Prince Charles accepted £1m. donation from Saudi bin Laden family - report

The UK royal family member reportedly met with the half-brothers of September 11 terrorist Osama bin Laden to accept the generous donation to his charity.

 Britain's Prince Charles talks to Saudi Minister of National Guard, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah (not pictured), in Riyadh February 19, 2014 (photo credit: REUTERS/FAYEZ NURELDINE/POOL)
Britain's Prince Charles talks to Saudi Minister of National Guard, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah (not pictured), in Riyadh February 19, 2014
(photo credit: REUTERS/FAYEZ NURELDINE/POOL)

Britsh royal family member Charles, the Prince of Wales, received a one million pound donation to his charity from the family of Saudi-born terrorist and al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, The Sunday Times reported on Saturday. 

The 73-year-old British prince reportedly met with members of the wealthy bin Laden family, including Osama's half-brothers Bakr and Shafiq. The meetings took place in 2013, two years after bin Laden was shot dead in a US raid on his hideout in Pakistan.

Charles reportedly accepted the bin Laden family's donation, despite the opposition of advisers at the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund (PWCF) and Clarence House, his royal residence.

One staff member reportedly told the prince that the news would cause "national outrage" if it were to be leaked to the media.

Who are Bakr and Shafiq bin Laden?

Bakr bin Laden is the former chairman of Jeddah-based construction conglomerate Saudi Binladen Group (SBG), founded by his father Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, the family patriarch. Bakr was arrested as part of a "corruption crackdown" in Saudi Arabia in November 2017.

Bakr was released from detention in 2019 after he transferred all of his stakes in SBG to the Saudi government. He was the largest shareholder of the group, having a 23.58% holding. 

Shafiq, his lesser known brother, was among the 13 bin Laden family members to leave the United States in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, orchestrated by half-brother Osama. They are related through their late Yemeni-born billionaire father.

 Demonstrators carry a poster of Osama Bin Laden during a protest condemning a U.S. produced movie insulting Islam's Prophet Mohammad in Tahrir Square September 14, 2012 (credit: REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH) Demonstrators carry a poster of Osama Bin Laden during a protest condemning a U.S. produced movie insulting Islam's Prophet Mohammad in Tahrir Square September 14, 2012 (credit: REUTERS/ASMAA WAGUIH)

Charles 'too embarrassed to return money'

Sources inside the royal family told the Sunday Times that the donation could undermine the reputations of Charles and his charity, adding that "there are other sources of money in the world" and that "it would not be good for anybody" if news of the donation broke.

However, the sources added that prince deemed it "too embarrassing" to hand the money back to the bin Laden family, the report said. One of the household staff at Clarence House was reportedly "very vociferous" with the prince but was "shouted down."

The Prince of Wales' office disputed many of the claims made in the report, explaining the decision to accept the donation was "taken solely by trustees."