The rapid resignation of CIA Director and former Army General David Petraeus for having an affair with his biographer has put new attention on the affair that Queen Frederika of Greece engaged in with CIA Chief Allen Dulles in 1958.
That romance has been well documented, and a new book by former New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer about Dulles and his brother, former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, indicates that the CIA chief and queen engaged in sex in his office.
Kinzer said that the Queen met the CIA head when she came to the U.S. on a tour with her son, the future King Constantine II. Just as her trip was about to end, she announced without explanation that she would stay for another week.
She came to Washington, discussed “spiritual values” with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Oval Office and then visited Dulles at C.I.A. headquarters. “They had been alone in his office for nearly an hour when an aide knocked. Hearing no response, he entered. He found the office empty, but heard noises from the adjoining dressing room. Later Dulles and the queen emerged,” the book stated, indicating they had been engaged in intimacy.
As she was being driven back to the Greek Embassy, the queen suggested one reason Greek-American relations were so strong. “We just love that man!” she exclaimed. Dulles’s behavior was well known in Washington and elsewhere, but never publicly reported.
Another book, Nemesis, by British journalist Peter Evans, claims that Dulles used Robert Kennedy to damage the Greek shipping business and tycoon Aristotle Onassis in the early 1950’s because of Dulles’ affair with the queen and didn’t want it used against him.
By the journalistic codes of the 1950’s, the affair between Dulles and the queen was not newsworthy, unlike today’s Internet age when almost nothing is private and even the highest-placed figures can find their love lives exposed.
While such an affair today is scandalous in the United States, Europe has different standards. Former International Monetary Fund head Dominque Strauss-Kahn, has reportedly had numerous affairs and it did not affect his career, although a scandal that brewed after he was charged with – and then cleared of – sexually assaulting a New York City hotel maid derailed his thoughts of running for the President of France.
Frederika has been described as “inherently undemocratic” and often intervened in in Greek politic and opposed the election of Alexander Papagos as prime minister. Opponents bitterly criticized her. In 1963 while visiting London rioting forced her to temporary seek refuge in a stranger’s house.