King Charles III is facing the first crisis of his reign after police confirmed they’d interviewed two men under caution as part of a criminal investigation into alleged cash-for-honours. In February, London’s Metropolitan Police said it had begun an investigation into allegations in media reports that honours were offered to a Saudi national in return for donations to one of then-Prince Charles‘s charities.
Charles acceded to the throne when he became king on September 8, following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth – two days after the police probe took a significant turn.
A statement issued by the Metropolitan Police today said: “On Tuesday, 6 September, police interviewed a man aged in his 50s and a man aged in his 40s under caution in relation to offences under the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925.
“The investigation remains ongoing and we will not be providing a running commentary on its progress.”
The Sunday Times last year reported that a Saudi businessman had received an award after paying thousands of pounds towards projects strongly supported by Charles, with the assistance of the-then heir to the throne’s aides.
Buckingham Palace has been approached for comment.
A spokesperson for Charles previously said: “The Prince of Wales had no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities.”
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In February, police said officers had liaised with The Prince’s Foundation about the findings of an independent investigation into fundraising practices and the foundation had provided a number of relevant documents.
Weeks after the initial newspaper report, Michael Fawcett, right-hand man to Charles for decades, stepped down from his role running the royal’s charity, The Prince’s Foundation.
Irrespective of the legal wrangle, latest polling has suggested support for the monarchy has increased after the Queen’s funeral, a new poll has found.
Almost half of those polled by Ipsos on Tuesday and Wednesday said Britain would be worse if the monarchy was abolished while less than a quarter said the country would be improved as a republic.
The poll of 1,000 adults found 47 percent saying the UK would be worse without a monarch, up from 42 percent who said the same shortly after the Platinum Jubilee in June.
Just 22 percent said abolishing the monarchy would make the country better, the same proportion as in February 2022 and down slightly from 23 percent in June.
Over the longer term, support for a republic has increased slightly from 15 percent in March 2018 while support for the monarchy continues to fluctuate around 45 percent.
Opinion on the monarchy is more divided among those aged between 18 and 34.
Only 33 percent of younger people believe the country would be worse-off without a monarch while 32 percent believe the country would be better and 26 percent think it would make no difference.
In total, 56 percent of people expected the monarchy to last for at least another 50 years, up from 45 percent in March 2022.
The proportion saying Charles III will make a good King has risen from 49 percent to 61 percent, closer to the levels of support for the Prince of Wales, whom 72 percent expect to do a good job as King when the time comes.
Kelly Beaver, chief executive of Ipsos in the UK and Ireland, said: “After the sad events of the Queen’s passing, King Charles starts his reign with the majority of Britons optimistic that he will make a good king, and an increased belief in the longevity of the monarchy.
“As the country emerges from its mourning period, though, it will be important to track whether this is sustained, especially as the challenge of demonstrating relevance to younger generations remains.”
A separate poll, undertaken by Savanta ComRes for the Daily Express, found 63 percent of the public thought Charles III has had a good start to his reign and 69 percent think he will make a good King.