Royal Family Category
The Royal Family, the House of Windsor, in the news and on a horse
We would speculate on the identity of this mystery caller, and wonder what Prince Charles was up to the on the day in question and if this was a desperate bid to reconcile with Diana.
Reading on we learn that Jean Paul, father to Henri Paul, says he can shed light on the “missing” 8 1/2 minutes, when his boy was incommunicado.
“Henri has someone ejected because they were not behaving. This was not a customer. He was a curieux (nosy parker). It was Henri’s job to have him ejected.”
It was a man… Someone interested in looking within the hotel… Someone who took up to eight-and-a-half minutes of Henri’s time…
Says Mr Paul in the Star: “In my heart there is a flame of hope that, one day, the truth will come out. And it could spell the ruination of Great Britain.”
Tough words. But too late. We commend to Mr Paul’s attention the Daily Mail and the death of Diana and would have him know that Britain is already ruined.
(Whether the Frenchman’s prediction was uttered before the weekend’s rugby semi-final is uncertain and cloaked in mystery.)
For those of you who didn’t catch his reaction to that kick and that England rugby win in that city, the Mirror leads with a shot of Prince Harry punching the air with delight.
“WE DID IT!” says the Mirror. “Harry and pals go wild.”
“GET STUCK IN,” says the caption above the picture of Harry as he “urges the team on”.
“HAIR WE GO”, says another shot, as Harry has his hair ruffled by another Englander in official kit.
There’s Harry in the Express. Four pictures of Harry in the Telegraph, showing the young hero’s movements from pain, through to despondency to elation.
“ROYAL MASCOT,” says the Sun, a little cruelly. Harry might not be the biggest, but “’Lucky’ Harry will cheer us to sweet revenge on Boks”.
“Harry, 23, will be at the Paris final hoping for a repeat of four years ago, when he famously roared on our winners in Australia…”
“I haven’t been so excited since Sydney 2003,” says Harry, with no hint of a dig at girlfriend Chelsy Davy.
“Happy as Harry,” says the Mail. And we all give good heart and full throat to our hero, Prince Harry – a Jonny Wilkinson among men…
But before it is your turn to speak, the Sun hears from Dr Hasnat Khan. He had a two-year affair with Diana. It ended only three months before her death in 1997. The Sun says the couple “shared nights of passion at his bachelor flat in Chelsea and inside Kensington Palace”.
He is “Princess Diana’s heart surgeon lover” and yesterday he “broke his ten-year silence”.
He’s been silent for a decade? One images, struck dumb by so much pain. Says he: “I am not a legal man so I don’t know a lot about these things, but I was surprised that nobody called me. I would have attended if I had been asked.”
So he wants to speak. He does not need permission. Ours is a free nation, a bastion of free speech. Speak out. Give full throat to your news.
Says he: “We’ve all moved on.”
She was pregnant by you?
“The whole matter has been unfortunate and tragic for many people who were involved.”
She was going to finish with Dodi and marry you?
“I want to get away from all of this.”
We hear you. ‘Nuff said.
More to follow…
DAILY MAIL front page: “Diana: more new pictures of that final journey”
Pages 8 and 9: “Jury see Diana’s final moments”
The jury see paparazzi pictures of the Princess as she lay dying. The Mail produces police mugshots of the paparazzi at the scene. This is the Mail’s “ROGUES’ GALLERY”
Missing is a shot of snapper going by the name of Romuald Rat. Really
The pictures are “grim”. But are they useful in showing what happened to Diana?
