Careful, He Might Hear You

She says: ". . . I can't stand the confines of this marriage." He says: "Oh, Squidgy, I love you, love you, love you."

More than 100,000 eavesdroppers paid a premium last week to listen to a taped phone conversation that Britain's tabloids insist is between Princess Di and a suitor named "James." According to the tabs, the recorded conversation took place New Year's Eve, 1989, from a mobile phone.

If Squidgy is Di, who is James? Speculation turned first to Maj. James Hewitt, 34, her former riding instructor, then, more compellingly, to James Gilbey, 35, an executive for Lotus racing cars and a member of the wealthy gin family. While Buckingham Palace bit the royal lip, Gilbey denied reaching out and touching the princess. Whoever it was, a call-in survey showed Brits, 7-1, still want Di as their next queen-with or without Charles as king.