Former royal charity CEO ‘coordinated with fixers’ over honours for donor, investigation finds

The former chief executive of Prince Charles’s charity the Prince’s Foundation coordinated with ‘fixers’ over securing honours for a donor, an independent investigation has found.

The probe found “there is evidence that communication and co-ordination took place” between former CEO Michael Fawcett “and so-called fixers regarding honorary nominations for a donor between 2014-18”.

The investigation also found that there “is no evidence that trustees at the time were aware of these communications”.

The charity ordered the investigation to look into allegations that donations had been used to influence Prince Charles and secure honours.

“The board of trustees agreed unequivocally that the recent allegations had to be independently investigated so that the facts could be established, and all necessary steps could be taken to address the issues identified,” said Prince’s Foundation chair Sue Bruce.

“Now that the board has the findings of the investigation, trustees are considering them in conjunction with OSCR and other relevant parties.”

She added that the board “is determined that lessons will be learned to ensure that, in future, our charity maintains the highest standards in all areas and always acts with the utmost integrity and probity”.

“As we move through this difficult chapter, I hope that the stories of note will begin to focus once more on the beneficial outcomes delivered by The Prince’s Foundation, and we look forward with optimism to continuing to deliver our charitable activities,” she said.

The honours for donations scandal at the charity is being investigated by the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Meanwhile, the Charity Commission is investigating whether donations intended for the Prince’s Foundation went instead to Mahfouz Foundation and then transferred elsewhere.

The charity's independent investigation found that Fawcett “and another senior employee” were involved in transferring funds from the Mahfouz Foundation to another charity, the Children and the Arts Foundation.

“This activity, including written correspondence, was undertaken without the knowledge or approval of the trustees,” found the independent investigation.

Prince’s Foundation chair Douglas Connell stepped down in the summer and former royal valet Fawcett, quit in November, after temporarily stepping down.

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