David Laurent is in Paris with his family. He sees a “light-coloured” car “possibly a Fiat Uno” driving “extremely slowly” into the Alma tunnel
THE SUN pages 8 and 9: “INQUEST SEES HORRO PHOTOS. Diana lay dying, but they still took snaps”
Readers get to see some of the pictures taken by paps. Not the grim ones. Just important shots of Diana in a car, Diana seeming to “hide” from camera flashes, Diana leaving the hotel
DAILY MIRROR front page: “DIANA – Jury see her dying”
Pages 8 and 9: “DIANA DYING..but paprazzi took graphic shots rather than help save her and Dodi”
The pictures are “graphic”. The jurors looking at them are “stunned”. The pictures are “disturbing”. The Mirror does not show them. Instead it puts them into words. Diana is “crumbled”. She is “slumped on the floor with horrific injuries”. “Diana‘s distinctive blonde hair” makes her “easily recognisable”
“In another shot her white trouser leg is sticking up and backwards and dangling out of the back of the car”
DAILY EXPRESS front page: “Shocked jurors see photographs of dying Diana”
Page 5: “Jury sees paparazzi shots of Diana as she lay dying” – The images are “too horrific to be released”
Says Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker: “Although ordinarily everything that the jury hears and sees will go almost immediately ton the inquest website, these photographs will not go on the website for the reason that it is possible for photographs that have been pixilated to be unpixilated if they get into the wrong hands”
In one picture Diana “tried to shied her eyes with her hand”. The Express shows it. The shot was taken by Jacques Langevin, one of the Mail s “ROGUES”
DAILY STAR page 15: “JURY SEE HORROR PICS OF DYING DI”
THE GUARDIAN page 19: “Diana inquest jury sees paparazzi photographs of tunnel crash scene – Witnesses recall squealing tyres and crashing metal”
THE TIMES page 29: “Photographs of dying Princess shown to jury”
The pictures are “distressing”
Michael Mansfield, QC, representing Mohamed al Fayed, says to Inspector John Carpenter, of the Met Police: “It is perfectly clear from the photographs the jury has been through that the paparazzi who were present at the scene of the crash had no compunction about taking photographs of the victims both inside the car and being carried outside the car”
Carpenter replies: “None whatsoever”
Had she lived… Had Dodi lived… What price those pictures?
THE INDEPENDENT page 16: “Diana jury shown paparazzi photos”
DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “Diana jury sees her dying moment”
Pages 14 and 15: “Jury is shown pictures of Diana’s final trip and paparazzi photos of her dying” – here’s a shot of Diana holding up her hands to avoid “the prying camera”; here’s a shot of Diana leaving the service entrance of the Ritz hotel; here’s a picture of Diana taken through her car window…
In the Express, Antonio Lopes-Borges has yet to right a book about his experiences. But even more sensationally Lopes-Borges, one of the first witnesses at the crash scene, says he saw people milling around the entrance to the Alma tunnel, Paris.
“I was quite shocked to see pedestrians because normally there are just cars in the tunnel. It amazed me.”
He goes on: “There was the first car and there was a guy, who looked like an Egyptian, and he told us, can you please go back because there is going to be an explosion.”
What’s this? Might it be that rather then the British Establishment not wanting a Muslim in their midst, as Mohamed al Fayed attests, it was the Egyptians who frowned upon Christian Diana?
Says Lopes-Borges: “As we had already had terrorist attacks in Paris, I thought it could be a terrorist attack and I believe we could have an explosion there.”
In the Mirror, readers learn “it looked like terror attack”. So too in the Star, which links terrorism with the death of Diana.
It is all too marvellous. We wonder at the truth of it, and how terrorists don’t forget their manners even in the white heat of annihilation . As we say in the UK: “It’s a bombshell!”
And as they say in Paris: “May I please blow you up, sir”…
ANOTHER peek within What’s In The Queen’s Handbag: And Other Royal Secrets, a tome by writers and rummagers Phil Dampier and Ashley Walton.
And a recollection from a royal lackey on Paul Burrell, aka The Rock.
As the Express notes, the source is talking of Chipper, one of Her Majesty’s protective Ring of Corgis.
“Chipper had an extraordinary reaction to the sound of zips being undone and done up. To keep us amused Paul would keep unzipping his flies, which would sometimes send the corgis mad. Sometimes we would all join in, making the poor things delirious.”
As we know, Prince Charles does not operate his own flies. Beyond that we would not wish to comment and invite you to paint your own tableau…
“WHAT’S in the Queen’s handbag?” asks the Express. She has no need of a passport, cash nor credit cards. “Yet her bag is far from empty. One item she is never without is an S-shaped metal meat hook.” Also within the bag are “miniature dogs, horses, saddles and horsewhips”. For a quick getaway…
Before we enter the “room where Diana and Dodi had last embrace”, we and the jurors must pass beneath the sign that says this is the Ritz Hotel, Paris.
We are “swept through the big revolving doors so familiar from the CCTV footage of Diana and Dodi’s last hours”.
The 11 good men and women true walk across carpets “so soft they could have been traipsing in marshmallow”. Or warm syrup.
The jurors peer into the Restaurant Vendome, “where expensive lunchers would later gather, murmuring together and sipping from glasses that sparkled like diamonds”.
