For months/years, Prince Charles has been lucky. He’s lucky because most of his financial improprieties and crimes have been dull, unsexy and kind of hard to follow for the layperson. In recent months, those dry, unsexy stories got two big boosts. One, we learned that Prince Charles was accepting literal suitcases full of cash from a wealthy Qatari. Two, we learned that Chuck brokered a £1 million “charity donation” from the bin Laden family. Those two stories were easy enough for the most casual observer to follow. I suspect this will be pretty easy to follow too: Charles accepted donations from a Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin:
Prince Charles met a Russian oligarch with links to Vladimir Putin the same year his charity accepted a £300,000 donation from the businessman. The Prince’s Foundation received the cash from a charity run by Moshe Kantor in 2020, despite the billionaire having been named on a ‘Putin list’ released by the US Treasury in 2018.
Mr Kantor, who lives in a £31million mansion in Hampstead, north London, was sanctioned by the UK in April after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the Moscow-born oligarch had already spent years forging ties with Putin, while funnelling more than £15.5million into British institutions, including a £3million pledge to the Prince’s Foundation.
The revelations have sparked fresh concerns over Charles’s dealings with controversial donors after reports that he ‘brokered’ a donation from the family of Osama Bin Laden – which Clarence House has denied.
Mr Kantor, 68, who is worth an estimated £3.5billion, has met Putin on at least seven occasions. The Russian president was a keynote speaker at the World Holocaust Forum in January 2020, organised by Mr Kantor. Charles also delivered a speech and was pictured deep in conversation with the oligarch. The same year, the Prince’s Foundation accepted a second £300,000 donation from Mr Kantor’s charity. It followed a payment of the same amount in 2019, which was the first instalment of a £3million pledge to be paid over ten years.
Clarence House said: ‘As with all donations, the decision to accept this money would have rested with the charity’s trustees.’
I’ll be honest, I think if this was just the first story we ever heard about Charles taking questionable donations, people would shrug. It’s clear that Moshe Kantor has bought his way into British society in a lot of different ways. What makes this different is that the story comes on the heels of the “suitcases full of cash” story and the bin Laden story. It also makes a difference that this comes after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where Britain, America and the EU are cracking down on Russian money, specifically the Russian money of Putin’s oligarch friends and allies. So yeah… what will it be next week? “Charles personally accepted a suitcase full of rubles from Putin and quietly gave Putin a knighthood”?
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.