Royal Family Category
The Royal Family, the House of Windsor, in the news and on a horse
The world, as the Star notes, is now her “lobster”.
There is no Page 3 in today’s Sun, in honour of the start of Princess Diana’s inquest. Readers can however go to all other papers and see a picture of Diana in a swimsuit.
DAILY EXPRESS front page: “DIANA INQUEST: Sensational claims on first day. ‘THEY NEED TO GET RID OF ME’”
Readers will discover:
• “Why she feared for her life”
• “She said Queen would quit”
Page 2 and 3: The Express asks: “Do you believe Diana was murdered?” It’s a phone poll. Readers may wait until the inquest is over to call. But many will have already made up their minds. Vote now and vote often
As the coroner tells the jury: “The conclusions of the French inquiry and the Paget, or Stevens report, are neither here nor there, if you take a different view of the facts. And what you make of the evidence is for you and you alone. No one can tell you what to decide”
“Coroner raised fears of bias, says Fayed” – Mohamed Al Fayed’s spokesman Michael Cole, he of the whipped hair, says: “Mohammed al Fayed was surprised at the tone and the contents of the opening statement…Mr Al Fayed fears that the opening statement could present an appearance of bias whether or not this was intended”
It’s a fix. Well, it might be…
Pages 4 and 5: “Coroner tells the heartbreaking story of Diana’s final few days”
Lord Justice Scott Baker kicks things off with: “Members of the jury, in the early hours of Sunday August 31 1997 a motor car in which Diana, Princess of Wales, was a passenger crashed into a pillar in the central reservation of the Alma Tunnel Underpass in Paris”
Well, if you say so…
The jurors are sworn in. All 11 pledge to “diligently inquire on behalf of our sovereign lady the Queen into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Mr Dodi Fayed”
Is there irony in this pledge?
Pages 6 and 7: “Diana: The Queen will abdicate soon.” That’s what Diana is said to have told her lawyer, the now late Lord Mischon
“Tears, laughter and a disabled permit make history” – The Express’s Paul Callan is at the High Court. In the cheap seats, Callan sees a picture of Diana in a swimsuit flashed on a “cruel screen”. Is she pregnant. If she is, then around 80 per cent of British women are pregnant, including Old Mr Anorak’s dowager mother. Or else they are carrying excess fat?
One potential juror cannot sit for long, such is an old leg injury. The man raises his arm. He holds a piece of paper in it. “It was borne aloft, like some Olympic flame, by an usher and the coroner read as though it was a Holy Writ”
Let us pray…
“It was the would-be juror’s disabled parking document”
The man is excused. Amen
THE SUN front page: “MOMENTS BEFORE CRASH – DIANA IN DEATH CAR”
The picture is of Princess Diana in the back seat of the car she took on that fateful night
Pages 2 and 3: “CAR STILL SMOKING” – New pictures have been released. The Sun looks and sees: “Driver Henri Paul states manically down the lens of a paparazzi cameraman”
Pages 4 and 5: “Fight to free her. RESCUERS AT MERC WRECK” – Graphic photos of workers in fluorescent jackets trying to save the Princess
DAILY STAR pages 80 and 9: “Queen may be quizzed”
“FAYED OUTRAGE AS JUDGE RUBBISHES DIANA ‘BABY MYTH’” – That picture of Diana in that swimsuit was taken before she began dating Dodi Fayed, says the coroner.
Fat girls can still pull. Hurrah!
DAILY MAIL front page: “DIANA IN THE DEATH CAR” – A picture of Diana in the back of Mercedes”
Pages 2 and 3: “All the pictures from the crash. Ghouls and conspiracy theorists come closer…
Pages 4 and 5: “Diana: Queen is going to abdicate”
The Mail’s Paul Harris says: “In a moment that will doubtless be recalled for generations to come, they started the inquest into the death of Princess Diana.” And not just mentioned by future generation of the Harris family, neither
The courtroom has “beige walls and Ikea-style furniture”. When will the heartache end?
“I am a Diana fan,” says the man first in the queue for the public gallery. “At Last!” he exclaims as the turnstile opens. He brandishes ticket No. 0000001
More Diana fans join Harris in the gallery. “Several of them chatted about ‘Diana’ as if they she had been a lifelong friend.” That’s Express hacks for you
DAILY MIRROR front page: “DIANA INQUEST SENSATION – The Last picture. She is driven off in her Mercedes..five minutes before the fatal crash”
Pages 4 and 5: “Questions jury must answer.” There are eight in all. There are 20 in the Sun
THE INDEPENDENT PAGE 8: “Diana jury told to consider ‘other conspiracy theories’”
DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “Diana: the final moments. Inquest to put conspiracy theories to the test”
Pages 2 and 3: “Coroner dispels many of the myths surrounding death of Diana”
Picture of Diana in a swimsuit
THE GUARDIAN front page: “Inquests opens into the death of Diana”
Page 9: “30 lawyers, 11 jurors ad one angry billionaire – Diana inquest begins”
Says the coroner: “We all need to keep our eye on the ball.. I hope everyone will remember that no one is on trail in this court”
THE TIMES front page: “Judge releases unseen photos of Diana crash”
Pages 2 and 3: “’Diana decision is yours and yours alone’” – the 11 must decide
The inquest is expected to last six months and cost £10million
The post-inquest inquest is expected to go on for much longer and cost 40p every day in the Daily Express
As the Sun says (“DIANA: Who’s who at the hearing of the century”) readers get to see the leading players in the DIANA INQUEST.
But we know them all, at least we who have read the prelude to the case in the Daily Express for the past ten years do.
And we turn to that paper and see… Shock of shocks. Can it be that on the verge of achieving justice the Express has stopped caring?
The front page is enlivened not with the Princess of Hearts but with the younger and blonder Madeleine McCann and the news that the Express has won a “VICTORY” in putting an end to inheritance tax.
Only it hasn’t. It will only be the ‘Express Wot Won It’ if the Tories get into power. And make that ‘if’ as big as Gordon Brown’s tent.
It is left to the Mail to feature the story and say on its front page: “Burrell will testify at Diana inquest”.
Paul Burrell is pictured alongside Diana. The paper says that the centre of his evidence is his claim that the Queen warned him of “dark forces” at work in Britain.
Inside the paper there’s a picture of Paul ‘Rock’ Burrell walking along a street in jeans and T-shirt. He is carrying a bag.
And inside it there might be the outfit he will wear in court – an eau-de-nil jacket, with pearl earrings…
For now, though, and for all time, the Express concerns itself with Her Majesty’s part in the death of Princess Diana.
The inquest into the Paris crash (or was it?) opens tomorrow, and it is hope the case will shed more light on the matter than the French police report, the British police report and ten years of Daily Express reporting.
Fingers crossed. But not crossed under oath. We demand the truth, the whole truth and the right to questions the truth for some years to come.
Today, readers learn that lawyers acting on behalf of Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed have submitted a request for Her Majesty, the Duck of Edinburgh and Princes Charles to be called as witnesses.
We have consulted our own lawyers here at Anorak Towers, and are now under the impression that this has less chance to being agreed to than Camilla Duchess Of Cornwall has of wrapping her battered white Fiat Uno in feminine hygiene towels and driving into a Paris tunnel wall.
Still, it is polite to ask. And when the Queen fails to show we can continue to speculate on what she knows and does not know and how Lord Lucan did it with a length of lead piping in the speedboat…
PRINCE Harry has yet to have how own club but news in the Star is encouraging. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)
In “PRINCE ALWAYS AT PUB”, the paper notes that Sir Harry’s pub in Edgbaston, Birmingham has altered its sign to show its appreciation of young Harry Baseball cap.
The pub’s sign now features Harry wearing a suit of armour, his flame-red hair blowing in the wind, and a St George’ flag aflutter over his shoulder.
“Most folk find it funny, and I’m sure Harry wouldn’t mind,” says the pub’s landlord.
And why stop there?
We urge the landlord to develop what he has started and turn the pub into Prince Harry theme bar, with a smoking garden, a storage area for minders and a polite notice on the door inviting insurgents to come on in if they feel lucky…
The plan to send Harry to the frontline and equip our finest boys and girls with red frightwigs – so seducing the reward-eager enemy from their foxholes and making them more easy to slaughter – never materialised. Read the plan here.
And so it is that the Army remains bogged down in Iraq and Afghansitan. And Harry is eating spaghetti bolognese in Leeds.
But now a report in the News of the World that if Harry will not go to the War on Terror, the War on Terror will go to Harry.
As the paper notes, Chelsy Davy, Harry’s blonde, is studying for a law degree at Leeds University.
She is residing in a £55-a-week student home. Chelsy is sharing with three “pals” in “the rundown” Hyde Park area.
And as the paper says: “Two years ago cops swooped on a nearby property following the 7/7 London terror attacks.”
Can this be it? Is it no mere chance that Harry has been despatched to the provinces?
How long before the people of Leeds are all sporting red wigs and with the rallying cry “I am Harry”, sparing Leeds from the grasping hand of Muslim extremism?
The Princess Diana inquest in almost upon us and the jurors are being sworn in. But first a spot quiz.
“Have you or, to your knowledge, any immediate relatives or close friend ever been employed by or associated with any of the following:-
(i) MI5 (The Security Services)
(ii) MI6 (The Secret Intelligence Service)
(iii) GCHQ (the Government Communications Headquarters)”
And that’s not all:
“Are you, or to your knowledge, any immediate relative or close friend employed by or associated with any of the following:-
(i) The Royal Family or the Royal Household
(ii) The Al Fayed Family
(iii) Any business or enterprise in any way connected with Mohammed Al Fayed (such as Harrods, Fulham Football club or the Ritz Hotel Paris)
(iv) The Metropolitan Police Service
(v) The Spencer Family”
The Mail has more questions. Always questions. And, no, one of them is not: “Did you kill her, did you kill the Princess of Hearts?”
The key question is surely:
“Are you aware of anything that would prevent you from returning an independent and impartial verdict in these inquests based only on the evidence that you hear, if so, what?”
“Well, yer honour, I have read ten years of Daily Express headlines, most of which allude to the notion that Princess Diana – THEY MURDERED HER. BASTARDS! – was killed by The Establishment.”
The test is taken. The answers are processed. Of 227 possible jurors, a shortlist of 25 names is produced.
Indeed, it is incredible to think that 25 people in this country have no preconceived notions as to how Princess Diana died.
And the chances are that the jurors – who are to be given police protection – LEST THEY MURDER THEM TOO – will deliver a verdict the papers can question for some years to come…
(If only she’d worn a seatbelt.)
Bea is dressed in a gown for an appearance in Martin Scorsese’s film based on the life of Bea’s great-great-great-great grandmother, Young Victoria.
In Hollywood, where nepotism makes a casting agent’s job that little bit easier and resumes come with the section “Famous Relatives”, Beatrice would fit right in. The Windsors are our Hollywood Family.
We know how she got the part; that much is clear. And to remove any doubt, Mail readers learn that the film’s executive producer is Sarah Ferguson, professional royal and Beatrice’s mother. The Express says the film was her idea.
What is less certain is why Bea’s role affords her no lines and reduces her stature to that of lady-in-waiting?
It will require not little ability for Beatrice to hide her innate royalty, and her teeth, as she plays second fiddle third from left to Emily Blunt’s Victoria.
But she’s getting on with job with little fuss. As the director tell us: “Beatrice was wonderful to direct – very patient during what can sometimes be a long and arduous process.”
Looks like all those chats with Uncle Charles are finally paying off…
This is “BUCKSKI PALACE”, the Star’s insight into life in the Queen’s gilded cage.
News is that that Her Majesty is actively looking for Poles to perform butler duties in the family’s inner-city council house.
A combination of low pay and cramped accommodation have failed to secure British servants; the job outweighing the chance to watch Her Majesty eat cereal and arrange her collection of night sights and silencers in order of effectiveness.