The jurors walk up the stairs to a small foyer. Jurors may have taken the chance to flick back their hair in memory of Diana, or else throw their heads back and laugh long and loud.
But soon they reach the Room 101. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world. It is the Ministry of Love, which serves as The imperial Suite.
And then we are within. And it is splendid, a vision of gold and brown marble and more gold and more brown marble.
The bed covers are of an exclusive pattern, seemingly cut from the same cloth as the hotel’s owner Mohamed al Fayed’s shirts.
And we wonder if anyone else has put head on pillow since Diana and Dodi were here? Is this room left just as it was after they had departed and the chamber maids arrived to tidy up after that last embrace?
Will a press on the suite’s bedside telephone trigger the last number dialled by Diana to be recalled? And will the Harvey Nic’s getaway department answer?
As the Sun’s front page announces: “JUST AS DIANA JURY ARRIVES IN PARIS…POSH PUTS ON THE RITZ.”
It takes a special kind of talent to gatecrash a funeral, but then Diana’s passing has taken ten years and there was every chance unexpected guests would arrive to steal the show.
So here is Victoria Beckham wearing a feathery red dress. The Sun gives readers “An Eiffel of Posh”, as La Beckham “unwittingly strolled through a makeshift ‘courtroom’ set up fro the inquest into Diana’s death”.
“It was amazing,” says an onlooker. “She was the last person you expected to see.”
For sure. But there is a neat symmetry in the inquest into one celebrity princess being upstaged by the arrival of another.
And then there is Victoria’s own personal tragedy as her father-in-law Ted recovers from a heart attack. “It was greatly appreciated,” says Posh in the Mirror in reference to the overwhelming support, the flowers and the minute’s silence. “The clothes I’m wearing are incredible.”
This is the Mail’s front page “Posh’s walk-on part at the Diana inquest”.
And as she drives off, we wish her bon voyage and god speed…
The jurors in the Diana Inquest get to feel just what it is to be Diana. Blonde wigs atop heads. Shoes on. Official Harvey Nics carrier bags gripped tightly (each containing a free leopard-print swimsuit). They are aboard the bus. Paparazzi await outside the Ritz hotel. A blonde, horsy woman sits in a battered white Fiat Uno. It’s ready.
Sky News looks on as the bus strikes a police motorcycle. Then it hits “a small pillar, bursting a tyre and sending a resounding bang around the elegant square. The vehicle’s wheel trim shot off and a large gash could be seen in the tyre.”
And then the princess appears.
As Sky reports: “As they were waiting to pull off, someone who looked distinctly like Victoria Beckham was seen leaving The Ritz.”
Can it be her? And should she get into that waiting Mercedes..?
The princess was on her way to Wrexham. BBC dispatches inform us that she was to perform the “official opening of a kitchen and bar equipment company which moved its headquarters to Wrexham Industrial Estate last year”.
And while our inclination is to applaud Anne’s commitment to the Welsh catering industry, we demand the truth.
Why was Anne onboard that helicopter? Was the pilot drunk, depressed or French? Is Anne pregnant?
Or was it an assisination attempt, part of a ruthless plot to rid us and the Church of England of godless divocees?
“A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said the fire service was called as a precaution.”
Did she plan to fly over Prince Charles’ Islamic Garden? We demand an inquest.
“DIANA,” announces the Express. “Armed police guard jury on crash route.” And not just any police, but “gun guards” and “200 riot police”.
But there is trouble. The Express says two “key witnesses” have refused to give evidence at the Diana inquest. And this raises “fears that the truth about Princess Diana’s death may never be uncovered”.
Any whiff of doubt at the end of this six-month hearing will not escape the fearless Express, which takes investigative reporting to new heights. It will go on and on until we all are in agreement, from the man on the grassy knoll to the woman who shouts at pigeons in the precinct. If all of us do not agree, how can anything be true?
Jacques Langevin will not testify. He took “the last picture” of Diana outside the Ritz. French taxi driver Le Van Thanh has also declined. The Express says many believe him to be drive of the battered white Fiat Uno that may have collided with Diana’s car. He is pictured leaning on red Fiat Uno.
It follows that “vital testimony” will be missing. It’s a “severe blow to the credibility of the inquest”.
And what of the US secret service files on Diana? The Mail says Mohamed al Fayed wants these passed on to the inquest. What do they show. Anything? Nothing?
