Prince Charles Scammed: ‘The Biggest Counterfeit Art Scandal in Royal Family History’

A counterfeit artist scammed Prince Charles in what is now a large Royal scandal. Some background: The Dumfries House is an estate in Ayrshire, Scotland, and in 2007, Prince Charles bought the estate via a consortium he chairs. Well-known art scammer Tony Tetro now claims he painted three works that are hung in the Dumfries House. One is a reproduction of a Claude Monet waterlily painting, while another is a Picasso. The three paintings together are valued at 104 million pounds.

Prince Charles at Dumfries House
The Prince of Wales and Andrew McLean, the curator at Mount Stuart, during a visit to Dumfries House in Ayrshire. | Colin Mearns – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

“It’s the biggest counterfeit art scandal in Royal Family history,” Royal expert Erin Hill said.

Prince Charles is not the only Royal sibling dealing with a scandal

Prince Charles isn’t the only Royal family member embroiled in scandal. Charles’ foundation’s counterfeit art pales in comparison to the claims against his brother, Prince Andrew. He’s been caught up in the Jeffery Epstein fiasco.

Epstein, the now-deceased sex offender, was accused of trafficking underage girls, and authorities arrested Epstein in July 2019. According to the allegations, Epstein’s victims were trafficked to politicians and business executives. Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of Epstein’s, testified that Prince Andrew was one of the men she was ordered to provide sexual favors for, NBC News reported. Prince Andrew has denied the allegations.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew, Duke of York | Christopher Furlong – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Prince of Wales, age 71, scammed by an American painter

Prince Charles, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, is a huge fan of the arts. He has a large collection of work in the Painting Room at Dumfries House. Three of them, however, are apparently counterfeit reproductions.

“It just so happens that his foundation accepted some artworks that were, we now know, forged by American painter Tony Tetro,” Royal expert Erin Hill told People magazine. However, the fault can’t be traced back to Prince Charles himself.

“He has found himself in the middle of this and it has nothing to do with anything he has done,” Hill of the Prince of Wales. “The artworks were on loan to his charity foundation, on display at his estate in Scotland.”

The American artist admitted to his crimes.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool /Getty Images

“Tony Tetro has since come forward and said he actually forged these pieces,” Hill reported.

Prince Charles’ foundation reportedly “accepted these works in good faith” because the organization itself didn’t “authenticate these pieces of art.” Instead, the paintings were deemed legitimate elsewhere.

“The Monet was actually authenticated by a prestigious institute in Paris, so it didn’t get noticed by them,” the Royal expert said.

Prince Charles uses his net worth to help young artists

Prince Charles also paints himself–exclusively, Vanity Fair reports, in watercolor. He has called himself an “enthusiastic amateur.”

Prince Charles
Prince Charles Painting With Watercolours In Klosters, Switzerland | Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images

Prince Charles is one of Britain’s most successful living artists. The Royal Academy displayed one of his paintings in their 1987 summer exhibition–and there was no favoritism involved, considering the Prince of Wales submitted his work anonymously. He reportedly does not sell his original pieces of art, only copies. Still, Prince Charles has made millions selling his watercolors, but doesn’t take a dime to himself. All the money goes straight to his charity.

Hill told People that while “Charles is an amateur painter himself,” he is not involved in his foundation’s selection or authentification process. He does, however, provide charity for up-and-coming artists.

Earlier this year, the Prince of Wales announced the construction of a Dumfries House “hub” for artists to find “inspiration and solace.” The estate will provide two cottages and access to an art studio.