The Daily Beast has previously reported how the British TV presenter and pedophile Jimmy Savile wooed and befriended Prince Charles.
Now, a shocking new Netflix film, Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story, has published a series of letters between Charles and Savile, which shed new light on the trust Charles placed in the presenter, who was not publicly exposed as a pedophile until after his death.
Posthumously, some 450 people came forward to allege abuse by Savile, with an inquiry ultimately finding he abused mainly children and young people, including many hospital inpatients.
The new film reveals a series of letters which show Prince Charles, who first met Savile through his charitable work, appealing to Savile for help with royal public relations.
In response to one of these requests, Savile sent Charles a handwritten guide on how to deal with the media in crisis situations. The document appears to have been passed to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
On January 27, 1989, Charles wrote to Savile: “I attach a copy of my memo on disasters which incorporates your points and which I showed to my father. He showed it to H.M.”
In another letter Charles asked “Jimmy” to consult with Andrew’s wife, Fergie, saying: “I wonder if you would ever be prepared to meet my sister-in-law, the Duchess of York? I can’t help feeling that it would be extremely useful to her if you could. I feel she could do with some of your straight-forward common sense.”
In April 1990, the documentary says, Charles wrote to Savile asking him to “cast an eye over” the draft of a speech he was working on, and after the event, wrote again, saying: “Dear Jimmy, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the most useful assistance you have provided for my speech in the Guildhall the other day.”
“It was really good of you to take the trouble to put together those splendid notes and provide me with considerable food for thought,” he was quoted as writing.
Savile even had a hand in selecting a private secretary (equivalent of a chief of staff) for Charles. According to Tom Bower’s 2018 biography of Charles, Rebel Prince, at a period in the 1980s when Charles burned through four secretaries in seven years, he asked Savile to vet the next candidate, Christopher Airy, a former Major General in the British army. A bewildered Airy was interviewed in Kensington Palace by Savile, who was wearing a silver jump suit. With Savile’s nod he got the job.
Later, according to Bower, Charles sent Savile a box of Havana cigars (a gift he had received from Fidel Castro) with a note saying, “Nobody will ever know what you’ve done for this country, Jimmy.”
Filmmaker Rowan Deacon told The Times that Savile had used the royals to burnish his image and that Charles had no idea of Savile’s crimes.
“He was duped, like we all were,” Deacon said, “The letters show the trust that Prince Charles put into Jimmy Savile. He was trying to appeal to the British people, trying to modernize. And he saw Jimmy Savile as his conduit to that. In hindsight, that was catastrophic.”