The Star says this staffing crisis has been compounded by a string of Palace butlers being wooed by wealthy Americans.
A former royal lackey tells us: “For anyone who has just arrived off a coach at Victoria from Bucharest or Warsaw and wants accommodation it’s a great job.” Indeed, it’s the gateway to a new life in the United States.
The UK truly is the land of opportunity. And who knows, if you Europeans have a German relative, you could find yourself moving from Downstairs to Upstairs…
Models are big news. And teenage Beatrice should take care to eat and stay away from predatory older men.
Luckily, Beatrice is not alone, but chaperoned to the event by her mother, the Duchess of York.
As the pictures show, Fergie did not want to upstage her daughter nor embarrass her in any way and adopted the part of Beatrice’s invisible shadow.
Stood on the runway, Beatrice appears as a blip on London’s “style radar” clad in a long black dress with shoulder straps.
To her left might be a mirror, as Fergie (identified by the Telegraph’s keen spotter) stands equally attired.
For purposes of subterfuge, Fergie goes as far as adopting her daughter’s hair style and necklace.
The do goes well. Beatrice loses no weight and does not develop a cocaine habit.
It is a success. And the charity aided by Beatrice’s appearance – Children In Crisis (!) – profits immeasurably.
Monarchists to the quick, we have thought the Royal Family’s staying power a product of our support, well-padded chairs and the pickling properties of gin.
But might it be the water? Did the Queen Mother last so long because she chose to spruce up her morning livener with a dash of thread? Were it not for water would the Windors be living in Vienna, appearing exclusively in the pages on Hello! and at the Golden Rose of Montreux?
And this is not just any water. The mineral water that rises from a spring on the edge of the Balmoral estate has been tested.
And it is the very elixir of life. The spring water is shown to ease the affects of arthritis (moreover the Queen’s secretary who signs letters on Her behalf and Andrew’s putter polisher) and protects against “fee radicals” and other republicans.
And you can buy it. The paper says the waters are sold to the masses as Deeside Natural Mineral water, under the auspices of Prince Charles’ Duchy Originals brand.
But you might need to buy a lot of it. As reported, the water has been shown to increase the number of “microscopically small passes”, said to be “key” to the nourishment of the outer lawyer of skin.
When bathed in, the water increased this outer skin lawyer by a fifth.
Asses milk sales are sure to plummet as Britain goes bonkers for water.
But we must tread with caution. As the Royal Family shows, the water is good for skin, but you should avoid washing your teeth in it…
Minds buzz with possibilities as we see the picture in the Mirror and read in the Mail that Jodie Kidd, “the model with royal friends”, is facing “extraordinary allegations” that she helped supply cocaine to a businessman interested in backing polo venture.
Jodie Kidd is, as the Mail reports, the face of Marks & Spencer’s credit card.
The model is alleged to have told the businessman that she could attract royals to the business. It is alleged she said: “Prince Harry is very good. I’ll try to speak with Harry about it.”
Mindful of this, we return to the Mirror’s Harry exclusive. And we look closer. And we see that what’s on the end of Harry’s nose is cake.
Might well you gasp. But cake is no street slang for crack cocaine. Cake is a food that many, such as Harry, use to celebrate a birthday.
This is Harry’s 23rd birthday bash. Harry is at the Vine Tree Pub, near Highgrove.
“Hiccy burpday!” says the Mirror.
As the Mail notes, Ms Kidd was once the epitome of “heroin chic”. And was not at Harry’s birthday party…
Pic: The Spine
And we journey with the Sun to the rooms of Fax Hill Primary School in Notting Hill, West London.
A courtier is said to have children at the school. And in the course of their duties, Elizabeth did happen to purchase some raffle tickets.
And now to the draw. And we have a winner.
Sadly, in the best traditions of starry awards do, the winner in unable to attend, such are the pressures of the television schedules and so firth (it’s Kirsty’s Home Videos at 8pm.)
But she has been notified. And the Sun reports that she is now in possession of two bars of soap and a vial of bath oil.
