Royal Family Category
The Royal Family, the House of Windsor, in the news and on a horse
Can it be that the campaign to make the Royal Family seem normal involves one of their number blackmailing a person or persons in order to gain sex and drugs?
They sit at the football; they embrace celebrity; they might be sent to the front line. The royals insist they move with the times. They are just like the rest of us. They make home movies. They turn to crime.
But our fears are ungrounded. It is the royal who is the alleged victim. It is they who called in police after allegedly being approached by two men back in August. The alleged felons demanded £50,000 not to publicise a video which they claimed showed the Royal engaged in a sex act.
The Mail informs us: “It is alleged he then said that he had a videotape showing an aide giving someone – who he suggested was the Royal – oral sex.”
Indeed, dear reader. Might it be that this sex tape is not such bad news; it enables the royals to move a step closer to solving the paradox – they rule by divine right but are just like the rest of us.
Broadcast and be damned. And if it is shaped like a unicorn, so much the better…
Inside and it’s the: “Riddle of the tall and elegant man.”
Jacques Morel is addressing the inquest. Yesterday we learnt that Morel had once seen a moustachioed, burly man wearing cowboy boots. Today Morel sees a “tall, elegant man”.
Morel sees more men than Princess Diana ever did.
“The people have to know the truth,” says Morel. “The real truth. People have the right to know and the children of Princess Diana have the right to know.” All five of them. (Read about that in my new book Diana On Althorp Island.)
Morel speaks, and makes ready to write his book. And the Mail sees a Damien Dalby take the stand. He says Diana was trying to speak. “Why didn’t they ask Evans,” she mumbles.”
No, not really. Or maybe… For now, we hear that as Diana lay broken in the car she uttered: “Oh my God, oh my God.”
These are Diana’s “last words as she lay dying in wreckage of her car”.
Sober. But can it be? And will it be allowed to be? What of a better last line, such as “Am I dying or is this my birthday?”, “I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace”, and “Don’t let poor Nelly starve”?
If there is to be an official last utterance, make it a memorable one, something proud and more poignant than the noise made by Rachel from Friends gasping at a stain on her pencil skirt.
Suggestions for fitting last lines, if you please…
“DI COWBOY PLOT,” says the Sun’s headline.
Jacques Morel is addressing the High Court. (Wait your turn; they’ll get to you.)
Morel is a music writer. He has yet to pen a tune about Diana, but let us not rule it out. For now he plans only a book. The Princess inspires each of us in different ways, some write books, some write police reports, some write Daily Express headlines.
For an idea what shape the libretto ‘One Saint In Three Acts’ may take, Mr Morel describes seeing a man stood some place unspecified wearing cowboy boots. On his feet. The man is “about 30, solid build, with a moustache… a bit like a beer drinker in Ireland.”
Mr Morel distinctly recalls this man because he stood on his boots. We have not visited many Irish clubs and pubs and cannot say for certain if the foot stand is an approved move, a summons to gentlemanly action in the conveniences. Mr Morel’s view of the typical Irishman has perhaps been shaped news of Dublin’s Rainbow Café Lounge, Pogue Mahone Saunal” and the Up For The Craic cabaret show.
Mr Morel is French…
No rush, you might suppose. We’ve had ten years to catch up with events on that fate-filled night in Paris. Another decade won’t matter. We need to gather all the evidence. Hear all views. We need to be certain.
And on the Express: “Diana inquest hears sensational evidence.” Diana is not smiling today. Her teeth are bared and she wears generous pearl earrings with matching choker. As Anorak readers know, Diana’s expression is changeable, a barometer that reflects the Express’s news within.
Inside, Diana is smiling once more. Says the paper: “Photographer at Diana crash yelled to partner ‘She’s dead, hurry up’.”
Yannick Chenna is a motorist at the scene. He sees he saw photographer Romauld Rat get off a mortobike and open the car door. Rat runs to his partner and offers the command “She’s is dead, hurry up.
American tourist Brian Anderson is now talking. He sees a “significant flash of light”.
