The King's Foundation

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The King's Foundation (formerly the Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture until 2001, the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment until 2012, the Prince's Foundation for Building Community until 2018, and the Prince's Foundation until 2023) is an educational charity established in 1986 by King Charles III (then Prince of Wales) to teach and demonstrate in practice those principles of traditional urban design and architecture which put people and the communities of which they are part at the centre of the design process.

The foundation has involved over 8,000 people in designing a hundred projects which include university campuses, new towns and numerous buildings including the redeveloped Alder Hey Children's Hospital which opened in 2015. Additionally, the projects have created thousands of jobs in the United Kingdom.[1]


The King's Foundation (then The Prince's Foundation) was founded as a part of the Prince's Charities, a group of not-for-profit organizations of which Charles III is President: 17 of the 19 charities were founded personally by the King. In 2007 the charity received a donation of £332,408 from the Prince's Charities Foundation.

The Prince's Regeneration Trust (PRT) was merged with the Prince's Foundation on 8 December 2016.[2] Most of the real estate assets of The PRT were vested in the United Kingdom Building Preservation Trust, a registered charity, and the work on fifty four heritage projects listed in the 2017 PRT annual report was discontinued.[3]


Perspectives on Architecture magazine was funded by the Institute of Architecture and published from April 1994 until March 1998. It reflected the aims of the Institute but was editorially independent, with the editor for the first five issues being Dan Cruickshank, followed by Giles Worsley. The first Premier issue was launched on 15 March 1994 with a cover date of April 1994 and a print run of 75,000[4] although later that year sales were well below the breakeven target of 35,000 a month.[5]

The magazine was published jointly by Peter Murray's Wordsearch Ltd and Perfect Harmony Ltd, the later being a company bought and established in 1993 as the publishing arm of the Institute of Architecture. The magazine was issued monthly (excluding December) until March 1996, when it became bi-monthly, starting with the April/May issue. It ceased publication in 1998 after four years and 33 issues, with its February/March issue being the last.

In his first editorial, Cruickshank wrote that "Perspectives is concerned with the care and conservation of the best aspects of our built history and the countryside, and with the protection of the landscape, but it is also committed to the evolution of a new architecture which combines temporary technology with the inspirational ideas offered by traditional buildings... The reconciliation of the old and the new, united with a concern for relating new buildings to their settings, will restore delight to our view of the world. Perspectives will campaign for beauty and inspiration and a recovery of that spiritual sense of the numinous that only great architecture or great works of art can offer."[6]

Future role

After the Government announced in 2010 that it would withdraw funding for CABE (successor body to the Royal Fine Arts Commission, est. 1924), the Prince of Wales offered that PFBE could take over its role as arbiter of design in major planning applications. Modernist architects expressed dismay at the suggestion.[7]

In 2010, the Foundation decided to help reconstruct and redesign buildings in Port-au-Prince, Haiti after the capital was destroyed by the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[8] The foundation is known for refurbishing historic buildings in Kabul, Afghanistan and Kingston, Jamaica. The project has been called the "biggest challenge yet" for the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment.[9]

In January 2023, it was reported that Highgrove House, Dumfries House, and the Castle of Mey would be open to the public as a part of an initiative by the Prince's Foundation to tackle loneliness and isolation in cold weather by providing warm spaces.[10]

In June 2024 the inaugural King's Foundation Awards were handed out during a ceremony at St James's Palace. The awards consisted of nine categories, including the King Charles III Harmony Award which was presented to Ban Ki-moon.[11]

Cash for honours allegations and other donations

Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz

In August 2021, it was announced that the foundation was launching an investigation into the reports that middlemen took cuts for setting up dinners involving wealthy donors and King Charles, with prices as high as £100,000 and the fixers taking up to 25% of the fees.[12] An overnight stay at the Scottish mansion Dumfries House was also being offered.[12] In the following month it was alleged that the prince's aide Michael Fawcett had fixed a CBE for Saudi businessman Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz who donated more than £1.5 million to royal charities contrary to section 1 of the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.[13] Charles gave Mahfouz his Honorary CBE at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2016, though the event was not published in the Court Circular.[14] The allegations led to Fawcett temporarily stepping down from his role as chief executive of the Prince's Foundation, while Republic reported the prince and Fawcett to the police.[15]

In November 2021, Fawcett resigned from his role as chief executive of the Prince's Foundation,[16] and the Charity Commission launched an investigation into allegations that the donations meant for the Prince's Foundation had been instead sent to the Mahfouz Foundation.[17] The auditing firm EY, which was hired by the charity to carry out an investigation, published a summary report in December 2021, stating that Fawcett had co-ordinated with "fixers", but there was "no evidence that trustees at the time were aware of these communications".[18]

In February 2022 the Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into the cash-for-honours allegations linked to the Prince's Foundation.[19][20] On 6 September 2022, officers interviewed under caution, a man in his fifties and a man in his forties.[21] On 31 October 2022, the Metropolitan Police passed their evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service for deliberation.[21] In August 2023, the Metropolitan Police announced that after speaking with a number of witnesses and reviewing over 200 documents they had concluded their investigations and no further actions would be taken.[22]

Lord Brownlow

Lord Brownlow was a trustee of the Prince's Foundation between 2013 and 2018, serving for a period as Chairman.[23] Between 2012 and 2017, Havisham Properties, owned by Brownlow, purchased 11 properties for £1.7 million on the Knockroon development, a site originally acquired as a piece of farmland by King Charles when he bought nearby Dumfries House, and intended to become an eco-village.[23] Dumfries House Trust also awarded Brownlow's company a £1.2 million construction contract.[24] In July 2022, a spokesman for the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator said "we can confirm that the work of Havisham Group and property transactions relating to the Knockroon development in Ayrshire forms part of our overall investigation, work on which is ongoing."[23] Brownlow was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 2018 Birthday Honours.[25] The Prince's Foundation said "Lord Brownlow was appointed CVO in recognition of his role of chair of the Prince's Foundation for Building Community."[26]