A source at Buckingham Palace says: “This is not the first time the Queen has taken part in raffles… She loves to relax in the bath and I am sure she will be looking forward to getting her hands on the windfall.”
Let’s hope Elizabeth gets it in time for the Duke of York’s visit to Slovenia. Clean hands across the seas, as it were…
There is no mention of Camilla’s battered white Fiat Uno, her tampon with nightsight nor her sharpened, poison-tipped fags.
The Express just watches Camilla go back to her alma mater, Queen’s Gate School in South Kensington. And sees her “hailed a heroine”.
Camilla is said to have spent her school days – she scored one O-Level – on the roof smoking illicit cigarettes.
Says Camilla to the gels: “I used to go back home for weekends. Sometimes I used to not go back on Sunday night and miss the Monday.”
Camilla goes to the science lab and notes that “They’ve got bars on the windows so you can’t get out.”
Camilla is wearing a “Robinson Valentine cornflower blue raw silk suit”.
Camilla is cheered. Camilla is what schoolgirls with any ounce of cool want to be – not quite as dense as Shy Di and able to blow smoke rings…
While the Sun’s researcher looks through the archives, the paper produces a picture of Chelsy Davy and Kate Middleton in such a mode.
The girls are dating Prince Harry and Prince William, respectively and exclusively, and are “in lines to the throne”.
Chelsy is an bandeau dress and in the Mahiki club, London. Kate is in a knitted dress in a trade fair in West London.
The Sun wonders “What’s black and white and red all over”. It supplies no answer, leading readers to guess between a) a penguin in a penguin suit, b) Jonathan Ross’s newspaper column, and c) Michael Jackson.
The Mirror, however, focuses less on the dress and more on Chelsy’s face. This is “Chelsy Dazey” leaving the aforesaid club at 2.30am.
She jumps into a black cap with grey seats and red piping…
“DIANA DEATH,” announces the Express on its cover page. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)
“NOW 6,000 pages of key files vanish from French court.”
We would urge one and all not to panic. There are now in excess of several hundred thousand official files on Princess Diana and no less then nine million unofficial ones.
But the Express is not listening. It has set its mind on recording in triplicate every word ever spoken and written by Diana and about Diana. For fear of ‘losing’ them, each day the paper publishes extracts as a matter of public record. Readers should keep them all in secret place lest something happen to the Express.
And the paper wants to know where the 6,000-page dossier has gone? And it wants its readers to help.
“Is there something fishy going on in the Diana inquiry,” the Express asks in it daily phone poll. Does Jordan sleep on her back?
And readers learn of the disappearance of a “highly-sensitive” dossier. It has “vanished” amid circumstances “mysterious”.
The files contain “every shred of evidence compiled over 18 months during a £6.4million inquiry”.
Says Mohammed Al Fayed: “I have heard reports about this and it gives cause for concern. I await the official response.”
A British lawyer says: “It is scarcely believable that such evidence could be lost just weeks before the inquest.”
Indeed so. But happily the British police have a photocopy of this dossier. And they have their own one, too, known as the Paget Report. This 832-page report was compiled by Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington. It cost £3.69million to produce. It is not as long as the 6,000-page French police report but it might help.
And then there are the back copies of the Express…
Breaking News – As the Mail reports, a French justice official reveals: “We have traced the original file.”
Diana’s “trusted hairdresser” Richard Dalton (“Trusted” runs the legend beneath his picture), a “Scottish bachelor”, remembers the Princess Diana he observed from a unique angle.
It was Richard who teased Diana’s crown and to whom she came clutching pictures of a young Simon Le Bon.
He recalls the time she tilted her head forward. And she cried.
“I remember when one of the Queen’s corgis went up to her room and started to lick her legs,” says Dalton. “She said: ‘What’s the dog doing up here?’ I said: It’s your mother-in-law’s, it just followed me upstairs.’ Diana barked: ‘Get it out of here it’s licking all my tan off.’ She really was such a fun lady.”
With a tan as golden as her hair…
Those hairstyles tomorrow!
