An electronic surveillance expert found what may have been a listening bug in the apartments of Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, the inquest into her death heard.
A signal from the device was detected coming from a wall which divided the Princess’s apartments from a room used by the Prince of Wales.
It was picked up during a series of electronic sweeps in 1994 by security expert Grahame Harding, who was called in by the Princess to look for surveillance equipment.
Asked about the signal he picked up, Mr Harding told the inquest: “It’s very hard to say, it could be a number of things. Anything that concerns oscillators, that would give off radiation or transmission, the equipment could pick that up. At that time I believe it was a particular device.”
There was no evidence the wall had been tampered with but access to the room behind the wall could not be gained, Mr Harding said.
When he carried out another electronic sweep a day or two later at the same spot, the transmission had gone.
Mr Harding subsequently supplied the Princess with mobile phones to allay her fears that her calls were also being bugged.
He said the Princess had talked of “dark forces” when she discussed her belief that she was being monitored.
“They were words she used to me – ‘There are dark forces’ – and never really expanded on that in any way,” he said.
Mr Harding, the founder of a surveillance and security firm, made four sweeps in all of the Princess’s home over a four month period. He was recommended to her by the Duchess of York, whom he knew through charity work.
The Princess had been told by well placed “friends” that surveillance of her was being carried out by a five-strong team of people in an “organisation”, the inquest heard.
Her suspicions were recorded in a note of an October 1994 meeting she had with a senior royal protection officer.
The note stated: “She had been told, without any doubt, that five people from an organisation had been assigned full time to oversee her activities including listening to her private telephone conversations.”
Colin Haywood-Trimming, a former protection officer who guarded the Princess, her husband and sons, told the inquest: “Certainly over the years I was aware she had this feeling she was being listened to.”
The inquest into the deaths of the Princess and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, also heard that their relationship was “all over” at least two weeks before they both died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.
Rodney Turner, a personal friend of the Princess, told the hearing she had enjoyed her time with Mr Fayed but they were no longer together in early August 1997.
Mr Turner said: “What she said to me was that it was all over, which was really a shock to me.”
He said the Princess told him: “Don’t fuss, don’t fuss. It’s all over. I’ve had a wonderful time.”
Mr Turner, a director of luxury car dealer HR Owen, became friends with the Princess after he started supplying her with BMW cars in 1995.
The inquest, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, had previously heard the Princess sent a handwritten note to her butler Paul Burrell in October 1993, saying she believed her husband wanted her dead so he could marry Tiggy Legge-Bourke, a nanny to their sons. But Mr Turner said she had “never discussed” that.
Talking about a period in the mid-1990s when there was a heightened threat of attacks from the IRA, Mr Turner said the Princess had once joked: “If it’s not the IRA, it’s my husband.”
The inquest continues.