Prince Charles accepted $3 million in cash from Sheik, stuffed into pockets and suitcases

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Charles’ judgment under new control over pockets of cash

The cartoon image of Prince Charles rubbing his hands in glee as he tosses shopping bags full of banknotes into the boot of his wine-powered Aston Martin, like something out of the irreverent British comedy The Windsors employs the royalist today.

The picture follows the startling revelation that the heir to the throne was personally handed a suitcase containing €1 million (just over $1.05 million) by a politician representing a wealthy oil-producing small Arab state.

“It was one of three cash packages totaling 3 million euros ($3.2 million) that Prince Charles personally received between 2011 and 2011 from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former Prime Minister of Qatar, nicknamed ” HBJ”, received 2015”, the London Sunday times reports.

The story, which was described as “really shocking” by a senior ethics official, will cement Charles’ reputation for financial indiscipline in many minds. It might be a bit of an exaggeration to say that it jeopardizes his succession, but it certainly raises urgent and new questions about the heir apparent’s judgment on money matters.

Late last year, Charles lost his key advisor, Michael Fawcett, who was forced to resign from Charles’ foundation after it was revealed that he had arranged a tribute to a billionaire Saudi donor, specifically in exchange for donations. Charles denied any knowledge of the transaction agreement, but a reported police investigation into the matter has not provided any answers as he has been discreet to the point of invisibility. Prince Harry has strongly accused his father of being involved in what he described as a “scandal” over the affair.

In the recent self-inflicted disaster that struck Charles, the Sunday times revealed that Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani personally gave bags of cash to Charles on three separate occasions between 2011 and 2015.

HBJ is said to have given the prince €1 million in €500 bills each time, sometimes dubbed “bin Ladens” because they are used by terrorist-linked organized crime gangs. At one point, the money was stuffed into plastic bags belonging to the luxury grocery and department store Fortnum & Mason in Chelsea, which holds a royal charter from the prince. Another time the money was in a suitcase and the third time in a holdall.

Clarence House insisted Times that it makes no difference that the money deposited into an account with the exclusive bankers Coutts happened to arrive in cash and that “all correct processes have been followed”.

However, a source described as “one of Charles’ former advisors who managed some of the money” said so Sunday times that “everyone felt very uncomfortable about the situation,” adding, “the only thing we could do was count the money and document together what we had done. And then call the bank.”

A member of Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family, HBJ is a highly controversial figure with an estimated personal fortune of $12 billion who served as Qatar’s Prime Minister between 2007 and 2013, during which time he had close ties with Britain saw the country’s giant sovereign wealth fund invest in Harrods and iconic London skyscraper The Shard.

Charles was believed to have used his influence to get the Qataris to back out of the redevelopment of a high-profile Chelsea site called Chelsea Barracks. The High Court said Charles’ involvement in the affair was “unexpected and undesirable”.

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, told the Sunday times The revelations were “really shocking” and said: “I would make no distinction between a politician and a member of the royal family. If the government of Qatar wants to give a gift to its foundation then there are appropriate ways to do those things rather than dealing with large sums of money.”

Beatrice’s card at Glasto reportedly declined

At the other end of the financial scale, Princess Beatrice’s bank card was apparently refused three times in a bar at Britain’s Glastonbury music festival. A spy told that Daily Star: “She tried to pay by card, but she was declined three times.”

Good news for her father, Prince Andrew, on the money front. The mirror reports that author Ingrid Seward told True Royalty TV’s The Royal Beat: “They’re not going to kick him out because he’s going to cause more trouble and start talking and doing TV interviews and writing books. They don’t want that again. He will be financially secure but I would be very surprised if he kept the Royal Lodge.”

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Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Andrew smiles away

If Prince Andrew is worried about losing his title as Duke of York – after 80% of that city’s residents said they want to cut ties with him – he didn’t show it on Saturday. The Daily MayI showed him happily riding a horse through the grounds of Windsor Castle.

As reported by The Daily Beast, York Central MP Rachael Maskell has introduced the Removal of Titles Bill after polls showed 80 per cent of its citizens want to be stripped of their association with the disgraced king, who has refused , to stop consuming the title presented to him as a wedding present in 1986.

Maskell said so Daily Mail: “In February, as we focused on the court case brought against Andrew, my constituents responded that 80% of the people wanted ties with the current Duke of York to be severed. And so I’ve met with the staff here in the House of Commons to see how it can be accomplished.”

She discovered that “there were no mechanisms in place, not even for the monarch, to remove the title. The only real way to achieve that is for Andrew to no longer willingly call himself Duke of York.”

She added: “Using a title like the Duke of York is an ambassadorial role, it carries our city’s name around the world.

“And it’s a city that is a human rights city, the only human rights city in England. We’re already in a culture clash when we talk about violence against women and girls and the issues we’re working really hard on in the city to make York a very safe place to be.”

Subscribe to here to get the latest royal news and gossip with Tom Sykes and Tim Teeman.

Epstein Victim: Andrew’s photo made me ‘tremble’ with shock

Annie Farmer, a victim of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, tells the Sun that the picture of Andrew with Maxwell, his arm around Virginia Roberts Giuffre, makes her tremble. Farmer, who spoke ahead of Maxwell’s sentencing on Tuesday, said in an impact statement: “I remember sitting at my desk in a Houston hospital and physically shaking after looking at the photo of Maxwell with Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew had seen because I realized how their scheme was continued.”

“I would never have met Epstein without you,” writes Farmer, who claims the abuse at Epstein and Maxwell’s hands took place when she was 16. “You opened the door to hell. And then, Ghislaine, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you used your femininity to betray us, and you put us all through it.” The couple did “unthinkable things” to her, Farmer says.

Royals reconsider colonial legacy

A sign that royals are at least trying to come to terms with the many horrors of Britain’s colonial past is the news that Prince Charles wants slavery to be publicly recognized, similar to the annual Holocaust commemoration.

Charles expressed his “personal regret” over Britain’s links to the slave trade during a visit to Rwanda last week, no doubt encouraged to speak out on the issue by protests over the slavery legacy on William and Kate’s recent Caribbean trip, which has drawn criticism in some circling as “tone deaf”.

A senior royal source said so Sunday times: “He is Patron of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and notes that in the UK we now know everything about the Holocaust and learn it in school, so something that is recognized and learned at a national level. This is not true of the transatlantic slave trade, and perhaps it should be.

“So, just like on Holocaust Remembrance Day, is there a way to do this? Have a moment to remember?”

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Queen Elizabeth II crowns her son Charles, Prince of Wales, during his investiture ceremony at Caernarvon Castle.

Hulton Archives/Getty Images

This week in royal history

July 1st is one of the strangest dates on the royal calendar, marking the birth of Princess Diana on that day in 1961, while on the same day Prince Charles became Prince of Wales eight years later in 1969 at an investiture ceremony at Caernarvon Castle in North Wales.

Unanswered questions

If someone shows up at your house on three separate occasions with a million dollars in cash, maybe you don’t think you should call the authorities? This begs the question: will the recent mysterious cash scandal just embarrass Prince Charles, or could it get worse and end up jeopardizing his real legitimacy as monarch?

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