But there is some news. The Mirror has unearthed a “secret witness”. She is Rebecca Murell. She saw Diana and Dodi visit Al Fayed’s villa outside Paris on the afternoon before the couple died.
“I am convinced there was something sinister going on, to the point where I doubt if even my own husband was telling the truth.”
Murrell’s husband was one Dodi’s bodyguards.
“Amazingly,” says the Mirror, Rebecca was never interviewed for Lord Stevens’ probe?
How many others have not been called? Have you? Did you see Diana?
IT’S day five of the Princess Diana car crash inquest, or, as the Express puts it, 3698 AD. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)
And the paper’s headline is adamant: “BODYGUARD: DRIVER WAS TO BLAME FOR THE DIANA CRASH.”
Trevor Rees is talking with ABC News breakfast show Good Morning America. Says he: “The accident happened because Henri Paul was taking alcohol and was driving the vehicle. That’s why the accident happened.”
The case rests, yer honour.
But what of the reaction to it? For that we go over to the Mohamed Al Fayed camp.
A spokeswoman for the Harrods tycoon tells us: “We are now in a legal process, and any discussion of the evidence by a potential witness should be handed over to the coroner.”
No small shock there. Usually we would expect to hear al Fayed calling Prince Philip names and, dressed in trademark vomit-and-cuffs shirts, demanding that Her Majesty the Queen be placed in the witness box, and open this winter’s Harrods sale (see press for details).
But, as we say, the case is closed. Rees, the sole survivor from the crash, says Paul was drunk. Paul was speeding. Diana was not wearing a seatbelt. Crash. She died.
So let us hear more of Rees, who cracked the mystery. But where is he? What have they done with him? As the Mirror reports, he has gone to Iraq.
Mirror readers learn that Iraq is “war-torn” and very possibly “dangerous”. Has Rees been smuggled there to be offed?
No. As reported: “But Rees – horrifically injured in the Paris crash that killed Diana, Dodi Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul – is so desperate to avoid reliving the tragedy he is happy to take risk his life.”
Rees has taken a job as a security expect. (Lesson 1: wear your seatbelt.)
As for other facts, the Mirror notes that Mr Rees drives a silver Saab, his wife Ann is “a slim, attractive brunette”. She drives a BMW. Their £500,000 home has a gravel driveway.
In light of the ongoing Princess Diana Inquest, we do not wish to comment on the matter, only to say that Her Majesty reserves the right to remain silent and retains a fully armed and operational Household Cavalry.
Reading on, though, we discover that the story is not related to Diana (may she never rest) but BBC1 controller Peter Fincham, who has resigned in the wake of the controversy over a trailer for a documentary about The Queen.
It was Fincham who told journalists that the trailer for BBC TV’s A Year With The Queen showed the monarch “walking out in a huff”.
This proved to be less than totally true. The pictures were of the Queen walking in and not out of photoshoot with celebrity snapper Annie Leibovitz
There followed a three-month inquiry by Will Wyatt, a former senior BBC executive. He noted “misjudgments, poor practice and ineffective systems”, with BBC employees described as “naive” although nobody “consciously set out to defame or misrepresent the Queen”.
As to whether the Queen was in a huff when she walked in for her celebrity makeover, we dare not say…
Remove your Baseball Cap, play the last note of Return of the Living Acid and raise your half coconut shells of flaming amaretto.
Harry is laid our before a Union Jack with his head resting on the Bible and a gun in his holster. A vulture sits by his feet.
But this not the work of the Taliban or a rogue cocktail, rather artist Daniel Edwards.
It’s “sick” says “angry mum” Carole Jones whose son served and died in Iraq. It is a “disservice” to the armed forces, says Robert Lee, of the Royals British Legion.
“DEAD HARRY” (Mirror) has sparked the sound of “fury”. But Harry will not hear it because in a “chilling” reference to the threats by insurgents to send him home without them, his ears are to be removed.
Says Edwards: “I don’t think it would be any more distressing than the month he spent not knowing what would happen, if deployed. It recognises that he is willing to put on the line…his life for his country.”
Perhaps so. But we say leave the ears where Chelsy can grab them and get rid of the gun. And re-label the work “Harry: Looking Up At The Stars – Boujis Pavement 2006”.
