Prince Charles repeatedly sought the advice of Jimmy Savile, who was later revealed to have spent decades sexually abusing women and children, even going so far as to take his suggestions to the Queen, a documentary has claimed.
Notes from the the Prince of Wales to Savile uncovered by the producers show that over the course of about 20 years Savile became an unofficial adviser to Charles. They shed light on the extent to which the disgraced former television presenter was able to influence the highest offices of the British state before his death in 2011.
Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story review – a welter of devastating detail
The makers of the Netflix documentary Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story have revealed that Savile produced a PR handbook for royals and their staff. Some of that advice was then incorporated in a note prepared for the Queen, the Times reported.
The producers believe that followed an incident in which Prince Andrew made insensitive comments about the Lockerbie bombing during a visit to the disaster site in 1988. The director Rowan Deacon told the Times that the event “reignited a discussion about how the royal family should respond to disasters”.
She said: “Jimmy Savile wrote this dossier, quite an in-depth document of advice, on how the Queen should behave and how members of the royal family should not be in competition with each other.”
In a handwritten note to Savile, Charles later wrote: “I attach a copy of my memo on disasters, which incorporates your points and which I showed to my father. He showed it to [the Queen].” Speaking to the Times, Deacon claimed Buckingham Palace’s response was “quite lukewarm, and Charles [was] frustrated by that. We know that from the exchange.”
In a letter soliciting suggestions on how to “get to parts of the country that others don’t get to reach”, Charles referred to Savile as the “bloke who knows what’s going on”.
In another note in 1989, he wrote: “I wonder if you would ever be prepared to meet my sister-in-law – the Duchess of York? Can’t help feeling that it would be extremely useful to her if you could. I feel she could do with some of your straightforward common sense!”
In a letter written the following year, Charles told Savile he was “so good at understanding what makes people operate and you’re wonderfully sceptical and practical”.
There is no suggestion Prince Charles knew anything about Savile’s crimes, which came to the public’s attention decades later. Clarence House has not responded to a request for comment.
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