I’m actually a bit surprised that the “Prince Charles accepted literal suitcases full of cash” story has gotten so big this week. Charles has always done unethical things financially (and in other areas of his life), and the Cash Suitcases story wasn’t even the worst of it? I thought some of the worst stories were about Charles blatantly selling access and honours in exchange for millions in “charitable donations.” Just because those donations came via wire transfer doesn’t make them more respectable than a bag full of cash. It could be that the Cash Suitcases story was the straw that broke the camel’s back – after a steady drip of financial impropriety, this story was something people could latch onto, and it was easy to understand why it was wrong and why it was tacky. In any case, Charles wants people to know that he will never do anything like that again. Pinkie swear!
Prince Charles is reacting to reports that he accepted almost $3 million in cash from the former prime minister of Qatar for one of his charities. A royal source announced Wednesday that the Prince of Wales, 73, would never again accept a large cash donation on behalf of his charities after it was reported that he accepted large sums from Sheikh Hamad bin Jasseim bin Jaber Al Thani as a donation to Charles’ Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, which gives grants to other non-profit groups that reflect the prince’s interests.
The source at the palace said that donations had not been made like that in the last five years —and “wouldn’t happen today” — and noted that Prince Charles passed the money onto his charities.
The royal source told PA news agency: “[The cash] was passed immediately to his charities and it was his charities who decided to accept the money – that is a decision for them. And they did so, and as they confirmed, it followed all the right processes, the auditors looked at it. The Prince of Wales operates on advice. Situations, contexts change over the years.” The source added: “For more than half a decade, with the situation as it has evolved, this has not happened and it would not happen again. That is then and this is now.”
You know what bugs me? The fact that this is coming from an unnamed “royal source.” The jig is up – the story was in the Times, it got picked up by every legitimate outlet, and spokespeople for Clarence House and the Prince’s Foundation spoke on the record to outlets as the story broke. Now we’re back to an unnamed source basically saying “Charles promises this will never happen again”? If Charles was serious about this, he would have either issued a statement directly (unlikely) or had his Clarence House press secretary/executive assistant actually issue a statement on the record.
As for Charles “operating on advice” – way to throw your people under the bus, Chuck. Who chose your advisers, Charles? And do you allow them the opportunity to provide you with advice you don’t want to hear?
Photos courtesy of Instar.