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Prince Charles’ longtime aide steps down amid ‘golden visa’ scandal

Prince Charles’ longtime aide steps down amid ‘golden visa’ scandal

Prince Charles’ long-time aide Michael Fawcett stepped down as head of the Prince’s charity, according to The Sunday Times. The royal aide used his position to help a Saudi billionaire receive a “golden visa.”

Prince of Wales’ aide, Fawcett, was paid to coordinate the title and help Saudi Arabian billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz receive a “golden visa”. According to media reports, the billionaire wanted to secure the title of honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [CBE], one of the highest accolades for non-British citizens. Through ‘golden visa’ a Saudi hoped to achieve UK citizenship and residency.

Queen’s son personally bestowed the award to Mahfouz at a private ceremony in 2016 at Buckingham Palace. The point is the ceremony was not published on the official list of royal engagements.

Mahfouz, one of the biggest donors to the prince’s charities

Amid the scandal, the Saudi claims he is an “honorable philanthropist” and denies any wrongdoing. In fact, the Middle Eastern billionaire has reportedly donated more than $2 million to help restoration projects at the prince’s estates among other charities.

Fawcett, an “indispensable” aide by the Duke of Wales, is the middleman in this story and explicitly shows that the donations were in exchange for the OBE award.

The prince’s aide was able to organize a meeting between the Prince and Mahfouz that led to his award. The Prince Foundation is an umbrella organization for several charities and projects and educational opportunities centered at the historic Dumfries House estate in Scotland.