Queen Elizabeth II has not been able to enjoy her milestone of being the longest-serving sovereign in history due to the scandals that affect the reputation of two of her children and the prestige of the British crown.
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The 95-year-old sovereign, who has just set the record for reaching 70 years on the throne, He had already overcome the scandal of Andrés, his spoiled son, for accusations of alleged sexual abuse of a minor more than two decades ago.
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The Royal House imagined seeing the jubilee in all the press, every day, but so far, things have not gone according to plan
But the famous Scotland Yard police dealt him a new blow by announcing the formal opening of an unprecedented investigation against the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, for the alleged “sale” of honorary titles in exchange for money to finance his charity projects.
“This couldn’t have come at a worse time”, assured Daniela Relph, a commentator on the life of the British monarchy, referring that this year was supposed to be a celebration for royalty and the historic 70-year reign of the Queen.
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But both the case of Andrés and that of Prince Charles now seem to be clouding the festive desire to celebrate the jubilee, which includes a weekend of events between June 2 and 5 next.
In the case of Carlos, the investigation was opened this week by the London police (Scotland Yard) under a complaint made last September by ‘Republic’a pressure group that aspires to the abolition of the British constitutional monarchy.
‘republic’ accused the heir to the crown of violating the Law of Honors, dating from 1925 for the prevention of abuses in relation with the granting of honorary titles to nationals and foreigners.
Under the law, a prison sentence of up to two years or a fine of £500 is stipulated. But insiders of British royalty believe the blow will be aimed more at subjects of the disgraced royal family.
Scotland Yard investigates
According to the complaint, the prince’s foundation or The Prince’s Foundationchaired by Carlos, would have offered a Saudi tycoon to use his influences to be awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and British citizenship, in exchange for paying to buy and repair buildings from his charity.
The case has to do with Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, who achieved the noble position in 2016 after having donated millionaire sums of money to charities sponsored by both the heir to the crown and Prince Henry.
Scotland Yard reported that it had appointed a ‘Special Investigation Team’ to “carry out the screening process which has included contact with those believed to have relevant information”.
This happens by calling Prince Charles and his trusted employee and director of the Foundation, Michael Fawcett, until less than three months ago.
“Officers contacted The Prince’s Foundation on the findings of an independent investigation into fundraising practices,” reported the police entity, which found merit to open the criminal case, after having spent the last five months reviewing documents provided by the same foundation.
“These documents were reviewed along with existing information. The evaluation determined that an investigation will be initiated”, referred to the forceful statement, which surprised Clarence Housethe office that handles the interests of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
Fawcett resigned from his position as director of the Carlos Foundation and is being investigated for allegedly colluding with the ‘Fixers’ or intermediaries who represented Mahfouz to achieve titles of honor in exchange for donations.
Carlos, through his press office, assured this week that he personally had no interference in the financial management of his foundation created 40 years ago.
The charity’s mission is to provide what it calls ‘holistic solutions’ in education and the environment for young people and adults, both in the UK and around the world.
The Prince’s Foundation manages Dumfries House, where events and educational programs are held, but which depends on donations to survive.
According to the accusations, the Saudi thug would have “paid” the reparations of dumfries for an amount of more than 1.5 million pounds sterling, in exchange for entering the exclusive circle of friends of the Crown, an honorary title and British citizenship.
The Saudi tycoon’s donations also included £50,000 to sentebalea foundation created by Prince Harry in 2006 to help people affected by AIDS in Lesotho and Botswana after his gap year in Africa in 2003.
Later that year he donated £10,000 to Walking With The Wounded (Walking with the Wounded), another charity of which Enrique was a patron.
This occurred while, with the mediation of Fawcett, the friendship between Mahfouz and Carlos, which dates back to the early 2010s, was consolidating. It is assured that he would have negotiated his noble titles with payments to other organizations crown-run charities with amounts in excess of £20,000.
For the year 2015, the Prince and Duke of Wales himself gave the Saudi billionaire the honorary title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The Prince of Wales and Mahfouz also held private meetings in Scotland and Saudi Arabia.
Henry the informer
In this whole case, the British tabloid press has put the name of the prince henry like the one that would have opened Pandora’s box of the practice of “donations by titles of nobility”.
According The Sunday Times, the duke, who renounced his privileges two years ago, would have been the informant in the Mahfuez case. And now it is possible that Scotland Yard I can call you as a witness in the case.
This, after his press office revealed that “the duke had a planned meeting with this donor eight years ago, did not introduce him to any member of the royal family and expressed concern about the donor”, despite having received money from the Magnate.
It is claimed that Enrique broke off relations with Mahfuez in 2015, having seen him twice.
The Duke of Sussex had issued an unusual statement last December, in which he assured that he was not involved in what he described as the “CBE scandal”, in reference to the noble title, and insisted that he was concerned about the businessman’s “motives”. Saudi for your donations.
The queen’s first headache was the sexual abuse case pending in a New York court against Prince Andrew, Elizabeth II’s youngest son, who reached an out-of-court settlement last Tuesday with his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, estimated for more than 12 million pounds sterling for its defense foundations for victims of trafficking.
Far from calming the waters, now the question is how he intends to pay for the financial settlement. It is doubtful that he will be able to afford his pension as a retired Royal Navy officer and a stipend from the income of the Duchy of Lancaster from the Queen, his mother.
The arrangement, in addition to leaving Andrés without cash, has been seen as a tacit acknowledgment of the alleged crime of having abused Giuffre when he was a minor, something he had vehemently denied.
He also said the duke regretted his association with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, contradicting his own statements to BBC Newsnight in 2019, in which he assured that he did not regret being friends with Epstein.
In the agreement, he promised to “demonstrate his remorse for his association with Epstein, by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking and its victims.”
MARIA VICTORIA CRISTANCHO
Correspondent of THE TIME
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