London [UK], July 31 (ANI): UK’s Prince Charles, the longest-serving heir apparent to the throne in British history, accepted a donation of 1 million pounds (USD 1.21 million) from the family of Osama bin Laden IN 2013.
As first reported by The Sunday Times of London, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund received the donation in 2013 from the brothers Bakr and Shafiq bin Laden, half-brothers of Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda and architect of the September 11 attacks, quoted The New York Times (NYT).
Clarence House confirmed that the terrorist’s brothers donated money to the royal charity, but denied reports that the prince had personally brokered the deal or made the decision to accept it.
“The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund has assured us that thorough due diligence was undertaken in accepting this donation,” read a statement released by Clarence House.
“The decision to accept was taken by the charity’s trustees alone and any attempt to characterize it otherwise is false,” the statement added.
News of the payment follows a series of recent royal scandals, including a report in June that Prince Charles had accepted USD 3.1 million in cash donations from a Qatari billionaire between 2011 and 2015, some of which was received personally in a suitcase and shopping bags, reported NYT.
The UK paper reported that Prince Charles had brokered the payment after a private meeting with Bakr bin Laden at Clarence House in London on October 30, 2013, two years after Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan.
The paper also reported that the heir to the throne had agreed to accept the donation despite the vocal objections of his own advisers, reported NYT.
Some of the prince’s aides had warned Charles of the inevitable blowback should it become known that his charity had accepted money from the family of the man who orchestrated the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, including 67 Britons.
A royal official, unauthorized to speak publicly, denied that the prince accepted the donation, negotiated the deal or was advised to return the money, reported NYT.
Founded in 1979, The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund says that its mission is “to transform lives and build sustainable communities by awarding grants to a wide range of good causes within our core funding themes: heritage and conservation, education, health and well-being, social inclusion, environment and countryside.” (ANI)