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The sleaze row aide who could stop Prince Charles becoming King

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MIRED in allegations of sleaze, Prince Charles is that this weekend preventing for his repute – and to quash a possible risk which could forestall him from becoming King.

That risk comes from his 40 years’ employment of Michael Fawcett, a person of whom Charles has stated: “I can manage without just about anyone, except for Michael.”

Charles and Fawcett in 2019 on the boutique B&B the prince created on the Castle of MeyCredit: PA
Charles was allegedly 'shocked' and 'surprised' by the exposure of Fawcett’s alleged demands to Mahfouz
Charles was allegedly ‘shocked’ and ‘shocked’ by the publicity of Fawcett’s alleged calls for to Mahfouz

As one in every of Charles’s senior employees noticed: “The man who puts the death mask on the King will be Fawcett.”

Last week, Fawcett, 58, was briefly suspended as chief government of Charles’s The Prince’s Foundation after claims he fastened an honour for a Saudi businessman in return for donating greater than £1.5million to Charles’s charities.

The concern Charles, 72, faces is whether or not he knew about Fawcett’s guarantees in a letter to Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, 51.

Through a spokesman, we learnt Charles was allegedly “shocked” and “surprised” by the publicity of Fawcett’s alleged calls for to Mahfouz.

But contemplating Fawcett’s money-raising actions for the prince over the previous 30 years, Charles’s “shock” is tough to imagine.

Fawcett wrote to Mahfouz in 2017, allegedly indicating that in return for his cash, the Saudi would get a knighthood, British citizenship and extra non-public conferences with Prince Charles.

Fawcett’s letter appeared to make a direct connection between Mahfouz getting Charles’s assist for a knighthood and citizenship in return for his cash.

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In an uncommon transfer, Charles’s workplace issued an announcement denying he knew about Fawcett’s supply in change for cash, however the historical past of Fawcett’s profitable operation over the previous a long time to lift greater than £60million for the prince’s charities will inevitably elevate questions over Charles’s denials.

Accused over time of being a “rent-a-royal”, Charles has been repeatedly photographed with overseas multi-millionaires at his personal charity dinners and occasions to lift hundreds of thousands for the Prince’s Trust and to rebuild Dumfries House and the Castle of Mey in Scotland.

Guests apparently paid as much as £500,000 for an opulent dinner with Charles. Fawcett organized these occasions and negotiated the donations. The query Charles faces is whether or not he knew Fawcett was allegedly demanding hundreds of thousands in return for entry to himself.

Mahfouz, who denies any wrongdoing, was not fully upset. The £1.5million he gave to Charles’s charities was rewarded by non-public conferences with the prince and a non-public ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2016, when Charles awarded the Saudi with an “honorary” CBE.

Mahfouz’s generosity was additionally remembered by Charles in naming a wooden, gardens and benches after him at a few of Britain’s oldest and most celebrated buildings.

His donations helped renovate Dumfries House, saved for the nation by Charles in 2007 however with out the £30million wanted for its restoration and upkeep.

Securing that cash from overseas millionaires was Fawcett’s job. Fawcett’s success trusted Charles’s route and co-operation.

Fawcett’s rise from a humble valet in Buckingham Palace in 1982 to being indispensable to Charles has been marked by a collection of astonishing accusations. He has resigned twice earlier than.

The first was after being accused of bullying in 1998 however he was later reinstated, becoming the prince’s private assistant.

And once more in 2003 for promoting royal presents. He was cleared by an inner inquiry of any monetary misconduct and had denied any bullying.

Renowned as “The Fixer” — albeit inside the regulation — and “The Enabler”, he grew to become Charles’s indispensable perfectionist to clean his grasp’s existence. The prince by no means travelled with out Fawcett, who offered the posh he demanded day and evening.

Every morning, Fawcett reportedly crammed Charles’s bathtub and laid out his garments. He discreetly changed the royal toilet paper, cleaned up mess, washed by hand the royal boxer shorts and examined the royal boiled eggs.

At every of Charles’s properties he supervised each element: That gravel on the drive was raked, work have been hanging exactly, the cushions correctly stacked, kitchens provided with natural meals, the flowery flower preparations refreshed each day and the eating desk coated with the suitable linen tablecloth, silver cutlery and candlesticks.

Operating like a common in a regiment, Fawcett the gatekeeper was given the keys to the back and front doorways of Charles’s properties — and management over his life.

Charles and Fawcett during a 1982 shooting
Charles and Fawcett throughout a 1982 capturingCredit: Alpha Photo Press Agency

The Queen is claimed to dislike him. She is claimed to have cringed when his title was talked about. When she noticed Fawcett at Charles’s wedding ceremony to Camilla, it’s claimed she stated loudly to Prince Philip: “Oh look, there’s Fawcett. He’s got so fat.”

Camilla is Fawcett’s nice ally. On Sunday nights, when Princess Diana left Charles’s nation home, Highgrove, to return to London, Fawcett guided Camilla’s arrival.

After Camilla’s divorce, when she was close to penniless, Fawcett offered the meals, clear garments and a driver to make sure her consolation. When Charles succumbed to the demand by 5 of his employees that Fawcett be eliminated over the allegations of bullying, it was Camilla who rode to the rescue.

Hearing that Charles and Fawcett have been seen crying collectively in Highgrove, Camilla is claimed to have stormed into the home, saying: “I hear you’re being beastly to Michael and I’m angry with all of you.”

Charles wailed: “It’s not my fault. They made me do it.”

Fawcett was reinstated and his 5 accusers have been eliminated. Fawcett’s authority was magnified.

And Charles has persistently protected the person vindictively dubbed “Fawcett the Fence”.

Undoubtedly, Fawcett had bought precious presents given to Charles, together with a Rolex Daytona watch price £3,500.

