Prince Charles has been named in a 81 million-pound lawsuit filed by a leading British property developer against the Qatari Royal Family over the collapse of its venture to build the country's "most expensive residential block" in London, a media report said today.
Property developers Candy brothers want to call as a witness in the case the Prince of Wales whose outburst against the project to Qatar's rulers wrecked their scheme for Chelsea Barracks, 'The Sunday Times' reported, citing court documents.
And, if summoned, Prince Charles would be the first royal to appear as a witness in court since the future Edward VII gave evidence in a gambling case in 1890.
The case turns on the Prince's alleged intervention.
The High Court documents show the brothers claim that Charles wrote to Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani, the Prime Minister of Qatar and the Chairman of Qatari Diar --the Gulf state's property investment company -- urging him to reconsider his company's plans for the site.
A series of meetings followed between Qatari Diar and Clarence House staff, including Sir Michael Peat, the Prince's principal private secretary.
The brothers' lawyers will also want to ask the Prince what was said during an afternoon tea with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, the Emir of Qatar, when he had visited Britain to open a gas terminal in May, it added.
The Candys are seeking a declaration that Qatari Diar, the Gulf state's property investment company, breached their contract when it withdrew the scheme in June, a week before the Westminster Council was due to hear the application, the newspaper said.
The Candys had been given an initial payment of 38 million pounds as the planning consultants but were due to receive another 81 million pound once the scheme, involving hundreds of high-price apartments, was built.
A Clarence House spokesman said: "We're not commenting other than to say that there were no contractual relationships between us and anyone else and therefore we are not party to any legal dispute."