Queen Elizabeth II made an appearance in Scotland on Monday to kick off Holyrood Week 2022, marking her first public outing since her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The queen took part in an ancient ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where she was accompanied by her son Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.
The 96-year-old sovereign, who has continued to experience mobility problems, used a walking aid at the appearance.
Later on in the week, the queen will be joined by her son Prince Charles for engagements in Scotland.
The Prince of Wales, who recently represented the queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda, made headlines over the weekend after a Sunday Times investigation revealed that the heir to the throne accepted bags of cash from a Qatari politician years ago, and used the funds for his personal charities.
The report said that the prince accepted around $3.2 million in cash from Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, who reportedly handed over money in a department store shopping bag and a suitcase in meetings that occurred between 2011 and 2015.
Prince Charles’ Clarence House denied any wrongdoing in a statement.
“Charitable donations received from Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim were passed immediately to one of the Prince’s charities who carried out the appropriate governance and have assured us that all the correct processes were followed,” they told CNN in a statement.
While the cash exchange may not technically be illegal, anti-monarchy group Republic says it is calling on Members of Parliament, the Prince of Wales and the Charity Commission for England and Wales for more transparency.
“This story is shocking. Prince Charles met Sheikh Hamad in private, with no officials present and with no disclosure of the meeting in the court circular,” Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, said in an emailed statement shared with HuffPost over the weekend.
“Sheikh Hamad faces serious accusations over human rights and has significant financial and other interests here in the U.K.,” Smith added. “Given that Prince Charles has direct access to the British prime minister and all government ministers, as well as all cabinet papers, this raises serious ethical questions about what the sheikh expected in return.”
Prince Charles’ controversy follows a London police investigation that launched last year after the Sunday Times reported that one of Charles’ closest aides, Michael Fawcett, attempted to help a Saudi citizen secure both a knighthood and citizenship after making a $2 million donation to The Prince’s Foundation.
“The Prince of Wales had no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities,” Clarence House said at the time. The former aide resigned.