Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, died twenty years ago this month. Her surprisingly slight FBI file, released via the Bureau’s FOIA reading room, covers two separate investigations into possible threats against her life.
The first investigation is from Diana’s 1989 trip to New York - similar to Margaret Thatcher’s file, the Bureau had concerns over reports of planned protests around the trip.
Also similar to Thatcher, there was no real indication any of this was going to turn violent, but the FBI sent in a few undercover agents just in case.
The second, and slightly more eventful investigation, is from earlier in 1981. Through its vast network of informants, the Bureau received a tip that someone had mailed the newlywed royal couple a wedding present most foul - a bomb!
Almost immediately, the logistical question of how exactly that would work - when was it mailed, why wouldn’t it be screened, etc. - became apparent to the Bureau, and as the heavily-redacted nature of the file attests, there was maintaining that vast network of informants to consider.
Which might be why the FBI was content with quietly dropping the case once the would-be mail bomber confessed that he was, as Andy Millman would say, “having a laugh.”
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