We only ask because of the Sun’s front page: “I BURIED DIANA: Pallbearer tells of moment Diana said goodbye.”
Or shouted, more like – those royal coffins are made of pretty thick wood.
But it is we who are being thick. The headline is, of course, suggesting nothing of the sort.
You can understand our confusion, though. We have, after all, spent the past decade reading the Daily Express every day, which means that we have absorbed at least two thousand articles speculating about the true circumstances of the princess’s death.
Today, THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER is at it once more. There on the front page, under the now customary Madeleine McCann story, is the traditional Di murder speculation.
So once again we have the tale of the playboy, his lover, and the Fiat Uno driver. And Jean Claude Mules, the French police officer who ran the initial investigation, reckons the driver dun it.
But the details are neither here nor there. What matters is belief. The crux of the feature lies not in the story itself, which has been lovingly constructed over the flimsy frame of a few quotes.
It lies in a small box headed: “Do you believe that Diana was murdered”
Underneath are phone and text numbers for “Yes” and “No”.
Having reconsidered the Sun’s front page after inhaling deeply of the Express’s noxious fumes, we reckon the answer is probably “yes” – and that undertaker has some serious explaining to do.
In fact, you would definitely be forgiven. And we here at Anorak should know – we read ’em all, so that you don’t have to.
Reading this morning’s papers is like walking into a party full of very boring people all discussing the same very boring subject.
And that subject is Camilla’s decision not to attend the memorial service for Princess Diana.
The consensus is that Camilla has done the decent thing – but only after a certain amount of persuasion.
“Camilla not to join Diana ceremony” reports the Guardian, while The Times records “Camilla’s change of heart about Diana service”.
“Duchess bows to pressure from princess’s friends,” declares the Telegraph.
“CAMILLA PULLS OUT ON QUEEN’S ADVICE,” announces the Mail.
“Hate mail fury forces Camilla out,” claims the Sun.
“ABOUT TIME TOO, MA’AM,” huffs the Mirror.
Only two papers fail to give the duchess a front-page berth.
There’s no room at the Star, what with Man United, Chanelle and Dannii (of whom more later). Meanwhile the Independent, which once boasted that it refused to indulge in stories about royalty, gives an equally sober report on page 14 – three pages after its double-page feature “LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF DIANA.”
The Keys To The Mystery
This leaves the Express, which can usually be found in a corner, muttering darkly about how Diana was murdered. Ah, there it is, with its front page poking out from behind the Racing Post. There’s a picture of Camilla, and the end of a headline: ‘…car keys had the ‘scent of corpse’”. No, surely not. They can’t be suggesting that she…
Indeed not. The fully exposed page reveals all. The portrait of the duchess is accompanied by a small and discreet caption: “Camilla will NOT attend Diana memorial service.”
So what’s all this about car keys? Oh, just a tastefully restrained front-page mention of “new slurs” about Madeleine McCann’s parents. These, the paper complains, are ‘the latest in a long line of lurid and hurtful stories’. All of which, you can rest assured, will be dutifully repeated in “THE WORLD’S GREATEST NEWSPAPER”.
Happy holidays, readers.
Might this child have lived? Could it be that out there in the greater world is a ten-year-old with tight blonde curly hair, a tilting head and a predisposition for candles?
The Express calls the news “sensational”. And such is the sense of shock that the paper challenges its readers to respond to the question: “Do you believe Diana was pregnant when she died?”
We no longer believe, we know. As the papers says, an investigative journalist “formerly of the reputable Paris Match magazine” has uncovered the “explosive proof” that Diana was with child.
This sleuth is one Chris Lafaille. And he writes: “It is near certainty Diana was nine to 10 weeks pregnant at the time she died.”
Near certain? Having eschewed the phone vote, we now pick up the receiver and dial once for “No” and once again for “Yes”. That’s a maybe. But we suspect Diana was pregnant, possibly with twins, so we dial a further three times for “yes”.
And we wait for Lafaille’s book, Diana: the Inquiry They Never Published to reach the bookshops…
“DIANA,” trumpets the headline. “FURY AS HER FUND GIVES MILLIONS TO REFUGEES.”
