PRINCE Charles met with the man at the heart of the "cash for honours" scandal at least nine times, including multiple meetings in Scotland.

Despite Clarence House saying that the prince had "no knowledge" of fixers securing access to the royal family or honours in exchange for charity donations, an investigation by the Sunday Times has revealed that Charles repeatedly met with William Bortrick, who helped secure an honour for a Saudi billionaire.

Bortrick is the owner and editor of Burke's Peerage, an almost 200-year-old publication that chronicles the aristocracy. He has used the publishing company behind the publication to receive payments for consultancy work for extremely wealthy individuals looking to gain access to the British establishment.

The pair reportedly met for the first time at the prince's royal residence of Dumfries House on Ayrshire, on multiple occasions in London, once in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and most recently at Castle of Mey in Caithness during the summer of 2020. 

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Bortrick first met Charles on October 21, 2014, during a private ceremony at Dumfries House. The ceremony was to open the Mahfouz Garden, financed by Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, who has donated more than £1.5 million to the Prince's Foundation.

Then, in December of 2015 when Charles was on a royal tour in Saudi Arabia where he met with the country's new king, Bortrick and Mahfouz met with the prince and Michael Fawcett for a behind-closed-doors conversation and photo opportunity at the embassy in Riyadh.

Fawcett was Charles's closest aide and chief of his charity the Prince's Foundation and recently resigned from his role due to the cash for honours scandal. He previously resigned amid allegations of improper conduct on two occasions but returned to the Prince's Foundation in 2018.

Bortrick's ability to secure meetings with Charles is due to his friendship with Fawcett, a source told the Sunday Times.

Last week Douglas Connell, the chairman of the Prince’s Foundation, also resigned, citing evidence of possible “rogue activity” and “serious misconduct”.

Bortrick had been working with Fawcett and other officials from Charles's charities to secure an honourary CBE and British citizenship for Mahfouz.

In November 2016, Charles presented Mahfouz with the honour in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Bortrick was reportedly present at this ceremony but it was not recorded in any official capacity.

Bortrick had apparently become a fixture at fundraising dinners for Charles's charities, according to one donor who told the Sunday Times that he was "always there".

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In July of 2020, Bortrick and Charles had a walk around the gardens of the Queen mother's former home in Caithness, the Castle of Mey.

After the meeting last summer, Bortrick wrote to Russian banker Dmitry Leus, who had offered the Prince's Foundation £500,000 with the expectation of meeting the prince.

Bortrick seemed to confirm that the meeting would go ahead and secured two invitations for Leus for private events at the prince's residences in Scotland. 

However, they were both cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns about Leus's past. The Russian banker was convicted of money laundering but the conviction had been overturned.

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Clarence House has rejected criticism of the prince but declined to comment on whether Charles knew that Bortrick had been paid for his work on behalf of wealthy individuals.

It is understood that Charles did not ask about Bortrick’s status at any point because he is not involved in the governance of his charities.

They said in a statement: "The Prince of Wales has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the independent investigation now under way by the Prince’s Foundation.”

A spokesman for Bortrick said: “Mr Bortrick is a proud supporter of the Prince’s Foundation. In his dedication to the foundation, Mr Bortrick has introduced a number of potential benefactors to the Prince’s Foundation, its director and executive team.”

The spokesman said Bortrick had only ever met Charles in a group setting and "never in private".