After 40 years at his master’s side, Michael Fawcett’s resignation as head of Prince Charles’s charitable arm amid an alleged honors money scandal is a blow to the heir to the throne.
The announcement that the 59-year-old former valet decided to retire from the Prince’s Foundation before the outcome of an investigation into the claims is seen by royal observers as a necessary step on Charles’s path to the crown .
With confirmation that Fawcett’s party planning company will no longer provide the prince with further services, Clarence House will hope it will be enough to draw a line under a potentially toxic matter in which Fawcett is accused of having promised to help secure the title of gentleman and British citizenship. for a Saudi billionaire donor.
The Mail on Sunday published a 2017 letter in which Fawcett reportedly said he was willing to submit an application to change Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz’s honorary CBE to a KBE and support his citizenship application.
The letter, written on letterhead in Fawcett’s capacity at the time as CEO of the Dumfries House Trust, said the requests would be made in response to the “most recent and anticipated support” from the trust.
When the claims emerged in September, Fawcett temporarily stepped down as chief executive officer of The Prince’s Foundation, and Clarence House emphasized that Charles was unaware of the alleged British citizenship or honors offer based on the donation to their charities and insisted that I was fully supporting a foundation investigation.
In a statement Thursday night, the foundation announced Fawcett’s resignation. A Clarence House spokesperson said: “Michael Fawcett and [his company] Premier Mode will not provide services to us in the future. We have all agreed to end these arrangements. “
The decision is said to be that of Fawcett, who was told by friends to the Daily Mail that he was “heartbroken” and “heartbroken” by the events that had had a “devastating” effect on him. “Michael has resigned and will never return. He has lost five kilos in weight and is a shadow of his old self, “said one of them.
The decision is said to have been made without seeing the investigation report, and now Fawcett is said to be feeling well enough to make a decision about his future.
Observers believe his resignation would not have been approved unless it was endorsed by Charles, who once said of Fawcett: “I can get by with almost no one except Michael.” Crucially, Fawcett is said to have recently lost the support of the Duchess of Cornwall, once a staunch fan. It is also believed that some courtiers viewed his influence negatively.
“Clearly, this is a situation that needed a quick resolution. In the real world right now there are several clouds in the sky: Fawcett, the Duchess of Sussex court case, the Duke of York court case, and the question mark over the queen’s health. One less distraction is obviously a step in the right direction, ”said Joe Little, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine.
“I know it is alleged that Charles said years ago that Michael was the one person he couldn’t do without. But of course you will get by without it. In the real world, no one is indispensable, ”Little added. He said Fawcett could well prove to be a tough act to follow in terms of his fundraising ability.
Clarence House’s severance of ties to Fawcett could be seen as a way to clean up the decks as Charles prepares for royalty. “You could see it that way. I wonder if it’s a decision that Charles was reluctant to make, ”Little said. “It may well be that he saw that it was not helpful to the big picture and that it was a decision he had no choice but to make. It is necessary to do a lot of order and cleanliness before the new reign begins. And clearly this is an example of it. “
However, royal biographer Penny Junor said that Fawcett, a former lackey who came to power, was so important to Charles as a fixer who handled things exactly the way the prince wanted them that he can still retain some influence.
“I think he had to go. Damage limitation dictated that he had to go. But I don’t know how far it will go, ”he said. “I think it could still be around here one way or another. He has been working for the prince for so long. If Fawcett was unhappy and, say, decided to write his memoirs, he knows where all the bodies are buried more than anyone else.
“So I think public night has seen the last of him. But I would be very surprised if Charles cuts him off completely. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism