A former aide to the Prince of Wales has temporarily resigned from his role as charity boss while an investigation into allegations regarding his conduct is underway.
Michael Fawcett, Charles’s former assistant valet, has resigned as chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation amid allegations reported by the Sunday papers about honors tied to Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz .
The Sunday Times reports that Mr Mahfouz, who is listed as a supporter on the Prince’s Foundation website, has donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Charles, adding that Mr Mahfouz denies any wrongdoing.
Mr Fawcett is believed to have coordinated honor support for Mr Mahfouz, according to newspaper reports.
Mr Fawcett, who in 2003 was cleared of allegations of financial misconduct relating to the sale of royal gifts, was appointed CEO of the Prince’s Foundation in 2018 following a reorganization of Charles’ charities.
Douglas Connell, President of the Prince’s Foundation, said: “Earlier today, Michael Fawcett offered to temporarily step down from his active role as Chief Executive Officer of the Prince’s Foundation while the investigation of the trustees is underway.
“The Prince’s Foundation accepted this offer. Michael fully supports the ongoing investigation and has confirmed that he will contribute to the investigation in any way.
It is understood that Emily Cherrington, COO, will take over in the interim, and the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has been advised that The Prince’s Foundation is a registered charity in Scotland.
A spokesperson for the Prince’s Foundation said: “The Prince’s Foundation takes the allegations that have recently come to its attention very seriously and the matter is currently under investigation.
“We are incredibly proud of the charitable work of the Prince’s Foundation and the positive impact it has on our beneficiaries across the UK and around the world.
“Our education and training programs, in particular, benefit more than 15,000 people each year and provide our students with the skills and confidence to find jobs or start their own businesses.”
Mr Fawcett began his royal service in 1981 as the Queen’s Footman, working his way up the ranks to Footman Sergeant and Charles’ Assistant Footman, exhibiting his bespoke suits and shirts every morning at Kensington Palace.
He was accused of selling unwanted royal gifts and pocketing a percentage of the proceeds when he was Charles’ personal assistant, but was cleared by an internal investigation of any financial misconduct.
The investigation, led by Charles’ personal secretary at the time, Sir Michael Peat, found that Mr Fawcett had “violated internal rules on supplier gifts” but could not be severely criticized as the rules failed. were not enforced and he did not hide such gifts.
But the report portrayed Mr. Fawcett as a suspected tyrant who accepted precious gifts from outside.
The royal assistant resigned following the publication of the report, but continued to enjoy the prince’s patronage as a freelance fixer and party planner, and was granted an undisclosed cash severance package as well as a deal to work as the Prince’s Events Director.