Spying on Princess Diana

This is one of those tabloid stories that will get lots of play and spawn conspiracy theories: Diana was bugged by secret service in U.S.:

American intelligence agencies were bugging Princess Diana’s telephone over her relationship with a US billionaire, the Mail’s sister paper has learned.
Evening Standard reports that she was even forced to abandon a planned holiday with her sons in the US with tycoon Teddy Forstmann on advice from secret services, who passed on their concerns to their British counterparts.
Both US and British intelligence then forced Diana to change her plans to stay with Mr Forstmann in the summer of 1997, saying it was too “dangerous” to take her sons there.
Instead the princess took the fateful decision to take a summer break with Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed. This ultimately led to her going to Paris with his son Dodi, where they died in a car crash.
The Evening Standard also understands that US secret services have a number of secret files on Diana and her closest associates that are held by the national security agency. The files, which include reports from foreign intelligence – thought to include MI5 and MI6 – come under both top secret and secret categories.The reports cannot be released because of “exceptionally grave damage to the national security”. The documents on the princess seem to have arisen because of the company she kept rather than through any attempt to target her.

As reported, this is a very odd story. What would have been “dangerous” about vacationing with Teddy Forstmann in the Hamptons? Forstmann is a well-known businessman with no shady associations that I’m aware of. He later lost quite a bit of money and had legal troubles, but that was after the Princess Diana episode. Based on some very quick research, the only thing I’ve seen that could explain the intelligence agencies’ interest in Forstmann is that he was a prominent Republican; in fact, he was the national co-chairman of George H. W. Bush


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