The force said in a press release that the inquiry is starting following claims that “offers of help were made to secure honours and citizenship for a Saudi national.”
An honorary CBE is one of the highest accolades that can be conferred on a non-Commonwealth citizen. Honors are awarded annually by Queen Elizabeth II to people in the UK who have “made achievements in public life” and “committed themselves to serving and helping the UK,” according to the UK government website.
The Met said it was launching an inquiry under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
“The decision follows an assessment of a September 2021 letter. This related to media reporting alleging offers of help were made to secure honours and citizenship for a Saudi national.”
The Prince’s Foundation is an umbrella organization for a number of Charles’ charitable projects, based at the historic Dumfries House estate in Scotland, which is used as a center for education and training as well as championing sustainable living. It is operated separately from Prince Charles’ main office at Clarence House.
A spokesperson for Prince Charles referred CNN to a previous statement, maintaining that “the Prince of Wales had no knowledge of the alleged offer of honors or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities.”
Police officers reached out to the Prince’s Foundation regarding its findings and after examining documents provided by the charity alongside existing information, the police’s assessment “determined an investigation will commence.”
A spokesperson for The Prince’s Foundation said in a statement that “it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.” A source with knowledge of the situation close to the charity told CNN the charity will continue to offer its full cooperation.
No arrests or interviews under caution have taken place, the press release said.