Prince Charles’s closest aide has stepped down from his role amid accusations that he helped to secure a knighthood for a donor to the Prince’s charity.
Michael Fawcett, who has worked with Prince Charles for four decades has left his position, Clarence House confirmed on Thursday night.
Mr Fawcett began working for the Royal family in 1981, first as a junior footman to the Queen and then a personal valet to her eldest son. He rose through the ranks and in 2018 was made the chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation.
Earlier this year, a letter from 2017 emerged in which Mr Fawcett allegedly told a Saudi billionaire who donated £1.5 million to the Duke of Wales’s charity that he could help him secure him an honour and citizenship.
The letter allegedly written to Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfou said: “In light of the ongoing and most recent generosity of His Excellency Sheikh Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, 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 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.”
Mr Mahfouz, 51, who is listed as a supporter on The Prince’s Foundation website, donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Prince Charles, specifically Dumfries House and the Castle of Mey in Scotland.
In 2016, he was awarded an “honorary” CBE by the Prince at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Sources close to the Prince have always strenuously denied that he was aware of any link between donations to his charity and honours.
After the allegations emerged Mr Fawcett temporarily stepped down from his role pending a full investigation by the Prince’s Foundation. The charity regulator in Scotland launched its own investigation.
A friend told the Daily Mail that accusations that he played a part in a “cash for honours” scandal had had a devastating effect.
They told the paper: “Michael has resigned and he will never be coming back. He has lost five stone in weight and is a shadow of his former self.”
A spokesperson for The Prince’s Foundation said: “Michael Fawcett has resigned from his post as CEO of The Prince’s Foundation.”
Clarence House confirmed it had severed its relationship with both Mr Fawcett and his events company.
A Clarence House spokesman said: “Michael Fawcett and Premier Mode will not be providing services to us in future. We have all agreed to end these arrangements”