Suggestions of a rift between Prince Harry and Prince Charles have been raised once more after the Duke of Sussex was dragged into allegations of cash-for-honours that was engulfing his father’s charity. The rift between Prince Harry and his dad may be as damaging to the future king as that between Prince Charles and Princess Diana, a royal insider has claimed.
Richard Kay, who was a personal friend of the Princess of Wales, suggested that the relationship of the royal father and son could have long-term, serious implications. He was speaking as Harry was dragged into allegations of cash-for-honours that was engulfing his father’s charity.
The Duke of Sussex said he severed ties with Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz a year before he was presented the CBE by Prince Charles. Harry reportedly had “concerns” over the businessman’s ‘motives’.
Reports say Mr Mahfouz, who is listed as a supporter on The Prince’s Foundation website, donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Charles.
The Sunday Times reported Harry’s charity Sentebale accepted £50,000 from the same tycoon.The prince then gave Mr Mahfouz – who denies any wrongdoing – a CBE in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2016, which was not published in the Court Circular. Harry said he had no involvement in what he described as the ‘CBE scandal’.
The Duke of Sussex’s statement said: “The duke and his advisors, as well as his non-profit charity Sentebale, severed ties with Mr Mahfouz and his associates in 2015, no longer accepting further donations to Sentebale and discontinuing any plans for a fund-raising event amid growing concerns over the motives for his support.
“The duke had one planned meeting with this donor nearly eight years ago, did not introduce him to any members of the royal family and expressed his concerns about the donor.” Angela Levin, Prince Harry ’s biographer, said: “He doesn’t mention Charles by name in his statement but it’s a clear case of one-upmanship.”
Earlier this year the Duke told Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast he had experienced “genetic pain,” in which Prince Charles passed on trauma from his own royal upbringing. This week Kay, writing in The Daily Mail , suggested the CBE issue was worse than Harry criticising his upbringing.
“But the broadside he launched questioning the ‘motives’ of Dr. Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz and highlighting his own ‘concerns’ about the Saudi businessman, is an implicit challenge to Charles’s judgment,” he claimed.
“Such a rebuke—especially if it continues—could have an impact on the Prince as monarch as we edge closer to his reign. “And it is why this week those close to Charles are viewing the unraveling of the relationship between father and son as potentially as damaging as that between the Prince and Princess Diana.”
If Kay is right, Charles’ rift with Harry could prove an issue for the future king. In 1991, while apparently happily married to Diana, Ipsos Mori polling showed 82 percent of Brits thought Charles would make a good king. By 1996, the year of the divorce, he was down to 41 percent.
That number now stands at 33 percent. The Prince’s Foundation released a summary of its internal investigation into cash-for-honours. It read: “With respect to the allegation of securing honours for a donor in exchange for donations, there is evidence that communication and coordination took place between the CEO at the time and so-called ‘fixers’ regarding honorary nominations for a donor between 2014-18.
“There is no evidence that trustees at the time were aware of these communications.”
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