Who's working for who now...........

        TIGGY AND THE SPOOK

When Wills' and Harry's former nanny tied the knot, an air if genteel
society charm prevailed. But her new husband has some very shadowy
connections. Mark Hollingsworth gets behind the elegant fašade.

The wedding of Tiggy Legge-Bourke, former nanny to Princes William and
Harry, and Charles Pettifer was, because of her royal connections, a
high-profile affair. But, away from the grainy paparazzi shots, there was a
more shadowy side to it, one which embraced the murky worlds of military
intelligence and private security consultancy

For Legge-Bourke, an assistant to Prince Charles who has lived in an
apartment at St James's Palace for the past five years, has married into
the business of espionage and specialised security services. Her husband is
chief executive of Rapport Research and Analysis Ltd., which supplies
corporations with former SAS officers to protect their interests in
high-risk countries.

Rapport also employs a large number of former Intelligence Corps warrant
officers, who have been carefully investigated by MI5 for security
clearance. In some cases, they were subject to enhanced vetting because of
the sensitive nature of their work - running secret informants and handling
classified documents at the Ministry of Defence.

Fellow former military intelligence officers had no doubt about the
company's role. "You're a front for the bloody spooks," an amused contact
jibed at Dodd, who went bright red and denied the claim.

Rapport's close relationship with government was illustrated by the
company's chairman, Sir Robin Ross. A former Royal Marine commandant who
retired in 1996, Ross served in the Middle East and the Caribbean. He
represents the company at a senior level in dealing with clients, the MoD
and Foreign Office and other government departments.

Rapport's speciality is what it calls "crisis and contingency planning for
companies operating in high-risk areas". Its main clients are
multi-national oil and gold corporations with interests in North Africa and
the Middle East. If the country is perceived as unstable, Rapport will send
in operatives to gather intelligence and assess the security risk to
commercial activity. If the conditions are favourable, they can then supply
bodyguards and security personnel.

Pettifer also set up Unique Security Consultants Ltd., which provides
former SAS officers as bodyguards for private clients. Pettifer was company
secretary and a director until May 1997, when he resigned to concentrate on
Rapport.

Security sources are divided about Rapport and Unique's precise
relationship with state agencies like military intelligence and MI6. One
view is that Rapport is a front for the spooks and is, in effect, a
privatised agency. Another source says companies like Rapport are merely
adapting intelligence methodology and information to the commercial sector
to make money He claims it is more likely that MI6 uses such companies
after they have been set up, rather than consciously incorporating them in
advance.

Pettifer's new wife will no doubt find her new cloak-and-dagger world
intriguing, but it will not be too unfamiliar: her father was a captain in
the British army before becoming a banker, her mother is a lady-in-waiting
to Princess Anne and her brother is an officer in the Welsh guards.

Tiggy has known Pettifer since they were teenagers, when they had a brief
romance while he was at Eton and she was at Heathfield, near Ascot. They
remained friends even when Pettifer was married to Camilla Wyatt, and
Legge-Bourke was godmother to their children. It wasn't until late 1996,
early 1997 when their relationship became more intimate.

As for Princes William and Harry, Legge-Bourke remains close to them and
they are delighted at their former nanny's choice of husband. William is an
admirer of the SAS and, apparently, has told his father that he wants to
join the Special Forces.

To what extent Pettifer will exploit his royal links is unclear. One thing
is for sure the security at his wedding was tight and omnipresent.

======================================
Punch #93 - November 6-19 1999



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