Charles and a spy's £ 40m GIFT
Exclusive: How disgraced billionaire funded Prince's charities
(National Journal -- March, 2003) -- by Michael Seamark --
PRINCE Charles faces fresh embarrassment today with startling revelations about his extraordinary relationship with billionaire Russian spy Armand Hammer.
The disgraced oil tycoon poured more than £40million into many of the Prince's favourite causes, says a former aide.
Priceless gifts were lavished on Charles and Diana - who were flown around the globe in his luxurious corporate jet - as Hammer cynically set out to exploit the 'gullible and naive' heir to the throne.
He even provided painting lessons for the Prince, says writer Neil Lyndon, flying one of America's most celebrated water-colourists across the Atlantic to give tuition in brushwork. In return, the royal couple sent gushing, hand-written letters of thanks to a man Lyndon describes as "not only one of the 20th century's most corrupt men" but a "monumentally unscrupulous fraudster". Lyndon had first-hand experiences of Hammer's calculated overtures to Charles and Diana. He worked closely with the tycoon from 1984 to 1989, "witnessing daily his self-obsessive and brutal approach to life".
Lyndon was first employed as, ghost-writer for Hammer's autobiography and then as one of his political and media spin doctors. Charles is at the centre of a "cash for access" row over his links with Cem Uzan, a Turkish businessman invited to a series of lavish dinners with the Prince and Camilla Parker Bowles despite facing a jail sentence over fraud and racketeering charges.
In an exclusive series for the Daily Mail, Lyndon says Hammer was spying for the Kremlin, a convicted criminal and facing massive bribery and corruption charges while indulging millions of dollars on Charles and Diana in his calculated bid to win respectability.
"Compared to Hammer, Cem Uzan Is a minnow," says Lyndon. "Prince Charles effectively prostituted his royal standing in return for tens of millions of dollars in charitable donations from Hammer."
Hammer, whose Occidental oil company ran the doomed Piper Alpha oil platform that claimed 167 lives in the North Sea, died aged 92 in 1990.
His fervent support of causes close to Charles's heart - the raising of the Mary Rose from the Solent and support for the United World College movement - is well documented. But Lyndon reveals the truth about the Prince's astonishing links with the unsavoury tycoon, whose name was once touted as the leading candidate to become godfather to Prince Harry.
Lyndon had access to files of correspondence sent by Charles and Diana. One, handwritten by Diana, thanks Hammer for "giving William and I such lovely presents ... What a lovely necklace I have been given, with such a special design done in jade."...MORE...LINK
Wikipedia background: Hammer came from a line of self-serving, profiteering Jewish communists who leveraged their socialism into personal fortunes
"Hammer was born in Manhattan, New York, to Russian-born Jewish immigrants Julius and Rose (Lipshitz) Hammer. His father came to the United States from Odessa, Ukraine in 1875, and settled in The Bronx, where he ran a general medical practice and five drugstores.
"Hammer sometimes claimed that his father had named him after a character, Armand Duval, in La Dame aux Camélias, a novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. In fact, according to multiple biographers, Hammer was named after the "Arm and Hammer" symbol of the Socialist Labor Party of America (SLP), in which his father, a committed socialist, had a leadership role at one time. (After the Russian Revolution, a part of the SLP under Julius' leadership split off to become a founding element of the Communist Party USA.) Later in his life, Hammer would admit the communist tie himself."
Parasites unite: Billionaire communist Armand Hammer with billionaire royalist Prince Charles
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