Buckingham Palace has released a statement praising Anthony Pratt as “one of Australia’s foremost philanthropists” after leaked audio in which the billionaire claimed he was asked by aides to stop payments to the future King.
An audio recording that was secretly obtained and released by Nine newspapers this week revealed Pratt’s conversation about large sums of money donated to the former Prince of Wales. In the recording, Pratt mentioned how his wealth gave him a “superpower” and made him valuable to the future King.
The audio recording also caught Pratt stating that he had received advice from an assistant to donate to the Prince’s trust in the future in order to prevent any potential scandals.
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“They’re just so close to becoming the king that he doesn’t want me to bring down the monarchy,” Pratt says in the leaked audio, reportedly recorded in 2022.
“He is adamant about avoiding any appearance of impropriety. While it may be within the bounds of the law, he doesn’t want to give the impression that he is…as he recently faced consequences for exchanging a knighthood for money.”
There is no indication of any wrongdoing in regards to the payments, and a representative for Buckingham Palace informed Guardian Australia that any donations made by Mr. Pratt were intended to support the charitable efforts of the former Prince of Wales.
The spokesperson for the Palace referred to Pratt as a prominent contributor and commended his philanthropic history.
“According to a spokesperson, Mr. Pratt and his foundation have been long-time supporters of the charities associated with the former Prince of Wales. As documented, he holds the title of Founding Patron for Prince’s Trust Australia. Additionally, it is known that Mr. Pratt is a prominent philanthropist in Australia, having made generous donations to numerous charitable causes.”
Pratt has not replied to inquiries for feedback submitted through his Visy company, which specializes in packaging and recycling.
New information from audio recordings, confirmed by both Nine and the New York Times, provides insight into the connection between Pratt and former US president Donald Trump. This revelation came shortly after reports in the US stated that prosecutors were investigating Trump’s potential sharing of classified information about nuclear submarines with Pratt.
Trump posted on social media denying the story. He described Pratt as a “red haired weirdo from Australia”.
In the past, the two individuals had a strong bond. In 2019, Trump assisted Pratt with the opening of a new factory in Ohio and referred to him as a “friend.”
“We have gathered here to commemorate the grand opening and an exceptional individual,” stated Trump during the event. “Anthony is among the most accomplished individuals in the world, potentially even the most accomplished man in Australia.”
There is no indication that Pratt has committed any misconduct or that he is being investigated as a result of the inquiry by special prosecutors in the United States into Trump’s handling of sensitive information.