KGB: WE BUGGED ROYALS
Princess Margaret had her phone bugged by the KGB
Sunday December 23,2012
THE KBG has admitted spying on the Royal Family, the Sunday Express can reveal.
Soviet secret agents bugged Princess Margaret’s telephone and listened in on the conversations of other senior royals. Listening devices were planted in the Princess’s bedroom during an official trip to Copenhagen in 1964. Until last week the Russians had always denied the covert operation, which was first exposed by the Sunday Express in 1994.
We disclosed that Colonel Vadim Goncharov, the KGB chief in charge of snooping operations on key western targets, installed listening devices in Princess Margaret’s lighter, cigarette case, ashtrays and telephones, eavesdropping on conversations that were “most interesting, even scandalous”.
A dossier was compiled on her love affair with Robin Douglas-Home and relationships with Roddy Llewellyn, Colin Tennant and Dominic Ewes, a painter who later committed suicide.
Details passed to Moscow included photographs, tape recordings and reports of society gossip involving senior royal figures. Attempts were also made to obtain information from a therapist, Kay Kiernan, who treated Margaret and the Queen. Intelligence was also gathered on Prince Philip via society osteopath and artist Stephen Ward, who boasted of a 15-year friendship with the Prince and who committed suicide at the height of the Profumo affair.
Soviet spies also carried out a failed sting operation to try to compromise future Prime Minister Harold Wilson in a Moscow hotel “honey trap”.
At the time the Foreign Intelligence Service in Moscow “categorically denied” the claims, fearing the report would cast a shadow over the Queen’s historic first and only trip to Russia. Goncharov, who was 73 at the time but has since died, was even ordered to go on television to deny what he had done.
Last week, however, Russia’s biggest newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda, boasted that among Goncharov’s successes was “the bugging of drunken parties of the British Princess Margaret”.
A dossier was compiled on her love affair with Robin Douglas-Home and relationships with Roddy Llewellyn
A book by the newspaper’s intelligence analyst, Gennady Sokolov, to be published next year, will provide new details about the operation against the Queen’s sister, the Sunday Express understands.
Entitled The Kremlin v The Windsors – Palace Spies Of The Secret War, it will also reveal other attempts by Russian intelligence to spy on the Royal Family.
In our Princess Margaret expose, Goncharov said of his bugging operation in the royal bedroom in Copenhagen: “As I recall there were no lovers, though there was a visitor. On this occasion, our interest was in getting confidential information which would open certain doors for us in Britain.”
The aim was to undermine the credibility of the Royal Family and harm British morale. The Princess was in Denmark as the figurehead for British Week.
During a long career which began under Stalin, master spy Goncharov staged stings in more than 100 countries and survived several assassination attempts. In 1953 he planted a miniature camera in the chandelier of Harold Wilson’s room at the National Hotel, overlooking the Kremlin, while female agents posing as prostitutes patrolled the hotel bar. When the film was developed, however, Wilson’s face was disguised. “It was as if he was playing games with us,” Goncharov said.