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The chairman of the Prince Charles charity, Douglas Connell, has resigned following reports that the organization was offered a donation of more than £500,000 ($692,000) from a Russian banker seeking British citizenship.

Connell stepped down on Wednesday after the Sunday Times alleged that Charles wrote a letter thanking businessman Dimitri Luce for the proposal last year. The newspaper said Charles suggested they could meet after the pandemic.


A spokesman for the Prince Foundation said: “The Prince Foundation understands and respects Mr. Connell’s decision to step down. We would like to thank him for all he has done so far and wish him well. Dame Sue Bruce, Vice Chair, will consider the role of Acting President with immediate effect.”

“The Prince Foundation takes the allegations made in recent news articles very seriously and is committed to the highest ethical standards. These changes to the Board of Trustees will not affect the scope or timing of the rigorous independent investigation already underway.”

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Prince Charles’ royal aide Michael Fawcett steps back amid ‘golden visa’ scandal

The Scottish charity regulator launched an investigation into the matter earlier this week. The report said the charity initially received £100,000 from the Russian, but its ethics committee declined the total amount after concerns about Luce’s background were raised.

The allegations followed earlier claims, reported by the Sunday Times, that the charity’s chief executive, Michael Fawcett, helped a Saudi donor gain knighthood and British citizenship after making a large donation.

Fawcett, Charles’ former servant, temporarily stepped down from the charity role and an independent investigation was launched.

Connell said Wednesday that he should accept responsibility “if it appears that serious misconduct may have occurred.”

Charles is the president of the foundation but is not involved in its governance or day-to-day activities.

A spokesman said Charles “fully supports the ongoing investigation into the foundation.”