A life study…
DAILY EXPRESS front page: “Fingers entwined, the last tender moments of Diana and Dodi”
Pages 2 and 3: “Intimacy that proves Diana was in love” – These are the “most intimate images ever seen of Diana”. They are more intimate than the images of her on a TV interview; more intimate than her photo sessions with Mario Testino; more intimate than the shots of her in a bikini…
Eight pictures of Diana and Dodi in a lift and reaching the ground floor
Page 4: “Were paparazzi given a tip-off by Henri Paul?” It is “suggested” that the driver told the snappers where to find Diana. It is a “dramatic twist”
DAILY MAIL front page: “Why did driver disappear hours before Diana died? MYSTERY OF THE MISSING EIGHT MINUTES”
Where did Henri Paul go for 8 ½ minutes? Blanket CCTV coverage of the Ritz Paris and no sign of him. Which begs the question: are their cameras in the toilet and the CCTV surveillance room?
Pages 2 and 3: “From chauffeur’s arrival to the moment Diana and Dodi made their break, the last night caught on CCTV” – There are 14 pictures of Diana and Dodi in a service lift and in the service area
Page 4: “Four key questions over the mysterious Mr Paul” – “Was he being the consummate professional” talking to paparazzi? “Or was it part of the murder conspiracy?”
Pages 6 and 7: “HENRI THE RAT. Sneaky signal to paparazzi”
Did Paul tip-off paparazzi that Diana was about to emerge? He waves to three snappers. He has 12,565 French Francs in his pocket
There are five pictures of Diana:
“THE CUDDLE” – Dodi outs his arm around Diana’s waist
“THE BRIEFING” – Paul says how they will leave the hotel
“THE SALUTE” – Diana raises an arm after Paul has ended his talk
“THE TIP-OFF” – Paul waves to paparazzi
“THE CROWD” – A crowd
And not forgetting:
“THE SWIMSUIT” – See past pictures of Diana
Page 27: “Let the lady lie” – Paul Routledge says the inquest is a “waste of time and money. Their time, your money”
Al Fayed is an “old man exploiting the justice system to pursue a personal fantasy”
THE SUN front page: “Di and Dodi’s tender hug”
Pages 4 and 5: “Did Paul get cash for Diana tip-offs? HE HAD £1,200 IN POCKET”
DAILY STAR front page: “Diana and Dodi’s last tragic kiss” – the Star is judgemental
Pages 6 and 7: “DI DRIVER’S SIGNAL TO PAPARAZZI”
“The final embrace” – “The setting is not romantic – it was the rear service entrance of the hotel – but their body language oozes pure chemistry”
THE TIMES page 16: “Mick Hume looks at “Diana’s death – the lizard theory”
Conspiracy theorists and the celebrity princess’s ten-year-old drink-driving accident. It is a “morbid melodrama”
Pages 26 and 27: “Touching intimacy as Diana waits to dodge paparazzi on her last ride”
Diana “inclines her blonde hair to the left; Dodi, nuzzling up to her, grasps her left hand folded round her back and occasionally strokes the base of her spine”
Mick Hume is right. But no worry. After all, tomorrow is another day!
THE INDEPENDENT pages 6 and 7: “CCTV footage suggests Henri Paul tipped off paparazzi about Diana’s movements”
DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “The last embrace: jury shown CCTV footage of Diana and Dodi”
Pages 8 and 9: “Laughter and a touching embrace before Diana and Dodi leave on their last journey”
Diana “giggled” and put her hand up to her face while he broke into a smile
THE GUARDIAN no Diana death news
DAILY EXPRESS front page: “DIANA: THE TRUTH:
She was on the Pill inquest is told
Death crash driver was NOT drunk
Dodi HAD bought engagement ring”
That Diana was on the contraceptive Pill is “sensational”
Pages 2 and 3: “Diana’s love affair with Dodi” – Dodi has bought a ring from a range of trinkets called Dis-Moi Oui or It’s Not A Crown But It’s All I Could Afford
Lord Justice Scott Baker bites it, rubs it on his head and reveals: “It is made of gold and has number of diamonds forming the shape of a star.” Look out for one like this – The DiDo – at the Franklin Mint and Argos
The jury is “hushed”. It sees footage of “a young woman initially at ease with the world and enjoying the luxuries of time in the company of a multi-millionaire in one of the world’s greatest hotels”
Jurors are drawn towards a picture of Diana in a swimsuit. Is she pregnant? And is the suit still available from all good shops?
Pages 4 and 5: “’No evidence to suggest Henri Paul was drunk”
“MI6 HAD AGENTS IN PARIS” – Good to keep an eye on the French, n’est pas?
