Photo shared on social media doesn't show King Charles with Dunblane gunman

5 May 2023
What was claimed

A photo shows King Charles, Jimmy Savile and the Dunblane massacre shooter.

Our verdict

The photo was taken three years after the massacre and shows King Charles, Jimmy Savile and a different man.

Claims that a photo shows King Charles, serial abuser Jimmy Savile and the Dunblane massacre shooter are going viral online. A video featuring the image has over 50,000 views on TikTok and has also been shared on Twitter and Facebook.

The picture is a genuine photo taken by a PA photographer in July 1999 of the now-King and Jimmy Savile during a visit to a mountain rescue centre in Glencoe, Scotland. But the third man pictured is Iain Thornber, one of the deputy Lord lieutenants for Inverness, not the Dunblane shooter. 

Lord lieutenants arrange visits by members of the royal family amongst other roles, and are supported by their vice and deputies, of which Mr Thornber was one. Footage and images of the same visit from other sources also show the three men at Glencoe that day.

The photo was taken three years after the Dunblane massacre, where 16 pupils and one teacher were fatally shot by Thomas Hamilton, who then killed himself. He is not in the photograph from Glencoe.

It’s always worth checking whether content is real before you share it. We have written a guide on how to verify viral images which you can read here.

Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011, sexually abused hundreds of children and women at locations including hospitals, schools and the BBC. We’ve previously written about the role Keir Starmer played in the decision not to prosecute him in 2009, when the Labour leader was head of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Image courtesy of Dan Marsh

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