Prince Harry says he has severed ties with Saudi billionaire

Prince Harry says he severed ties with Saudi billionaire involved in 'cash for honours' scandal six-years-ago
2 min read
06 December, 2021
The British royal family has been embroiled in a scandal involving a Saudi billionaire.
Prince Harry has said he cut ties with the Saudi businessman six years ago [Getty]

The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry has said he cut ties with a Saudi billionaire at the centre of a "cash for honours" scandal six years ago.

Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz has been accused of donating cash to a charity run by Prince Charles in return for promise of a knighthood and UK residency, according to The Sunday Times.

Prince Harry, the sixth-in-line to the throne, issued a statement to the UK daily responding to claims that he met Mahfouz in 2013 after the Saudi billionaire donated £50,000 to The Prince's Foundation with the promise of more cash for the charity.

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In the statement, the Duke of Sussex said he had "concerns" about Mafouz's motives for the donations, in the latest scandal to rock the British royal family.

"It is disappointing that the Sunday Times, knowing all the facts, has chosen to encourage speculation by being deliberately vague to try to create a falsified link between the Duke of Sussex and the CBE scandal, of which he had no knowledge or involvement," the statement read.

"The duke and his advisers, as well as his non-profit Sentebale, severed ties with Mr Mahfouz and his associates in 2015, no longer accepting further donations to Sentebale and discontinuing any plans for a fundraising 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."

Prince Charles' key aide, Michael Fawcett, stepped down last month following claims he promised to work to get Mahfouz British citizenship and a CBE for his contributions to the Prince of Wales' charities.

Clarence House insist that Prince Charles had no knowledge of the alleged deal and said the Prince of Wales is willing to work with the police if an investigation is opened.

The so-called "CBE scandal" has heaped further pressure on Prince Charles, first in line to the throne, after the royal faced criticism after a plane travelled 125 miles to pick him up despite his promotion of environmental causes.