Prince Harry said he severed ties with Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz a year before he was presented the a CBE by Prince Charles
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Prince Harry has been accused of ‘whacking’ his father after a damning statement on the honours row amid fears it could further deepen the royal rift with his family.
Harry said he severed ties with Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz a year before he was presented the CBE by Prince Charles.
The Duke of Sussex reportedly had “concerns” over the businessman’s ‘motives’.
Reports say Mr Mahfouz, who is listed as a supporter on The Prince’s Foundation website, donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Charles.
The prince then gave Mr Mahfouz – who denies any wrongdoing – a CBE in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2016, which was not published in the Court Circular.
Harry said he had no involvement in what he described as the ‘CBE scandal’.
The Duke of Sussex’s statement said: “The duke and his advisors, as well as his non-profit charity Sentebale, severed ties with Mr Mahfouz and his associates in 2015, no longer accepting further donations to Sentebale and discontinuing any plans for a fund-raising 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.”
Royal commentators claimed Harry’s comments were a show of “one-upmanship”.
Angela Levin, Prince Harry ’s biographer, said: “He doesn’t mention Charles by name in his statement but it’s a clear case of one-upmanship.
“Harry looks for any occasion to whack his father and criticise him. It’s sad.”
Ingrid Seward, editor-in- chief of Majesty magazine, commented: “He might personally be feeling that his father is an idiot — but he would never say it. If anyone, he would lay the blame on Michael Fawcett.
“Harry never liked Fawcett. The way he fawned over their father, he found it distasteful.”
According to The Times, the Saudi businessman’s fixers contacted people close to Charles about the prospect of an honour as early as 2011.
His aides were said to be explicit about the transactional nature of the arrangement, making it clear that, in exchange for giving large sums of money to Charles’s charities, his team would secure the honour for Mr Mahfouz.
And The Mail on Sunday said that a letter was sent by Mr Fawcett to Busief Lamlum, an aide to Mr Mahfouz, in 2017, which indicated that his charitable donations would also help a citizenship bid.
It read: “In light of the ongoing and most recent generosity of His Excellency… I am happy to confirm to you, in confidence, that we are willing and happy to support and contribute to the application for Citizenship.
“I can further confirm that we are willing to make [an] application to increase His Excellency’s honour from Honorary CBE to that of KBE in accordance with Her Majesty’s Honours Committee.”
The allegations are said to centre around donations for Charles’s scheme to renovate Dumfries House, a Palladian mansion in Scotland.
Mr Fawcett, who in 2003 was cleared of financial misconduct allegations over the selling of royal gifts, was appointed chief executive of the Prince’s Foundation in 2018 following a reorganisation of Charles’ charities.