catastrophic | 

New documentary reveals Prince Charles' relationship with paedophile Jimmy Savile

The newly released letters document how Charles unwittingly praised the predatory paedophile's “straightforward common sense"

Prince Charles and Jimmy Savile

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A new Netflix documentary has revealed the “catastrophic” relationship Britain's Prince Charles had with the notorious paedophile DJ Jimmy Savile.

‘Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story’, which goes online today, shows how the Prince wrote to the child rapist, asking for help in salvaging the Royal Family's image.

The newly released letters written by the heir to the throne over 20 years ago document how Charles praised the predatory paedophile's “straightforward common sense”.

Charles went on to incorporate some of the advice in an action plan which was seen by his parents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Charles and other members of the Royal Family had no idea Savile’s philanthropy was a cover for decades of abuse.

“He [Charles] was duped, like we all were,” documentary director Rowan Deacon told The Times.

“The letters show the trust that Prince Charles put into Jimmy Savile. He was trying to appeal to the British people, trying to modernise. And he saw Jimmy Savile as his conduit to that. In hindsight, that was catastrophic.”

Charles also asked Savile to advise his sister in law Sarah, the Duchess of York and her husband, Prince Andrew.

Savile, who rose from a humble working-class upbringing to become one of British television's biggest stars, passed away aged 84 in 2011.

In his final years, he fought to quell growing speculation about his illegal exploits throughout his illustrious career with the BBC.

An inquiry launched into his actions by the Corporation found he had molested at least 72 children, some as young as eight, over a four decade campaign of sexual abuse.

His horrific reign of abuse, which started with his first victim in 1959 and his last in 2006, could be charted “in the corridors, canteens, staircases and dressing rooms of every BBC premises,” their 2016 report found.

The TV star, who later bragged about performing sex acts on corpses in hospital morgues and stealing glass eyes from the dead for jewellery, even drew up a media relations handbook for Charles, according to the royal's letters.

Savile was asked to guide the future king between 1986 and 2006 on matters from public speeches to family matters. At that time the BBC star used his fame, wealth and prolific fundraising, which raised millions for the NHS, as a cover for his abuse.

Other letters revealed how Savile was also asked to help the Duchess of York with her public relations.

On December 22, 1989, Charles wrote: “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 straightforward common sense.”

In one note, the Prince asks if Savile would mind meeting his then sister-in-law to help reign in her erratic behaviour.

Prince Charles would also ask for Savile's suggestions for public visits, without knowing these were the very places the television personality would use to attack his victims.

Later letters lavish praise on Savile's affable traits - long before the presenter's heinous past came to light.

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 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 only came to the public’s attention decades later.

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