Panicked courtiers wasted no time in turning the Saudi tycoon at the centre of the royal ‘cash for favours’ storm into a ‘non-person’.
I can reveal that the major donor to Prince Charles’s charities, Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, was dropped as an Honorary Patron of the Castle of Mey’s website yesterday.
In a sign of the esteem in which he was held, he had been listed as the top honorary patron until yesterday, complete with a gushing biography.
The Castle of Mey, on the North coast of Scotland, was owned by the Queen Mother and is where Charles stays for a fortnight each August.
major donor to Prince Charles’s (left) charities, Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz (right), was dropped as an Honorary Patron of the Castle of Mey’s website yesterday
‘I fear Dr bin Mahfouz is being hung out to dry,’ a royal source told me.
‘There is absolutely no reason for him to have been dropped, because he was an extremely generous donor and has done nothing wrong.’
However, after I contacted the Prince’s Foundation — an umbrella group for a number of Charles’s charitable interests, including the Castle of Mey — officials said Mahfouz would be reinstated.
‘This is a result of human error involving a junior member of staff at the Castle of Mey updating the website,’ claimed a source.
‘The original list of honorary patrons will be reinstated imminently.’
Charles’s close aide Michael Fawcett has temporarily stepped down from his role as chief executive of the foundation amid allegations that he used his influence to help secure a gong for Mahfouz, who received an honorary CBE in 2016.
Pictured: Prince Charles in front of the Castle of Mey after he officially opened the Granary Accommodation at The Castle of Mey
The Castle of Mey, on the North coast of Scotland, was owned by the Queen Mother and is where Charles stays for a fortnight each August (pictured)
The foundation said that it was investigating.
In 2015, it was revealed that an area near the castle had been renamed Mahfouz Wood in the tycoon’s honour after he reportedly donated £370,000 to the castle’s restoration.
The names of Mahfouz, his father and four brothers were also to be placed around the castle’s gardens.
It’s unlikely such a move would have taken place without Charles’s approval, given the level of his personal interest in the castle.
Mahfouz is believed to have previously offered to pay half the then estimated £300,000 cost towards replacing or repairing all of the property’s 93 windows.
Emma swaps Longleat for a seaside safari
Viscountess Emma Weymouth shows off her incredible physique while enjoying the last sunny day with her kids at the Club 55 in Saint Tropez
Strictly scorching! Emma Weymouth was spotted soaking up the last summer rays in the South of France before flying back to Britain for the start of the school year.
Emma, 35, who’s properly known as the Marchioness of Bath, was on the beach at Club 55, St Tropez, with her sons, John, seven, and Henry, five.
Judging by her toned physique, the former Strictly star hasn’t been availing herself of the venue’s famous steak frites.
Though her holiday is now over, Lady Bath doesn’t need to pack up her itsy-bitsy bikinis for the year.
Yesterday, it was 27c at her husband Ceawlin’s Longleat estate in Wiltshire — the same temperature as the French Riviera.
Modfather becomes a grandfather
Jam singer Paul Weller (left) has become a grandfather after his daughter Leah (right), 29, gave birth to a boy
She and her husband, fellow model Tomo Kurata, have called their son Kouze and shared this photograph of their baby’s fingers (pictured)
He’s the Modgrandfather! I hear rock star Paul Weller has become a grandpa.
The Jam singer’s daughter, Leah, 29, has given birth to a boy, declaring: ‘Our precious bubba arrived.’
She and her husband, fellow model Tomo Kurata, have called their son Kouze and shared this photograph of their baby’s fingers.
Leah’s mother is The Style Council singer Dee C. Lee.
Weller, 63, who’s known as the Modfather, has eight children but this is his first grandchild.
A stormy reception…
Lady Liza Campbell’s daughter Storm marries businessman Richard Hollingswroth at her paternal grandmother’s home in Norfolk
Artist and former model Lady Liza Campbell is the last child of a Thane of Cawdor to be born at Cawdor Castle, home of Macbeth, but her daughter, Storm, chose her paternal grandma’s home in Norfolk for her wedding at the weekend.
‘It’s been a dream, my whole life, to get married on this lawn in front of my grandmother’s house,’ Storm tells me.
‘I spent most of my childhood playing on the marshes.’
The 30-year-old artist and illustrator, whose father is big-game fisherman William Athill, exchanged vows with businessman Richard Hollingsworth.
High steaks: Carnivores beg Macca’s veggie chef for meat
Michelin-starred chef Alexis Gauthier’s drastic change from classic French fine-dining has upset his well-heeled regulars
Keen veggie Sir Paul McCartney will have been delighted when his favourite London restaurant, Gauthier, went meat-free after it reopened this summer.
But the Michelin-starred chef Alexis Gauthier’s drastic change from classic French fine-dining has upset his well-heeled regulars, I hear.
‘Just had another customer try to get us to hook meat in secret,’ Gauthier tells me. ‘I am, obviously, refusing. It’s happened a few times now: they ask for a private room, saying, “Can’t you just do some foie gras, lobster, etc in secret?”’
Alexis decide to make the change after recently becoming a vegan himself.
He previously included a vegetarian tasting menu as an option because of requests from famous diners including Sir Paul’s fashion-designer daughter Stella McCartney and former US vice-president Al Gore.
More from Richard Eden for The Daily Mail…
She’s a royal record-breaker!
The Queen’s cousin, Rosie Stancer, has become the first person to cross the Aral Sea by foot.
The adventurer, 61, walked 19 miles a day for 17 days, crossing the dried-up lake which lies between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
‘It has been unbelievably challenging,’ her spokesman says.
‘Temperature off the charts and really challenging terrain.’
Rosie is no stranger to breaking records, claiming to be the first woman to bungee jump in Britain.
Girl’s Aloud singer Sarah Harding, who also modelled and had a starring role in the St Trinian’s film series, passed away on Sunday at the age of 39
Tragic pop star Sarah Harding achieved many No 1 hits with Girls Aloud. Now, she’s notched up another since her death.
The singer, who died of cancer at the weekend aged 39, has shot to the top of the Amazon best-sellers list with her autobiography, Hear Me Out, in which she detailed her quest to be taken seriously as a musician.
Once upon a time, a historian might have marked the publication of a new book with a glass of sherry at high table. These days, they have tattoos.
Cambridge-educated TV historian Dan Jones tells me at the launch party for his book, Powers And Thrones: A New History Of The Middle Ages, that he’s waiting for his favourite tattoo artist to fly in from South Africa.
‘I’m having the Danse Macabre on my ribs,’ Jones, 40, says of the Middle Ages design. ‘I’m not going to stop there — I still have plenty of space to fill.’