DAILY MIRROR front page: “Less then twelve hours before she died, a smiling Diana is captured unaware on CCTV with lover Dodi
“Another extraordinary new image revealed to her inquest yesterday – THE HAPPY PRINCESS”
Diana is in a lift. The lift has mirrors. Dodi Fayed is in the lift. Diana is smiling. It is an “historic picture”
Pages 4 and 5: “Not a care in the world” – But didn’t she think dark forces were out to kill her?
Pages 6 and 7: “PRINCESS WAS ON THE PILL” – Coroner knocks down pregnancy claim
“Bodyguard: Mr al Fayed is obsessed” – Trevor Rees survived the crash. He says he knows “exactly” what happened. He worked for Fayed. He quit in 1998. Says the coroner: “He felt Mr Fayed was obsessed with the idea of Diana and Dodi were murdered, and was trying to pressure him into agreeing with that”
THE SUN front page: “DIANA MORE UNSEEN PICTURES.” Diana is in a lift. The lift has mirrors. Dodi Fayed is in the lift. “HER LAST SMILE”. But it might not have been
Pages 4 and 5: “BABY? DI WAS ON PILL”
Readers see a picture of Diana in that swimsuit. Is she carrying excess weight? Can we handle such a shock?
Pages 6 and 7: “RIDDLE OF THE RING” – Two road of thought are meeting. Was Dodi about to ask for Diana’s hand? Sophic minds wonder. Which animal has one ring, but two, three or four handmade shoes, being favoured on three?”
Martin Philips is in court 73. In “Horror of watching last hours tick away” he experiences a “hushed” court as pictures of Diana are shown on the big screen. It is “more gripping than any suspense thriller”. Diana is seen “from beyond the grave”. There is a “sense of doom”.
Can the tape please be played backwards to give us all happy ending? Fate dictates otherwise. The footage is “haunting”
DAILY MAIL front page: “Inquest hears about Diana on the Pill, Dodi and a diamond ring and a mystery about their driver as intriguing new pictures pose the question…WHAT DID HER SMILE SIGNIFY?”
Readers see a picture of Diana. She is in a lift. The lift has mirrors. Dodi is in the lift. Diana is smiling.
Is she smiling because:
a) She is pregnant
b) She is not pregnant
c) Dodi is a doing his impression of John Inman in Are You being Served?
Pages 2 and 3: “Riddle of the ring in last hours at the Ritz” – It’s complex
Pages 4 and 5: “Pregnant? She was on the Pill – Coroner demolishes al Fayed’s baby claim”
“THE SURVIVOR WITH NO MEMORY – Trevor Rees-Jones, the sold survivor, says he has virtually no recollection of the crash”
DAILY STAR front page: “DIANA – Pics show that it was love”
Pages 6 and 7: Diana is in a lift. The lift has mirrors. Dodi Fayed in the lift. Diana is smiling
“DUKE’S ‘HATE MAIL’ STOLEN – “Damning letters from Prince Philip to Princess Diana could have been stolen”
THE INDEPENDENT page 9: “MI6 men were in Paris when Diana died” – British spooks in Paris… How can this be?
THE TIMES front page: “Diana – unseen pictures, unproven theories”
Diana is in a lift. The lift has mirrors. Dodi Fayed is in the lift. Diana is smiling. What does it mean?
Pages 22 and 23: “Diana ‘was on pill’ when she died – so how could she be pregnant?”
Well, the Pill is not 100 per cent safe. And we wonder if Diana was using the rhythm method or Dodi had invested in some Dis-Moi Oui condoms. More questions…
Pages 24: “Conspiracy theorists on red alert over ‘bias’ coroner” – Yesterday Michael Cole, Al Fayed’s spokesman, introduces one and all to bias, “whether intended or not”
THE GUARDIAN front page: “Diana’s last days. CCTV of the princess’s time in Paris was revealed as her inquest focused in whether she was pregnant”
Page 5: “Diana was on pill at time of death, inquest told”. Says the coroner: “No indication was given to her doctor, family or friends of pregnancy”
DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “DIANA CCTV REVEALS HER FINAL HOURS”
Pages 2 and 3: “Haunting images of a joyful Diana hours from tragedy” – Diana in on the stairs. Diana is in the lobby. Diana is in a lift. The lift has mirrors. Dodi Fayed is in the lift. Diana is smiling.
Such images will be “crucial in helping the jury to form a picture of how events unfolded that night”
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…