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  • We bugged Princess Margaret’s ashtrays, admit KGB

    KGB homed in on Princess during visit to Copenhagen in 1964
    Bugging devices attached to ashtrays and lighters to listen in on ‘scandalous gossip’
    Spies set up failed ‘honey trap’ for former Prime Minister Harold Wilson

    Soviet spies have admitted using bugging devices on the Royal Family and former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

    Secret agents from the KGB targeted Princess Margaret in the 1960s, attaching listening aids to her lighter, cigarette case, ashtrays and telephones.

    According to the Sunday Express, they homed in on the Princess during a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1964.

    Lord Snowdon And Princess Margaret get ready to board a plane in September 1964 ahead of their visit to Copenhagen. Russian spies have admitted bugging the Princess on the trip

    Until now, Russia has always denied the covert operation, which took place in a hotel, but has now admitted compiling a dossier on the Princess’s love affair with Robin Douglas-Home and further relationships with Roddy Llewellyn, Colin Tennant and Dominic Ewes, a painter who later committed suicide.

    Spies passed photos, tape recordings and ‘most interesting, even scandalous’ gossip involving senior royal figures.

    It is also said agents tried to get information from Margaret’s therapist, Kay Kiernan, who also treated the Queen.

    Intelligence on Prince Phillip was gathered via society osteopath and artist Stephen Ward, who later killed himself at the height of the Profumo affair.

    But spies failed in a sting operation on then future leader Harold Wilson, setting up a ‘honey trap’ for him in a Moscow hotel.

    Princess Margaret (second from right and then left) was targeted by KGB spies on her visit to Copenhagen in 1964. Bugging devices were planted in her lighter, cigarette case, ashtrays and telephones

    A new book will detail the KGB spies’ attempts at bugging the Royal Family. Pictured, the Kremlin, in Moscow

    Female agents posing as prostitutes patrolled the hotel overlooking the Kremlin, with a camera planted in a chandelier in his bedroom.

    But when the film was developed, Wilson’s face was disguised.

    Colonel Vadim Goncharov, who has since died, was the KGB chief in charge of the snooping operations, and he was ordered by bosses to go on television to deny the claims, fearing they would cast a shadow over the Queen’s first and only visit to Russia in 1994.

    By Daily Mail Reporter

    PUBLISHED: 11:01 GMT, 23 December 2012 | UPDATED: 17:05 GMT, 23 December 2012

    Find this story at 23 December 2012

    © Associated Newspapers Ltd