London, November 25 : An electric teapot gifted to the Queen around 20 years ago has been removed from Balmoral after being identified as a probable spying device, according to reports.
The 2ft samovar, which was amongst the monarch's favourite and had stood in the corner drawing room in the late Queen Mother's Aberdeenshire residence, had been taken away after a recent security sweep of the royal abode.
It was feared that its Eastern Bloc wiring could contain a listening device that could have picked up the Royal Family's private conversations along with the Queen's discussions with prime ministers and world leaders.
"The samovar was always a bit of an enigma. No one could work out what the Russians thought we were going to do with it," the Daily Express quoted a retainer as saying.
"No one ever considered it a security risk until a recent sweep by these spooks with their electronic devices. They swept everywhere imaginable, public and private rooms, and the first thing to go was the samovar," the retainer added.