Michael Fawcett, a former aide to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, has resigned temporarily from his position as general manager of the Prince Charitable Foundation amid allegations that he used his influence to help Saudi businessman Mahfouz Merhi Mubarak bin Mahfouz receive the Order of the British Empire.
Bin Mahfouz was awarded the Medal in 2016.
The charity said it was investigating.
The foundation acts as an umbrella for a number of charities affiliated with Prince Charles.
The allegations about Fawcett were published by the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday.
The Sunday Times reported that Mahfouz, who denies wrongdoing, has donated large sums of money to restoration projects related to Prince Charles.
According to some press reports, Fossett coordinated the efforts that ended with Mahfouz being awarded the medal.
Douglas Connell, president of The Prince Charitable Foundation, said Fawcett offered Saturday to temporarily resign his position as general manager while investigations into the case were completed, and that the foundation had accepted the offer. He added that Fossett fully supports the investigation and assured that he would provide all possible assistance.
A spokesperson for the foundation said, “The foundation takes allegations seriously and is investigating them.”
Fawcett was a close confidant of Prince Charles and served as his runner-up until 2003.
BBC royal affairs correspondent Johnny Dimond said that palace sources confirmed that Prince Charles’ office was staying away from the affairs of the institution, but Fawcett was close to the prince and these allegations constitute an embarrassment to the latter.
Fawcett began his royal service in 1981 as an employee of the Queen, before becoming runner-up to Prince Charles.
He was acquitted in 2003 of charges of illegal financial conduct related to the sale of royal gifts.
He resigned after an internal report criticized his management of minors, but continued to serve as assistant and director of Prince Charles’ events.
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