According to The Sunday Times, the patriarch of the vast and prosperous Saudi family, Bakr bin Laden, and his brother Shafiq donated money to the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund in 2013. They are both half-brothers of the deceased US special forces agent who served as the al-Qaida head and planner of the September 11 attacks on the US and was murdered in Pakistan in 2011. According to the newspaper, Charles and Bakr met in 2013 in London and decided that Charles should receive the present. It said that advisors had advised the heir to the throne not to accept the donation, citing unknown sources.
The gift was given to the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund (PWCF), which distributes funds to non-profit organisations with UK registrations to carry out projects within the UK, the Commonwealth, and beyond. PWCF had convinced Clarence House that “thorough due diligence” had been done, and the trustees were in charge of deciding whether or not to accept the funds, according to Clarence House. Any attempt to portray it differently is untrue, it reportedly informed the BBC. Additionally, Clarence House stated that it disagreed with some statements made in the newspaper report.
Nothing has been illegal or against the law. The donation was approved after all necessary checks were made and even the Foreign Office was consulted.
Then why is this a Global Headline?
The family of Bin Laden disowned him in 1994, and there is no evidence that his half-brothers were involved in his actions. According to a source from the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, Osama Bin Laden’s “sins of the father” should not prevent other members of the family from making a donation. which is reasonable.
The name of Bin Laden is completely benign to millions of Saudis. It will always be linked to the 9/11 terror attacks of 2001 in the West and a large portion of the rest of the world. However, in Saudi Arabia, it is synonymous with the Jeddah-based building company that, by royal mandate, used newly discovered oil revenue to create mosques, palaces, and other structures. The family was not originally from Saudi Arabia; rather, they were from the Hadhramaut region of southern Yemen, which has given rise to many of Jeddah’s most prosperous and successful entrepreneurial families.
Osama, one of the founders of the company’s numerous sons, was long regarded as the “black sheep of the family” and immigrated from Yemen in the early 20th century. He fought alongside the CIA and Pakistan during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s since he spent a significant portion of that decade there assisting the mujahideen. However, by the 1990s, he had turned into a militant Islamic fundamentalist, and in 1994, his family disowned him. Then Osama Bin Laden initially relocated to Sudan and then shortly thereafter to Afghanistan. What followed is history.
However, did Prince Charles or anyone in his inner circle truly believe that accepting money from the Bin Ladens was a wise idea? Or did they believe it was acceptable as long as it remained private? Because it was always going to look terrible once it was made public, regardless of how many checks were made and procedures were followed.
Prince Charles’ charity and his gifts have previously been the subject of scrutiny. Allegations of criminal activity connected to past gifts from other wealthy businessmen have shaken non-profit organisations founded by the heir to the UK throne.
As part of three monetary donations totalling over £2.5 million, it was revealed last month that Prince Charles got a suitcase containing one million euros in cash from a former Qatari prime minister. At the time, Clarence House claimed that all legal procedures had been followed and that the sheikh’s donations had been immediately forwarded to one of the prince’s organisations. Later, the Charity Commission made the decision not to look into the donation.
The Metropolitan Police launched a probe after allegations that the charity gave a Saudi national honours assistance in February. The prince “had no knowledge of the claimed promise of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charity,” according to Clarence House.
Voters ultimately decide who becomes a minister or a member of the British Parliament. The Royal Family draws its status and power from a different source—from the public’s general belief that, on the whole, they are a credit to the nation. Does a gift from the Bin Laden family fit into this type of royalty, even how far removed it may be from their son’s heinous deeds?