Now New Idea is told by a senior courtier that Her Majesty called an emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace.
During the gathering, the Queen gave her family a stern warning that they can’t continue making a mockery out of the monarchy.
Last week The Mail on Sunday revealed that several artworks purporting to be by Monet, Picasso and Salvador Dali – and insured for many millions – had been on display at Dumfries House, headquarters of the Prince’s Foundation.
Convicted art forger Tony Tetro admitted to The Sun newspaper that he’d produced the paintings and sold them to bankrupt businessman James Stunt, who then loaned them to the charity.
It’s since been revealed the loan agreement was signed off by Charles’ former valet, Michael Fawcett, who has been described in UK newspapers as the prince’s right-hand man and most trusted aide and was last year named the foundation’s CEO.
In 1998, Fawcett resigned after being accused of bullying by a number of the prince’s staff but was quickly reinstated.
In 2003 he was placed under internal investigation for selling official gifts on Charles’ instructions but was cleared of financial misconduct.
With the ‘Monet’ insured for $94 million, the ‘Picasso’ for $79 million and the ‘Dali’ for $23 million, questions are now being asked about the ramifications of the fraud on Prince Charles.
A foundation spokesperson explained to The Mail that they accept “artwork on loan from time to time”, and that James had loaned them 17 paintings, all of which have since been returned.
The spokesperson added that Prince Charles is not in any way associated with this artwork acquirement process. “It is extremely regrettable that the authenticity of these particular paintings, which are no longer on display, now appears to be in doubt,” the spokesperson added.
When the news emerged, Stunt made a public apology to Charles, who he claims is a friend.
However, he denied the paintings were back in his possession, telling the Mail, “I have not had this art returned”, prompting questions over whether the artworks are now missing and the possibility of police being brought in to investigate.
“Prince Charles will be devastated and highly embarrassed by these allegations,” royal author Phil Dampier tells New Idea.
After all, it’s not the first time Charles has found himself embarrassed by links to people who have later been exposed publicly.
“The most notorious example is of Jimmy Savile, who was a famous DJ and TV presenter in the UK,” explains Dampier.
“For years he was like a court jester to Charles and he was in and out of Buckingham Palace but after his death, it emerged he was a prolific sex offender who miraculously escaped justice while he was alive.”
News of this latest royal upset came amid yet more claims of Prince Andrew’s alleged involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse scandal.
Last week a US news reporter claimed an interview with Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of the late financier and prince, was quashed three years ago amid pressure.
She said, “The palace found out and threatened us a million different ways”.
This has been denied by a senior ABC executive.
The senior courtier tells New Idea: “The last few months have been difficult for the Queen, what with Prince Andrew, as well as Harry and Meghan’s slump in popularity with the public. So she will be glad to see the back of this year.
“Bad headlines about Charles and these fake artworks won’t help and she will probably have a quiet word with him and Camilla to ask how this could possibly happen.”
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