Is Jimmy Savile still a sir?
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Why is Jimmy Savile a sir? Did he lose his knighthood after sexual abuse allegations?

His life is the focus of a new BBC drama The Reckoning

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Queen Elizabeth II knighted Jimmy Savile at Buckingham Palace in 1990 – but is he still a sir?

Did the Queen revoke his knighthood after the shocking truth about his secret life was exposed?

And if not, why not?

The pictures of him meeting the Queen and receiving the prestigious accolade seem sickening now…

Here’s everything you need to know about why Jimmy Savile was knighted, and if the title still stands.

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile became a Sir in 1990 (Credit: David Hartley/Shutterstock)

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When was Jimmy Savile made a Sir?

Queen Elizabeth II knighted Jimmy Savile at Buckingham Palace in 1990.

Thus making the Jim’ll Fix It star a Sir.

Queen Elizabeth II knighted him as a recognition of his charity work.

This followed on from his OBE in 1971.

Before he attended the ceremony, Jimmy posed topless for photographers beside the suit he had chosen to wear for the occasion.

Why was Jimmy Savile knighted?

The British public respected Jimmy Savile for his charity work at the time.

The Guardian described him in 2009 as a “prodigious philanthropist”.

The Queen knighted him – making him a Sir – in honour of his services to charity.

Jimmy Savile raised approximately £40million for charity, in particular Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

However, we now know that the paedophile and sex offender abused the vulnerable patients there and at other hospitals.

In a sickening twist, Jimmy Savile was the face of childhood safety campaigns.

He even fronted a pamphlet called Stranger Danger, warning children to be careful of suspicious adults.

In fact, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had made four previous attempts to have Jimmy Savile knighted before succeeding in her final year in office.

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile received many accolades as a result of his charity work (Credit: James Curley/Shutterstock)

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Is he still a sir?

Jimmy Savile died a Sir.

It seems wrong for the serial abuser to remain knighted even after the truth about his crimes have come out.

Of course, it’s another kick in the teeth for his victims.

After the allegations of sexual abuse came, then Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that it would be possible for Jimmy’s Savile’s honours to be rescinded by the Honours Forfeiture Committee.

However, a Cabinet Office spokesman said that there was no procedure to posthumously revoke an OBE or knighthood.

The honours automatically expire when a person dies.

So strictly speaking, because he is now dead, Jimmy Savile is no longer a Sir.

However, the committee did discuss the possibility of introducing a process to do so in the future as a result of Jimmy Savile’s case.

How old was he when he died?

Jimmy Wilson Vincent Savile was born on October 31 1926, in Burley, Leeds.

He died on October 29 2011, just two days before his 85th birthday.

So he was 84 when he died.

Jimmy Savile poses with the suit he wore to be Knighted
Jimmy Savile abused hundreds of vulnerable girls (Credit: Alex Lentati/ANL/Shutterstock)

How did Jimmy Savile die?

Jimmy Savile died at his home in Roundhay on October 29 2011.

He had recently been released from hospitalised after suffering from pneumonia – an infection that causes an inflammation in the lungs.

Police did not believe his death was suspicious.

Prior to his funeral, Jimmy’s closed gold coffin was put on display at the Queens Hotel in Leeds.

His funeral took place a fortnight later on 9 November 2011 at Leeds Cathedral.

After his death, hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against him.

In October 2012, almost a year after his death, an ITV documentary examined claims of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile.

This led to extensive media coverage and a tsunami of witness statements and sexual abuse claims.

The police eventually realised he’d been a predatory sex offender.

There HAD been rumours and allegations during his lifetime, but they were dismissed.

What did Jimmy Savile’s gravestone say?

Undertakers buried Jimmy Savile in Woodlands Cemetery in Scarborough.

His grave remains there to this day.

The family later installed a £4,000 headstone to further commemorate his resting place.

The headstone was inscribed with the epitaph: “It Was Good While It Lasted.”

The huge edifice also contained two poems.

Lines include: “A legend and a one-off there’s no mystery to unravel/This miner, DJ, friend to all was simply Jimmy Savile.”

One headstone lists some of the charities he raised money for.

However, furious locals vandalised the headstone after the truth about him came out.

Locals later requested to have his body exhumed and cremated, but no one wanted to pay the fee.

Jimmy Savile with his Knighthood
Jimmy Savile posing with his medal in 1990 (Credit: ANL/Shutterstock)

Why is Jimmy Savile in an unmarked grave?

The body of Jimmy Savile now lays in an unmarked grave.

Funeral director Robert Morphet said the triple headstone was removed from Woodlands Cemetery overnight in 2012 to avoid a “circus”.

In a statement at the time, Jimmy Savile’s family said: “Members of the family of Sir Jimmy Savile have decided to remove his headstone from the grave in Scarborough.

“The family members are deeply aware of the impact that the stone remaining there could have on the dignity and sanctity of the cemetery.”

Who inherited his estate, and who did he leave his money to?

Jimmy Savile was a very rich man.

His estate was worth approximately £4.3m when he died in 2011.

It included his penthouse overlooking Roundhay Park, a flat on Scarborough’s famous Esplanade, a cottage at Glencoe, Scotland and a Rolls Royce with the personalised plate JS 247.

After expenses, his estate was worth £3.3m.

Jimmy Savile left small amounts of money to a few friends and relatives.

He left the remainder, and the bulk of his estate, to the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust which he had established in 1985.

The trust raised money for various charities, particularly those aimed at relieving poverty and illness.

After the public learnt about Savile’s horrific crimes were revealed, the trust had a balance of £3.6m.

The trust awarded the balance to various charities before it closed in 2017.

Also, some of his victims received compensation.

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