Excerpt from A State of Evil – The al Fayed Connection

Moments later Sally knocked on the door and announced, ‘Mr Parker, sir’. Dick Parker swiftly entered the room, not wearing a smile.

Oh great, what a morning I’ve got, passed through Brooke’s mind, and now without humour. ‘Good morning Dick, how is life at the palace?’ he asked.

‘Well might you ask,’ said Parker, his face puce from hours spent trying to make sense of the latest palace fiasco and rushing down the Mall from the palace to Vauxhall Road for a meeting he accepted as necessary but one that also unnerved him. Parker used to work in this building and Brooke was one of his underlings. He had joined the palace for an easier life but wasn’t getting one. ‘I have a problem in controlling the palace and diffusing the excesses of its inhabitants who are doing precisely as they wish and giving scant regard to any reservations from those who do my job,’ gushed Parker. ‘I wonder why I don’t retire early or move on to something exciting such as janitoring. Perhaps I should come back here, John?’

Brooke was slightly amused and relieved that today might not be as bad as he had at first thought. ‘I know your concerns,’ said Brooke, ‘but what made you rush over here today?’

‘You know of course, that Diana and her children are in the south of France with Mohamed al Fayed,’ said Parker, obviously with something specific in mind. ‘And there could be more to it than that?’

‘What do you mean,’ said Brooke, his voice now losing its lighter tone.

‘You know of Dr Hasnat Khan’ said Parker. ‘He has been pursued by Diana for some months, causing us concern. Just as we were beginning to breathe again after that one has almost certainly failed, Diana goes on a holiday to the south of France with yet another Muslim family!’

‘Well, is a holiday so much of a problem?’ said Brooke, keeping his deliberations silent and knowing what was coming before Parker spoke. He had already received a report on Diana’s recent antics from his team in St Tropez, but decided to play devil’s advocate, unsure of how Parker viewed this latest episode.

‘With Diana one can never be certain, but in Mohamed al Fayed we have a man who is capable of defying us and giving Diana a great deal of power; the very thing we can’t control and just as the Prince of Wales is trying to be reinvented as a lovable human being,’ said Parker, making a further attempt at humour. ‘We need to try and contain this holiday otherwise what if the unthinkable happens and they become an item?’

‘Bit of an age difference,’ said Brooke thinking Parker was being rather boorish and irrational.

‘His son is quite young,’ said Parker, ‘and he has just joined them at Fayed’s house in St Tropez. He is attractive and unmarried so we have a big potential problem’

‘We’ll look into it,’ said Brooke, testing the water. ‘What do you think we can do?’

‘Well,’ said Parker, ‘that’s your job if this were ever to become a serious relationship. We couldn’t tolerate that union under any circumstances and this comes from the top.’ He held Brooke with a steady, cold stare. Parker stood to take his leave, emphasising that this is what he had come to say. ‘Give it some thought, John! We need to prevent this relationship developing because we cannot accept the consequences of a union between Diana and that family.’ He repeated his previous statement in case Brooke had misunderstood. He hadn’t!

Brooke needed to pinch himself he had just heard a senior member of the palace tell him they must manage Diana’s future union and it was his job, whatever its cost! The Princess seemed to have a predilection for Muslim men and that alone was a problem for the establishment. The monarchy was in trouble! It was his duty to resolve the matter, catch the genie and imprison him. ‘How can this be achieved?’ thought Brooke. ‘We are really in for a tough ride. Why can’t those damn Windsors keep it in their trousers? One day soon, there will be nothing we can do and the people will awaken. I hope I have retired by then.’

Brooke returned to his office where Sally had just made another pot of coffee, having seen Parker rush past. Brooke knew Parker had just made a comment that he took as code. There was only one way in which this situation could be resolved and hopefully restored to its previous status. But what if the Princess of Wales should no longer exist, which is clearly what Parker meant? She should be around for another half century yet and if she had her way either the monarchy would not survive or, even if it did, Charles Windsor would be certain to lose his succession to the throne. He had far too many skeletons to hide and wouldn’t survive much longer with certain revelations becoming public – and that was guaranteed with Diana gunning for him. It was not as though he were popular. What in God’s name could they do?

‘Diana’s intelligence history tells us,’ Brooke mused, as he began reading through Diana’s files, ‘that Diana’s most recent beau is a heart surgeon. She has been to see his parents in Pakistan and has spent an inordinate amount of time with him both in the Brompton Hospital and at Kensington Palace. Taking the “what if” scenario, suppose Diana married him and went to live in Pakistan and becomes a Muslim just as one of her friends, Jemima Khan, has done? What about the children? Now we have a further complication, together with a palace that has lost its patience. What about the succession? What about protection for the Princes living over in Pakistan, or when they are visiting their mother if they don’t live there permanently? The one point in our favour, at present, is that Doctor Khan’s family don’t appear keen to allow an extended relationship between their son and Diana to continue and we believe it’s faltering. OK, but we do now have an indication of Diana’s intentions and appetites; this latest information from St Tropez fuels that view.’

Reading more of Diana’s files that were placed in his desk drawer before Parker arrived, Brooke was reminded of the pathway that led to the current thinking. He noted that intelligence had confirmed the likelihood of Diana and Dr Khan being finished, but Brooke thought this new development could be another matter.

‘We knew of the invitation of 3rd June to the South of France with Mohamed al Fayed and of Diana’s acceptance letter of the 11th June, but we were not concerned because we were focused on her other relationship,’ the notes said.

He noted his previous comments in the margins of the agent’s notes and saw that following her relationship with Khan, Diana had already spent time with a Pakistani multimillionaire at Annabel’s nightclub in London.

‘We must now watch any developments very carefully because it’s clear something will happen soon and a pattern of her preferences and intentions is developing. We must be ready for when she decides to “go for it” on a permanent basis with one of her escorts, which won’t be long in coming. This has been developing for some time and isn’t some passing fad,’ the notes continued.

‘The al Fayed connection worries me in particular because he is extremely wealthy and if anything goes down there, not only will the palace be unable to control her, but she will be able to turn on the heat, big time!’ Brooke thought as he placed the file on the table. ‘Why can’t she choose some non-controversial Anglo Saxon country gentleman, enjoy her life and allow us to leave her alone? At the moment she is only on holiday in the South of France, as far as we know, so nothing is certain; we mustn’t jump the gun. But neither can we wait for disaster to happen. The problems are endless and I see no solution in sight, since her feelings will most likely be reciprocated and, whosoever she settles on, it looks like we shall have a problem. I am going to see Morison and discuss this frankly. There is only one logical solution; God help us. I can’t take this decision on my own, I need to discuss it with my superiors and take their view. It’s our job to be ready!’

Brooke went through into Sally’s office. ‘Will you please make an appointment for me to see Morison ASAP, Sally?’

‘Mr Morison is back from holiday tomorrow, sir. Shall I make your appointment for when he returns?’

‘Yes please, Sally,’ said Brooke. ‘On Friday; the sooner this is done the better’