A small sex toy is the unlikely lucky mascot Diana, Princess of Wales insisted on taking during official foreign trips, her former personal protection officer has revealed.
And Diana was left in a fit of giggles by the sight of an un-named member of staff putting a blown-up condom on his head.
The vibrator, dubbed Le Gadget, was left behind when Diana travelled to Nepal in 1993 for an official visit, but the Princess gave orders for it to be dispatched to the capital Kathmandu.
Diana’s former personal protection officer Ken Wharfe recounts in his new book Guarding Diana: Protect The Princess Around The World: “Le Gadget was perhaps our finest wind-up, and an almost constant source of laughter.
“The small vibrator, bought as a practical joke after a staff night out in Paris during Diana’s official visit there the previous November, had become her lucky mascot.”
The object personified Diana’s sense of humour that was provoked by the unusual, absurd and unexpected during the long official visits.
When the vibrator arrived in a diplomatic bag, a Gurkha aid of the King of Nepal insisted on delivering it to the Princess’s equerry Captain Ed Musto just before a press reception, in honour of the visit, at the British ambassador’s official residence.
Mr Wharfe said: “Musto, a self-effacing officer who towered over everyone present, not quite knowing what to expect, foolishly opened the packet and removed the offending item in front of everyone in the room (but, mercifully, not the press, who were starting to gather outside).
“There was a stunned pause (and a few bemused glances from Embassy dignitaries), until the silence was broken by Diana, who said, ‘Oh, that must be for me,’ and began to laugh.”
During a tour of Pakistan in 1991, Diana and her entourage were entertained by the condom escapade while on a flight.
Mr Wharfe, who guarded Diana from 1987 to 1993, writing in his book, said: “We were all a little demob-happy, when the staff member decided to reveal that he had a party trick where he could blow up the condom and put it on his head, fully inflated.
“’Really? Go on then, show me,’ Diana said, intrigued, and laying down the bizarre challenge excitedly (began).
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“Within seconds everyone was falling about the place in fits of giggles as the staff member accomplished this extraordinary feat in a matter of seconds.”