Barry Mannakee

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Barry Albert Mannakee (1 June 1947, London, England – 14 May 1987, London, England) was a police officer with the Royal Protection Squad and was assigned as a bodyguard to Diana, Princess of Wales in 1985. He died in a road traffic accident in 1987.

According to the book Diana: The Last Word by Simone Simmons, published 29 June 2005, Mannakee soon became Diana's closest confidant in the royal circle. Diana would often turn to him for comfort if she was feeling lonely or depressed and Barry was always there for her.

Simmons also claims that Colin Trimming, the Prince of Wales' personal protection officer, once walked in on Mannakee comforting Diana. He assumed they were having an affair, and he reported his suspicions to the Prince.

Diana thought of Mannakee as one of her best friends. When people thought they were too close, he was moved in 1986 from his royal duties at Kensington Palace to the Diplomatic Protection Group in central London. In Diana's words, he was "chucked out". Talking of Mannakee's death, Diana said: "I think he was bumped off, but there we are."[1]

Mannakee married Susan Bennett in London in 1966. They had two children.

Death[edit]

In 1987, Mannakee was killed when the Suzuki motorbike he was riding as a passenger, driven by a fellow police officer, crashed into a Ford Fiesta driven by 17-year-old Nicola Chopp, in Woodford, east London. As an estate car turned left in front of the motorbike, Chopp pulled out from a side road, turning right across the motorbike's path. An unknown car with dazzling lights was quoted at the inquest as a contributory factor to the crash, but the vehicle has never been traced. The inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Diana never truly believed that it was an accident and thought that someone had killed him because "he knew too much". Video tapes were broadcast by American television network NBC, the Princess said: "I was quite happy to give all this up ... Just to go off and live with him. Can you believe it? And he kept saying he thought it was a good idea." Also in the tapes, Diana said she believed the man with whom she was "deeply in love" was "bumped off" by security services.[2]

Lord Stevens, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, ordered a re-investigation of the circumstances of Mannakee's death as part of Operation Paget.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Diana 'wanted to live with guard' BBC, Retrieved 1 November 2007
  2. ^ Conspiracy theorists feast on inquiry into death of Diana's minder The Independent, Retrieved 1 November 2007