But it fades too quickly. And we continue to look for the truth…
Pic: The Spine – Click the picture for the full, er, picture
“WE have had this so many times before,” says Richard Westwood-Brookes, the auctioneer. “Unfortunately we seem to be in a culture these days when somebody somewhere has always got to find whatever you do as offensive or bad timing.”
It is Day 13 of the Princess Diana Inquest and news is that a Spitting Image puppet of Diana Of The Immaculate Appearance is to go under the hammer.
The Times has resisted all urges to place the puppet at the scene of the fatal crash, although it does, as ever, show the mangled remains of Diana’s car.
In London, a new witness is taking the stand. He is Grigori Rassinier, a French motorist who had been travelling the other way when Diana’s car crashed.
More testimony from Sarah Culpepper, a holidaying Briton, and from Amel Samel, a motorist. There is smoke. A bang. Death. The truth seems all too clear.
And then in the Express, there is a “Mystery man spotted in death tunnel”. Front-page news. It is the “Riddle of motorbike that dodged Diana’s crash in tunnel”.
Rassinier sees this bike swerve to avoid the crash. The driver was, her thinks, dressed in beige. Yes, beige. In Paris. Sensation.
Rassinier does not stop his car. Ms Samel does not stop. A Mrs Joanna Da Costa, an American tourist, does not enter the tunnel. She “fled terrified from the scene”.
When the celebrity princess was in need, the paparazzi and not the people went in.
You protect your own…
The Telegraph looks on as the England team up their game and the team’s Matt Stevens has his shorts pulled down.
“Wear jogging bottoms and T-shirts, the players looked cheerful and relaxed after touching down,” says the paper. Heathrow Airport staff on duty at the time cheer. The duty cameraman takes a picture.
But will it be enough? Will we all be doing “The Matt”? Will the lads secure contracts to appear in TV adverts, laughing loud as Matt loses his shorts in a pizza chain; Matt drops his shorts in Curry’s; Matt drops Anorak’s new range of Comfi Shortz to his knees in the offices of a debt consolidation company’s call centre?
And where does Prince Harry, that Jonny Wilkinson among men, figure in rugby’s marketing drive? There’s Harry Baseball Cap leaving the England plane, his eponymous hat pulled down over his patriotic hair and skin tones.
Did he pull down Matt’s shorts? And will we in pubs and clubs be doing “The Harry?”
“SWIG LOW,” says the Mirror’s front-page headline. “EXCLUSIVE: Wills and Harry on bender with England rugby heroes.”
There are Wills and Harry on the Mail’s cover, where things are still more exclusive with Wills pouring champagne into a tulip glass.
“Plastered in Paris with Wills & Harry,” says the Mail. Harry hugs Laurence Dallaglio. Wills commiserates with Mike Catt. “Very bad luck,” says Wills. “You played extremely well and showed tremendous spirit.”
And the party moves on from the team’s hotel to L’Etoile – “France’s answer to Boujis”.
The Express has more pictures, less exclusive than any of those shown in the Mail or Mirror, with Matthew Tait allowed to remove his shirt and Jonny Wilkinson planting a kiss on his blonde lover’s cheek.
“Let your heir down lads,” says the Sun. And the Telegraph looks back at the game’s key moments, seeing Wills preparing to drop kick a water bottle on the Paris turf.
But there is no time to look back. Onwards! Wills and Harry are needed. The Brazilian Grand Prix is on.
Come on, Harry! Come on, Wills. Tally ho! Your country needs you…
And the Sunday Times leads with “Brave England battle to battling Boks”. And courageous Wales.
There on the cover page of that paper is the picture that tells the story. They went. They gave it their all. But Princes Harry and Prince William could not make it through. Sure, they put in the hard yards, made sacrifices – getting to Paris would mean forgoing a soiree at Boujis. But it was for nought.
