Commission has 'no role' after Prince Charles accepted £1m from Osama bin Laden's family

01 Aug 2022 News

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales

Dan Marsh, July 18, 2012

Prince Charles accepted a payment of £1m from the family of Osama Bin Laden, two years after the al-Qaeda leader was killed, it has emerged. The Charity Commission has said there is no current role for the regulator in regard to this.

According to The Sunday Times, Prince Charles met with the al Qaeda founder's half-brother in London and allegedly agreed to accept £1m. The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund (PWCF) received the donation.

A Charity Commission spokesperson said: “Whether to accept a donation is ultimately a matter for trustees. Based on current information, this historic donation does not appear to be unlawful. There is therefore no role for the Commission.”

Prince Charles took the money despite concerns being raised from advisers at Clarence House and PWCF, the Sunday Times reports. 

Osama bin Laden was thought to be behind the September 11 attacks of 2001, which killed around 3,000 people in the US.

The PWCF said the donation from Sheik Bakr bin Laden in 2013 was carefully considered by PWCF trustees at the time.

It said: "Due diligence was conducted, with information sought from a wide range of sources, including government. The decision to accept the donation was taken wholly by the trustees. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is misleading and inaccurate."

Data for the financial year ending 31 March 2021, on the Charity Commission website, says total income for the charity was more than £10m, as was total expenditure.

This is not the first time the PWCF has come under scrutiny. Indeed, it was reported last month that Prince Charles accepted millions in cash from a former Qatari prime minister, which was donated to the fund.

PWCF's trustees had previously submitted information to the Commission via a serious incident report and the regulator found no concerns about the charity’s governance,  and declined to open an investigation. 

The Commission's statutory inquiries into The Mahfouz Foundation and Burke’s Peerage remain ongoing.

Editor's Note: This piece and its headline have been updated to reflect a new comment from the Charity Commission.

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