Prince Charles, the United Kingdom’s future king, has come under scrutiny as reports of a transaction between the prince’s charitable fund and Osama bin Laden’s two half-brothers in 2013 have surfaced in the press.
Prince Charles has also reportedly accepted a suitcase containing more than $1 million in cash from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former controversial prime minister of Qatar. In total, Prince Charles is said to have accepted $3 million from the Sheikh. A quick search online will turn up a few more controversial donors too.
What is going on here? Are these powerhouses in the middle east really interested in the “charity” work that the prince is involved in, or are they buying access to other things?
Interestingly enough, the Associated Press reported that:
“London police are currently investigating a separate allegation that people associated with another of the prince’s charities, the Prince’s Foundation, offered to help a Saudi billionaire secure honors and citizenship in return for donations. Clarence House has said Charles had no knowledge of any such offer.”
The Sunday Times broke the story alleging that Prince Charles received the money from the Osama brothers after a private meeting at Clarence House in London. However, Clarence House says that the five trustees of the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund received the donation.
There is some confusion as to why the prince would take the donation from the brothers of a high-profile terrorist. You would think that the prince would have suspected that conspiracy theories would pop up as soon as word of such a donation came to light.
According to The Guardian:
“Due diligence was conducted, with information sought from a wide range of sources, including government. The decision to accept the donation was taken wholly by the Trustees.
“Any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate.”
A source close to the charity said after a thorough examination of the issues, the trustees concluded that the actions of one bin Laden family member should not tarnish the whole family.”
Prince Charles has a little bit of history with the bin Laden brothers. He was allegedly introduced to them in June 2000, and they met again about two weeks after the September 11th attacks. The meeting was at a dinner organized by the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
The question remains, is this a big nothing burger, or is this proof of the prince using his charitable fund to receive money in exchange for favors?
We will probably never know. The charitable fund gives out over $3 million a year in grants to various causes, including farming, education, social issues, and the environment.
The prince seems well insulated from public outrage on the bin Laden money. Since the bin Laden family had disowned Osama bin Laden in 1995, it would seem that the prince has no qualms dealing with the rest of the family.
This controversy has left most of the world realizing that the rich and powerful play by a different set of rules. If anyone of us peasants had received $1.2 million from the bin Laden family, the government would rake us across the coals. Yet, the elite won’t even bat an eye at the shock of the common man.