Palace: ‘Rooms used by the Queen were regularly scanned for listening devices’
The Queen’s rooms at Buckingham Palace were regularly swept for bugging devices, her former private secretary said yesterday.
Lord Fellowes said the checks were ordered to “reassure” the Queen.
The high level of paranoia at the Palace in the 1990s was described at the inquest into the 1997 deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed.
Lord Fellowes, 66, who was Diana’s brother-in-law, said the security moves by MI6 followed the notorious “Squidgygate” and “Camillagate” tapes.
These were recordings of private phone calls between Diana and her friend James Gilbey and Prince Charles and the then Camilla Parker Bowles.
Lord Fellowes said they prompted high-level discussions involving heads of MI5 and GCHQ, the Government’s listening station, in early 1993.
But a full investigation into the tapes by the security service was blocked by the Home Office…
In a letter to the Government, he said: “We would be much wiser as to the real risks of using mobile phones and whether it may be necessary to have all Royal residences comprehensively swept for bugging devices.”
Asked whether the security services made checks on Buckingham Palace while he was working there between 1990 and 1999, he said: “The rooms in which business was conducted by the Queen and by her private secretaries were swept.
“…we needed reassurance at regular intervals that there was no bugging going on.”
Lord Fellowes told the inquest he could not have helped “murder” Diana in Paris because he was at home in Norfolk at the time and had gone to a play by John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey.