Prince Charles has personally worked to secure a £1 million donation for his charity from the family of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, according to a report.
Charles, 73, met Bakr bin Laden, the patriarch of the Saudi family, and his brother, Shafiq, at Clarence House in London on Oct. 30, 2013, to arrange payment, according to the Sunday Times of London.
The men are Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers and the meeting came two years after the terrorist was killed by US special forces in Pakistan.
The newspaper reported that the future king agreed to the contribution despite objections from his advisers at Clarence House, the Prince’s London residence, and the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, with at least one of the organization’s trustees begging him to to return the money.
Advisers told him that if news of the transaction leaked, it would spark national outcry and damage his reputation, the paper said.
“The fact that a member of the highest echelon of the British establishment chose to do business with a name and family that not only set alarm bells ringing, but terror all over the world. . . why would you do this? What good reason is there for doing this?” a source told the newspaper.
Charles is said to have felt it would be too embarrassing to return the money to the bin Laden brothers, who are believed not to be involved in terrorist acts.
Sir Ian Cheshire, the chairman of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, told the STOL that the donation had been “fully approved” by the organisation’s five trustees.
“Sheikh Bakr Bin Laden’s endowment in 2013 was carefully considered by PWCF Trustees at the time. Due diligence was conducted, seeking information from a wide range of sources, including the government. The decision to accept the donation was taken entirely by the trustees. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate,” Chesire told the paper.
A Clarence House spokeswoman said the charity has “assured us that a thorough investigation has gone into accepting this donation. The decision to accept was made solely by the trustees’ trustees and any attempt to characterize it differently is incorrect.”
Charles is said to have received other questionable donations to his charity from a controversial Qatari politician with the money supplied from 2011 to 2015 in duffel bags, a briefcase and several branded shopping bags from famed Fortnum & Mason department store.
The revelations prompted a royal source to say that donations were no longer accepted that way.