Fawcett wrote to Mahfouz in 2017, allegedly indicating that in return for his money, the Saudi would get a knighthood and more private meetings with Prince Charles
Fawcett wrote to Mahfouz in 2017, allegedly indicating that in return for his cash, the Saudi would get a knighthood and extra non-public conferences with Prince CharlesCredit: Max Mumby

And he was alleged to have damaged laws by accepting presents from royal suppliers, together with a £3,000 membership membership and a Rolex watch.

He was subsequently cleared of wrongdoing. Under stress to do away with him in 2003, Charles pleaded that Fawcett was irreplaceable. In fact, he was additionally unsackable. Fawcett knew all of the secrets and techniques that might endanger Charles’s succession.

If he ever selected to promote his story to the media, he wouldn’t solely earn a minimum of £20million however could destroy Charles’s hopes of becoming King.

Fawcett’s actions have been seen as “errors” and excused by a Palace investigation. Fawcett, the Palace investigators declared, was the sufferer of “jealousy and friction” amongst his employees. He had acted with Charles’s authorisation.

To minimise the criticism, Charles agreed Fawcett ought to resign however made his exit package deal beneficiant.

Fawcett obtained £500,000 in severance pay, the correct to stay in his grace-and-favour house in Richmond, South West London, and a three-year contract for his occasions firm Premier Mode Ltd.

One of his first commissions was for William’s twenty first party for 300 hundred folks and a contract to oversee the rebuilding of Clarence House, after which Dumfries House and Castle Mey. The downside was discovering the hundreds of thousands to pay for his or her restoration.

Fawcett was launched into the world of seducing the ultra-rich to pay for entry to Charles by an American, Robert Higdon.

Higdon had been employed in 1995 by Charles to lift cash for his charities. The actions, although not unlawful, are extremely controversial.

Higdon introduced many billionaires to Charles’s events, they usually gave £1million — and extra — in charitable donations to sit down subsequent to Charles at dinner. Ambitious to take management from Higdon, Fawcett argued always with the American. After 14 years’ employ-ment, Higdon was fired — and he blamed Fawcett.

“He’s one of the most horrible people I’ve met in my life,” he complained. “I put up with the corrupt, imply, vicious folks Charles is surrounded by. The most horrible folks I’ve ever labored with. They used my assets.

“I didn’t like their Machiavellian behaviour, the dishonesty. They weren’t straight.”

Higdon claimed that Charles knew each element of his agreements with the American billionaires: How a lot they’d paid and the place they’d sit at dinners. Higdon additionally organized for Charles to make use of the billionaires’ yachts and personal jets.

According to Higdon, each element was mentioned between himself and Charles, together with the dimensions of the donation. Fawcett was a superb pupil of Higdon’s abilities. On Charles’s orders, he approached a galaxy of property builders, bankers, legal professionals, accountants and overseas billionaires from either side of the Atlantic, Saudi Arabia, Latvia and Kyrgyzstan for cash.

Implicit within the request for donations was the chance of a lunch or dinner with Charles and an assurance {that a} sizable donation could be rewarded with a room or bench named after the sponsor.

Among the numerous beneficiaries was Manuel Colonques, a Spanish tile producer. In return for £1.6million, Colonques was allowed to ask 250 company to Buckingham Palace for a dinner, captured over 36 pages by Hello! journal.

There was additionally a non-public dinner with Charles and an invite to Kate and William’s wedding ceremony. Charles additionally requested that Colonques “donate” an “Islamic garden” of 70,000 handmade mosaic tiles to Highgrove. “We gave the garden to him,” stated the Spaniard’s spokes-man. “And he repaid us with a dinner for our clients.”

Fawcett’s blatant methods to lift cash by “rent-a-royal” have been met by Charles’s approval.

Among many controversial donors recruited by Fawcett was Cem Uzan, a Turkish businessman who, in line with a fixer, “Wanted to be photographed with Charles and get the Christmas card”.

Fawcett defined {that a} £200,000 donation would assure his spouse Alara could sit subsequent to Charles at a dinner. The subsequent day pictures of each Uzans with the prince have been posted the world over. Cem Uzan was later indicted for racketeering in Turkey and sentenced in his absence to 23 years in jail.

Those controversial preparations have been apparently ignored by Charles, for good purpose. After 4 years, Fawcett had raised £19million for his charitable basis. But Charles’s urge for food for cash was apparently insatiable.

It was a well-known sample with Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz — solely now it threatens to finish in shame for Fawcett and probably Charles.

There are considerations the Palace’s investigation of Fawcett’s alleged guarantees to Mahfouz will comply with the identical observe as earlier stories of a few of Fawcett’s alleged wrongdoings if discovered confirmed.

Fawcett can be reprimanded, Charles can be exonerated and Fawcett won’t be forged out.

This time, nonetheless, the chance to Charles is far greater. Over latest months the general public temper in the direction of the monarchy has modified.

Prince Andrew’s sex-scandal allegations and Prince Harry’s denunciation of his household have aroused antagonism.

Charles should concern that if Fawcett alleges the prince did know in regards to the claimed guarantees to Mahfouz, the general public could nicely demand that, on the Queen’s loss of life, Charles forsakes his Crown for William.

That is the lethal danger Charles faces. His destiny is in Fawcett’s palms.
lTom Bower is writer of The Rebel Prince, The Power, Passion And Defiance Of Prince Charles.

Her Majesty is said to have disliked Michael Fawcett, Charles' aide
Her Majesty is claimed to have disliked Michael Fawcett, Charles’ aideCredit: AFP
There is a risk that this scandal will jeopardise Charles' Crown
There is a danger that this scandal will jeopardise Charles’ CrownCredit: Getty

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