The Express looks over the books at the Princess Diana Memorial Fund, which is “accused of wasting” £10million to promote the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.
For shame! Diana was the People’s Princess but only for her people. If asylum seekers want help they should get their own princess, like one of the Cheeky Girls. Come over her, take our Princess…
The Express wants it readers with access to a phone and the ability to dial unaided to vote “no” or “yes” to the question” “Should cash from the Diana fund go to asylum seekers?”
Many will be too shocked and saddened to move. And instead read on and learn that the Fund, which has £30million at its disposal, wants to finance schemes to give education, housing and healthcare to asylum seekers.
Plans for a Statue of Diana at Calais ferry port are, for now, misplaced. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” says Diana, the Colossus. “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door. Harvey Nics sale now on! Come one, come all.”
Alan Berry, founder of the Dian Appreciation Society, says: “Everyone knows Diana was interested in the issue of landmines, not asylum seekers.”
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, says: “Most asylum seekers turn out to be bogus.”
But all of them turn out to be friends of Diana…
With her Majesty unavailable or unwilling to comment, the Express asks its readers for direction. “Should flags fly at half-mast for Diana?” (Calls cost 25p a minute plus network operator rates.)
One wonders how any flag can make it even that high up the pole. We suggest all flags are placed in a box, along with the laughter and the joy, and buried at sea.
But in case any Express readers are undecided, the paper offers the gentle prod: “’The flag should be flown at half-mast for Diana…that is what Britain wants.’”
By Britain, the Express means you. This is what you want. No need to phone in now. Save your money. The Express knows already.
It is ten years since Diana ascended to the Sixth Floor of Harvey Nichols and the Express has never flagged in its support for her.
It will lower the flag on its Blackfriars HQ. But the Queen will not do the same. And Diana’s friends are aghast and incandescent with rage.
Simmone Simmons says: “I can’t believe it after everything that has gone on.”
Margaret Funnell, a founding member of the Diana Circle, says: “It’s despicable!…I shall certainly be writing to Gordon Brown to complain.”
And the prime minister is a player in this act. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport decrees that flags should only be flown at half-mast on the day or day after the death of a member of the Royal Family or a major disaster.”
A Palace spokeswoman agrees. A spokesperson for the DCMS says the Queen can override the rules.
We suggest a compromise and the flag is flown at three-quarters height or maybe four-fifths.
But Diana’s brother Earl Spencer is unimpressed. It’s half-mast or nothing. He will flutter the flag at half-mast over the family’s ancestral seat at Althorp in Northamptonshire.
It’s a similar scene over at Harrod’s where Mohammed Al Fayed will fly the flag at half-mast.
Touching stuff. And we wonder if Fayed and Spencer would care to team up and produce a commemorative Diana Flag that only goes half-way up the pole?
Retailing at £9.99, Diana enthusiasts can attach the heart-shaped flag to their car windows, ears and tiaras and cheer Diana on.
It’s just what the country needs to keep going…
Because the story is interned on Page 9, we have time to speculate on what this insult could be. Diana was a fun person, so let’s have some sport with it. It’s what she would have wanted.
Is the biggest insult?
a) Princess Diana – The Concert 2. Jerry Sadowitz tells a joke about Diana putting her hair in a bun and her **** in a toaster
b) The Princess Diana Stair Bungee- “have fun as you plummet down the Royal flight again and again and again”
c) Paul Burrell
The answer is… The biggest insult is that the Duchess Of Cornwall is to attend the memorial service for Princess Diana. Prince Charles has ordered it and so it must be.
The Diana: A Decade Of Death season will arrive at the Guards Chapel at Wellington Barracks in Birdcage Walk, London, on August 31.
Yes, this is the venue where Camilla married her first husband Andrew Parker Bowles.
Emotions will be running high as memories are triggered. The Express says Camilla risks being “Public Enemy Number One”. She will be seen by some as a “hypocrite”.
