There were a few big royal stories breaking over the weekend, and I feel like the Prince Harry-met-with-a-shady-donor story fell through the cracks a little bit. It was a perfect storm of the British media wanting the story to be scandalous for one particular reason, then finding out it was scandalous for a different reason and then trying to ignore that part. To recap, the Times reported that in 2013-14, Prince Harry had at least a handful of meetings and interactions with a wealthy Saudi named Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz. The meetings were so that Mahfouz would donate to Sentebale, which he did. Mahfouz kept wanting more access to Harry and Harry ended up ending the relationship between donor and fundraiser. Coincidentally, Mahfouz ended up being a major donor to Prince Charles’s foundation for years after Harry shut down the relationship. Mahfouz is one of several shady foreign nationals within Charles’s larger cash-for-access and cash-for-honours drama.
The initial story in the Times was meant to point out that Harry had some of these shady connections too, like Charles. It was clearly Charles throwing his younger son under the bus, because Charles is still dealing with the larger fallout from his years of cash-for-access scandal. Charles probably didn’t expect Harry to issue a statement through his spokesperson, pointing out that Harry grew wary of Mahfouz and “severed ties” with him and warned other people to be wary, all while Charles continued to court Mahfouz as a donor for years afterwards AND gave Mahfouz a CBE honour. Basically, Charles tried to shove Harry under the bus and it boomeranged back on Charles and made him look like he doesn’t have the good sense God gave a goose. Now, unsurprisingly, we’re hearing a lot about how Charles is very upset with Harry!
Prince Harry and his father Prince Charles have barely spoken in eight months and Charles will be “devastated” at the prospect of being “further ostracized” from his grandchildren Archie and Lilibet, reports claimed Tuesday.
Harry hit back at the Sunday Times’ claims, saying he had “severed” ties with Mahfouz after becoming suspicious of his “motives.” He said he had nothing to do with what his statement notably called “the CBE scandal.” The gratuitous attack on Charles implicit in Harry’s choice of words is said to have left Charles “distraught,” and royal sources told the Daily Telegraph that Harry’s claim that he had “expressed his concerns about the donor” had not reached Charles: “No one can remember that here,” one said.
The Sun meanwhile reported that Charles and Harry have “barely spoken” since Prince Philip’s funeral with the exception of the occasional “fraught” phone call and that their relations are “at an all-time low,” with Charles “deeply shocked and hurt” by the attacks on him by Harry.
A friend of Charles told the Sun: “Charles is deeply shocked and disappointed by Harry’s latest statement, which effectively threw his father under the bus. There are fears that this episode with Mahfouz could even be a chapter in Harry’s autobiography. This attack was more damaging than the swipe at Charles’ parenting skills because this was a challenge to the way he conducts his business which is far more damaging to the future king. There is no way for Charles to fight back and defend himself publicly so he keeps a dignified silence. These constant barbs about his father from America could be very damaging to his reign. Attempts have been made to clear the air but they have barely spoken since the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.”
The friend added: “Charles very much loves his son and he will not be having a pop at Harry in return. It’s that simple. He is not going to join in because loving his son is the thing that matters the most.”
The Telegraph added a quote from a source saying: “The prince absolutely adores Harry. He will feel absolutely devastated by this; distraught. He’ll be beside himself if this means he also becomes more ostracized from his grandchildren. It’s such a sad state of affairs.”
[From The Daily Beast]
Charles’s friend went to the Sun and said THIS with a straight face: “There is no way for Charles to fight back and defend himself publicly so he keeps a dignified silence…” Charles tipped off the Sunday Times about Harry accepting donations from this Saudi, then Charles throws a self-pitying tantrum when Harry corrects the record. Clarence House clearly authorized pieces in the Daily Mail, the Sun and the Telegraph talking about how Harry and Charles’s relationship is strained because of this. And the mention of Harry’s memoir, OMG. Now anytime a Windsor wants a little pity, all they have to do is mutter, “oh dear, I fear this too will be in Harry’s memoir.”
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.
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