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Apology for Charles over Barracks row

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The property tycoon who sued the Qatari royal family over the collapse of the Chelsea Barracks development has ‘unreservedly apologised’ to Prince Charles for dragging him into the High Court battle.

Christian Candy claimed the controversial £3 billion scheme, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, was dropped after Charles attacked its modernist design. Candy subsequently sued the Qatari Royal Family for breach of contract, with private letters between Charles and the Emir of Qatar divulged in the process.

The tycoon made the remarks after agreeing to a ‘strictly confidential’ deal to settle the dispute.

A statement said he ‘expressed his regret at having brought the name of HRH The Prince of Wales into a contractual dispute and he apologised unreservedly to his Royal Highness for any offence this may have caused’.

A judge had earlier ruled that while there had been a breach, the plaintiff was not entitled to the £68.5m he was seeking.

Candy is believed to have spent hundred of thousands of pounds on barristers to fight the case.

Previous story (AJ 14.07.10)

Queen invites Chelsea Barracks client for tea

The investor who Prince Charles successfully persuaded to drop Richard Rogers’ Chelsea Barracks scheme has been invited to make a state visit to Britain by the Queen

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, will be the monarch’s guest at Windsor Castle for three days in October with one of his three wives, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned.

Charles’ interference over Chelsea Barracks was condemned as ‘unexpected and unwelcome’ by a High Court judge just two weeks ago.

The prince in March 2009 wrote to Qatari Diar, the property investment company of the Qatari royal family, asking it to change Richard Rogers’s designs for the site.

In his letter he said his ‘heart sank’ when he saw the design.

The Emir met Charles in London and offered to re-design the west-London development, saying he was ‘surprised’ by Rogers’ designs.

the Ministry of Defence sold the 5.2-hectares Chelsea Barracks for £959 million to Qatari Diar and CPC group, its former partners.

The planning application was for 638 homes, a 108-bedroom ‘luxury’ hotel, a restaurant, community hall, sports centre, shops and a park with cafe.

CPC Group’s legal bid to recover costs of £68.5 million following the scheme’s collapse failed.

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