“Is Camilla insulting the memory of Diana?” asks the Express. Readers are invited to respond “YES” or “NO” via two phone numbers.
If Diana’s dignity is to be maintained, the Express will rise to the challenge. And it will rise alone…
Vote now and vote often…
For those of you who missed it – this is how to praise Diana:
For this bulletin on the life and afterlife of Diana, the Princess of Hearts wears gold hooped earrings and her blonde hair in a light curl.
“Film of Diana’s last days on love boat ‘is a travesty’,” says another headline.
This development stems on the television show Diana: Last Days Of A Princess. In light of yesterday’s news that ITV was caught faking the advertised death of Malcolm Pointon, 66, a victim of Alzheimer’s, we wonder if Diana is not dead, merely the unwilling victim of a cynical marketing ploy by TV executives.
Sure, the funeral of the celebrity princess was good box office, but this news is something else. The Express tunes into the show and hears it alleged that Diana colluded with the Press to create that picture of her in a clinch with Dodi Fayed.
Diana was in St Tropez. The Express recalls the moment and that Diana was wearing a black and white swimsuit. She stayed a while on the Fayed’s yacht. And sat in the Fayed speedboat.
Diana did not help with the making of this docudrama, nor Dodi. But actors Genevieve O’Reilly and Patrick Baladi did pretend to be real people in the throes of mad passionate love.
For those of you who have not seen the show, the Operation Paget Report made flesh and gems, the drama is interlaced with contributions from nodding heads, including Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed (“The sanctuary [Diana] found with my family was a tremendous comfort to her”).
The real and the unreal are merged. This was ever so in television. How can it ever be different? Would the audience looking for entertainment stand for the truth, with words left un-adapted to fit the narrative?
But Mohamed al Fayed is unimpressed. “Suggestions that she was simply acting for the Press are clearly untrue,” says he. “Also grotesque was the actor chosen to play me. It is racial caricaturing – and that is insulting. So the producers think that all Egyptians resemble gorillas.”
The answer may be for Fayed to produce his own real version of those events. In his docudrama Princess Diana: She was Fuggin’ Murdered I Tells You, George Clooney could reprise the role of the Fayed patriarch, Matt Damon is his son Dodi, a young Grace Kelly plays Diana and The Royal Family are brought to life by various surviving members of the Third Reich…
It not often a comic’s brave enough to keep going right through the interval. One thinks of Ken Dodd, who should be concluding his Bournemouth Pavilion show of summer 2005 any month now.
But while Gervais talks, and the crowd close their eyes and connect with Princess Diana, the Sun journeys back stage to see Prince William getting cosy with Kate Middelton.
Bathed in candlelight, washed over by the crowd’s love, Wills and Kates share a table and a drink.
Romance indeed. And as the Mirror notes: “Wills relights love groping her boobs on dancefloor.”
Delightful stuff as to the strains of “R ‘n’ B grooves” Wills grabs a handful of his lover’s chest.
Who knew that William’s trip to Bournemouth’s Elements club where he met Ana Ferreira was part of a plan to sharpen his technique?
William is talking with Joss Stone. “He’s ignoring me!” hisses Kate to a pal. She moves to the dancefloor, “showing off her toned figure in a clingy white lace minidress”. A man appears to get a “little too familiar” and is dragged away by bodyguards.
“Suddenly a sweat-drenched Wills made his move.” No, not the Viennese Waltz or wedding dance bodypop more the “Coo-ee, Over Here!”, as “waving one hand in the air, jumping up and down to the pounding music, the future King grabbed Kate and planted a smacker on her lips.”
Says one onlooker: “He was holding her close from behind and cheekily cupped her breasts. It was pretty X-rated stuff.”
They then drank Mojito cocktails and “kissed passionately”.
But no photos of the grope or the dance because the tabloid press and the paparazzi that Earl Spencer said had “hunted” his sister to her death were doing as William and Harry had asked and focusing on their mother.
Outside, Ricky Gervais was showing Earl Spencer that giving funeral speeches is not all that simple. Unlike the clocks, he doesn’t know when to stop…