Other donations

In 2021 the foundation's chairman Douglas Connell quit his job over claims the charity had accepted a £200,000 donation from Russian convict,[27][28] Dmitry Leus, with the prince thanking the businessman in a letter and suggesting a meeting.[29] This led to an investigation by the Scottish Charity Regulator.[30] Clarence House responded that Charles had "no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the investigation".[31]

In October 2021, additional questions were raised over contributions by Taiwanese fugitive Bruno Wang, who donated £500,000 to the foundation.[32]

In August 2022, there were reports that Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, who has been described as a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, had pledged £3 million to the Prince's Foundation prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and would have paid the money over the course of 10 years, starting in 2019.[33] Kantor was sanctioned by the UK following the invasion and was among 210 politicians and oligarchs placed by the United States Department of the Treasury on their 'Putin list' following alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.[34] As with other donations, Clarence House said "the decision to accept this money would have rested with the charity's trustees."[33]

See also


  1. ^ "The Prince of Wales receives 'Londoner of the Decade' award at The Evening Standard's Progress 1000 Awards". 7 September 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  2. ^ "THE PRINCE'S REGENERATION TRUST - Charity 1089932".
  3. ^ "THE PRINCE'S REGENERATION TRUST - Charity 1089932".
  4. ^ Jonathan Glancey, Prince finds the common ground on architecture, The Independent, 16 March 1994, page 17
  5. ^ Sandra Barwick, Cracks in the harmony thingy, The Independent, 13 August 1994
  6. ^ The Sesquipedalist on Perspectives, 27 January 2009; also in the Architects' Journal, 27 November 2008.
  7. ^ Robert Booth, Prince Charles offers to take on key architectural planning role, The Guardian, 28 October 2010
  8. ^ Fletcher, Pascal (2 October 2010). "Haiti taps Prince Charles charity for city makeover". Reuters. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  9. ^ Booth, Robert (10 October 2010). "Prince Charles drafted in to help rebuild quake damaged Port-au-Prince". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 September 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  10. ^ "King Charles III: Warm space opens at Highgrove House". BBC News. 1 February 2023. Retrieved 2 February 2023.
  11. ^ Henni, Janine (11 June 2024). "King Charles Joins Star-Studded Event as Rod Stewart Tells David Beckham His Knighthood Is 'Coming Soon'". People. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  12. ^ a b Quinn, Ben (29 August 2021). "Prince of Wales charity launches inquiry into 'cash for access' claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Prince Charles's aide steps down following claims he offered to help secure an honour for rich Saudi donor". Sky News. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  14. ^ "Prince Charles aides fixed CBE for Saudi tycoon who gave £1.5m". The Times. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Prince Charles and close aide reported to police by pressure group Republic over cash-for-honours claims". Sky News. 6 September 2021. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  16. ^ Holden, Michael (12 November 2021). "UK Prince Charles's right-hand man quits charity role after honours report". Reuters. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  17. ^ Butler, Patrick (18 November 2021). "Inquiry into foundation linked to Prince of Wales launched". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  18. ^ Ricketts, Andy (3 December 2021). "Former Prince's Foundation chief 'co-ordinated with fixers' over honours for donor, probe finds". Third Sector. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  19. ^ "Breaking: Met Police investigate cash-for-honours allegations against Prince Charles' charity". City A.M. 16 February 2022. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  20. ^ O'Connor, Mary (16 February 2022). "Police to investigate Prince Charles' charity". BBC. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  21. ^ a b "Cash-for-honours police pass file on King's aide Michael Fawcett to prosecutors". The Times. Retrieved 19 November 2022.
  22. ^ Ward, Victoria (21 August 2023). "Cash-for-honours investigation into King Charles's charity dropped". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  23. ^ a b c Summers, Hannah (2 July 2022). "Watchdog investigates firm behind Prince Charles's eco-village in Scotland". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  24. ^ Pogrund, Gabriel (2 July 2022). "Prince Charles honoured tycoon Lord Brownlow who bailed out his eco-village". The Times. Retrieved 3 July 2022.(subscription required)
  25. ^ "No. 62310". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 June 2018. p. B4.
  26. ^ Quadri, Sami (3 July 2022). "Watchdog investigating peer given honour after bailing out Prince Charles' £1.7m project". Evening Standard. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  27. ^ "The UK's kleptocracy problem: How servicing post-Soviet elites weakens the rule of law" (PDF). Russia and Eurasia Programme. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2022-01-18. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  28. ^ "The Russian banker, the royal fixers and a £500,000 riddle". The Times. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  29. ^ "Scottish watchdog looks into Russian donation to Prince Charles charity". The Guardian. 13 September 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  30. ^ "Prince's Foundation chairman Douglas Connell quits over claims charity accepted six-figure sum from Russian donor". Sky News. 15 September 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  31. ^ Foster, Max; Said-Moorhouse, Lauren (6 September 2021). "Former aide to Prince Charles steps down over cash-for-honors scandal". CNN. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  32. ^ Grierson, Jamie (19 September 2021). "Prince Charles 'cash-for-honours' scandal grows with fresh allegations". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  33. ^ a b "Charles' charity got £3 m from Russian billionaire with links to Vladimir Putin". The News International. 6 August 2022. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  34. ^ Burke, Dave (6 August 2022). "Prince Charles charity 'accepts £3million pledge from billionaire Russian oligarch'". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 6 February 2023.