A source said: ‘The Holocaust was appalling and dreadful and just as we have acknowledged the horrors of the past, the prince believes there should be an equal acknowledgement of our past in the slave trade.
‘Britain is made up of a very diverse population and the same can be said of the Commonwealth. The Prince of Wales is looking for more opportunities to celebrate those different aspects of the collective.
‘We have gained a greater understanding of the Holocaust, so it is acknowledged and learnt at a national level, but that is not true of the slave trade. The prince has acknowledged that it needs to happen and if there is a movement to back that, the Prince of Wales will certainly lend his support.’
Meanwhile in a speech to Commonwealth leaders in Rwanda on Friday, Charles, 73, described his regret Britain shipped African slaves to the US. He said: ‘I cannot describe the depths of my personal sorrow at the suffering of so many.
‘I want to acknowledge that the roots of our contemporary association run deep into the most painful period of our history. Many of those wrongs belong to an earlier age with different – in some ways lesser – values.
‘By working together, we are building a new and enduring friendship.’
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