Charlie Windsor, who is due to become Britain’s next head of state, claimed that “monstrous wrongs” had been done to sexual abuser Peter Ball and that “I wish I could do more” to help him.
The statement was made in a letter to Ball two years after he had been cautioned by the police for gross indecency. The former Anglican bishop had by then resigned his position in the state church hierarchy.
Windsor claimed that he had not understood that the police caution meant that Ball had admitted his guilt.
Windsor also wrote that it was”appalling” that Canterbury archbishop George Carey had “gone back on” a plan to restore Ball to “some form of ministry in the church”.
The following year Windsor wrote to Ball that he hoped that the Duchy of Cornwall would be able to find a house for him close enough that he could visit Windsor easily. He did in fact arrange for the Duchy, a public body, to buy a house that was let to Ball.
Ball’s church is headed by Windsor’s mother Elizabeth. Charlie will become the head when she dies.
Windsor’s letters were read to an enquiry into sexual abuse. The head of state’s son had refused to make a formal written statement to the enquiry. Instead he sent a letter.
In that letter Windsor denied that he had tried to influence police investigations into the abuse by Ball though he is notorious for using his feudal status in the UK to pressure politicians into following his wishes.
Windsor wrote that he had believed that Ball had been falsely accused of an unknown offence.
In statement that exposed an establishment arrogance Windsor told the enquiry that in the 1980s and 1990s “there was a presumption that people such as bishops could be taken at their word and, as a result, of the high office they held, were worthy of trust and confidence”. It seems probable that he believes that he too is entitled to such a presumption.
Ball was convicted of sexual offences against young men in 2015. An independent enquiry has found that senior people in the state church had covered-up the abuse.
Richard Scorer, a lawyer representing some of Ball’s victims, said that they were “dissatisfied” with Windsor’s explanation.. The lawyer said that Windsor could have had the best legal advice that money could buy and that it was hard to see his failure to check the facts as “anything other than wilful blindness”. He added that the evidence given by Windsor and other “establishment figures” “will do little to dissuade survivors from the conclusion that the British establishment aided and protected Ball”.