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10 Most Incriminating Secret Recordings


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Princess Diana's Squidgygate
Even the people's princess was not immune to scandal. When a 1989 phone call became public in 1992, it became clear that all was not well in her marriage to Prince Charles.  ©Tim Graham/Getty Images
Even the people's princess was not immune to scandal. When a 1989 phone call became public in 1992, it became clear that all was not well in her marriage to Prince Charles. ┬ęTim Graham/Getty Images

Lady Diana Frances Spencer married Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, on July 29, 1981 in a televised fairytale wedding, making her the Princess of Wales when she was only 20 years old. The couple had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. The royal relationship proved tumultuous, however, with rumors of adultery on both sides. They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. Princess Diana was lauded for her charity work and adored by the public, but despite her ongoing popularity, she wasn't free of scandal.

In 1992, a 20-minute cell phone conversation between Princess Diana and childhood friend James Gilbey, Lotus marketing manager and heir to a gin fortune, emerged. During the call, which was apparently made on New Year's Eve 1989, he told her he loved her and repeatedly called her "darling" and "Squidgy." On the tape, Princess Diana commented that her husband made her life torture and referred to him as "His Nibs."

The call was somehow overheard by two ham radio operators, Cyril Reenan and Jane Norgrove, on separate days, and recorded by Reenan, who sold the tape in 1992. The newspaper that bought it published a transcript of the call, and also allowed people to call a phone line to listen to the recording. Ken Wharfe, former bodyguard of Princess Diana who wrote a book about her after her death, accused the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) of recording the conversation and possibly playing it on a loop until it was picked up on ham radio. He even said that Diana called and listened to the recording herself. Wharfe stated that he was told Queen Elizabeth ordered an internal inquiry into the initial recording and the leak. An inquiry into the incident was reportedly vetoed by Home Secretary Kenneth Clarke.

Prince Charles had his own leaked cell call scandal over intimate conversations between himself and Camilla Parker-Bowles, dubbed Camillagate. The call was also apparently recorded in 1989 but mysteriously leaked shortly after the Squidgy tape. Prince Charles and Camilla have since married.


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