Prince Charles has never been well-liked. It became even worse when he was married to Diana, who was loved by the world while he played second fiddle. Since her death, he has still stayed in the shadows, with the spotlight on his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Now, the world is learning that he accepted millions of dollars from the family of one of the most hated people in the world.
The heir to the British throne took the payment from two of bin Laden’s half-brothers, Bakr, the patriarch of the family, and his brother, Shafiq, following a meeting at British royal residence Clarence House in October 2013. News of who made the donation just came out, however, and the optics look terrible.
The heir to the throne took the money despite objections from advisers at Clarence House and the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, the Sunday Times reports, citing multiple sources. They warned that there would be national outrage if news of the donation leaked. “The fact that a member of the highest level of the British establishment was choosing to broker deals with a name and a family that not only rang alarm bells but abject horror around the world… why would you do this? What good reason is there to do this?” a source told the newspaper. “I just didn’t feel any member of the British royal family should be involved in that sort of undertaking.”
The bin Laden family donated the large sum of money to the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund in 2013, about two years after Osama bin Laden was killed. The bin Laden family disowned Osama bin Laden in 1994. No other members of the family have ever been accused of links to terrorism.
According to Clarence House, the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund assured it that “thorough due diligence” had been conducted, and the decision to accept the money lay with the trustees, not Prince Charles. It added that “[a]ny attempt to characterize it otherwise is false,” reports the BBC.
The name Osama bin Laden strikes terror around the world, for what he did to the United States on September 11, 2001. Most people probably don’t know that Osama bin Laden’s family disowned him long before that attack, so hearing that Prince Charles took money from that family just looks bad. Do you think it was okay that he took it? Should he return it now?