Reactions to defeat:
“They did fantastically well getting into the final – but in days to come, they’ll reflect on what they’ve done and be really proud of themselves” – England coach and royalist Brian Ashton
“You can’t fault the effort, can’t fault the heart. Such a shame when all the heart and spirit counts for nothing…Immensely disappointing” – England flanker and Mahiki Club guest pass holder Martin Corry
“So proud of all the guys who have supported us” – Jonny Wilkinson speaks on behalf of the Princes
“It’s a fuc*in’ conspiracy ” – Mohamed al Fayed on that disallowed try
More to follow…
THE Daily Mail is at the Fashion Rocks do; or at least sat outside in a bottle green Rover 75 clacking its marmalade coated tongue and taking pictures of the young and the tarty for illustrative purposes.
While the prints are being processed in its home dark room under the stair, the paper cocks an ear toward Princess Beatrice and hears her say: “I love it but I keep on having to lift it off the floor and pull the bodice up.”
The Mail stares. The pictures are ready. And readers get to see Princess Beatrice “revealing rather more décolletage than royal protocol might allow”.
Keen-eyed readers who can stand to look may wonder if this is Princess Beatrice or her mother, Sarah Ferguson, whose wont it is to hang out with her best friend/daughter while dressed in similar if not altogether complementary fashions.
To confess, we cannot be sure. The more we look the less we know. Is it Beatrice? Or is it Sarah? Your votes on the matter, if you please…
Was the £11,600 knuckleduster Dodi Fayed bought meant as an engagement ring, what the receipt FROM Alberto Repossi’s Paris jewellers terms a “bague financaille”? The jurors look on as Dodi purchases the jewel of the Dis-moi oui – ‘Tell me yes’ – range.
The paper calls it the “Riddle of the diamond ring”. And indeed it is a puzzle. Why would the son of a billionaire buy a ring costing just £11,000 for his celebrity lover?
Words like “riddle” and “sensation” are tabloid currency with a value right up there with Turkish lira. But here they have real worth. Was this really what Dodi Fayed was going to give Diana?
Or was it just a token, make-do trinket until the real rock could be excavated and shined?
And if he just wanted any old ring, why not have a Celtic Cross Ring dispatched from his father corner shop at a cost of £139 plus postage and package?
Riddle. Sensation. Both.
Readers tutored in the way of society’s upper echelons will wonder why such an announcement was not made first in the Telegraph’s Court Circular page.
(Today’s highlight’s thereon include bulletins that Surgeon Captain David Swain has been “received by Her Majesty” upon relinquishing his appointment as Medical Officer to The Queen abroad and others who “were received in audience by The Queen and kissed hands upon their appointment”.)
Instead, we hear the news via Thierry Orban, a “photo-reporter”. He tells the Diana inquest of a call received from his duty chief editor Guillaume Vallabreque. Says M. Orban: “He told me that there was a rumour of an announcement that Diana was getting married or having a baby and he asked me to go to the Ritz and take a few photos of Diana with Dodi Al Fayed.”
A rumour? We should not be dismissive. Great stories are often based on a nod and a wink. Indeed, the Express has been for a decade running a story that Diana was possibly killed by The Establishment…
Pic: Beau Bo D’Or
WILL it be rugby union or football? The English national game is a matter of no small importance.
Rugby has its plusses: England win; and England should never lose to Germany on penalties, chiefly because Jonny Wilkinson is allowed to take all spot kicks.
On the negatives, you can’t play rugby easily, and certainly not against a Waiters XV on a Mediterranean beach, nor on the school playground, where less the tackling and more the falling mouth-first onto the crumbling tarmac is liable to hurt.
Which way to go? We could toss for it. But better yet let’s see which way our greatest scoring icon falls. What will Prince Harry do?
Harry, that Wilkinson among men, is, as the Telegraph reports, expected to join thousands of England fans at Saturday’s World Cup final.
So rugby it is.
However, as the Telegraph notes: “But speculation was growing yesterday over whether his South African-based girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, will be with him.”
If rugby is to surpass football as the sport of choice, it is imperative the girlfriend takes her rightful place at her rugger mad boyfriend’s side.
As the paper notes: “Last Saturday — Miss Davy’s 22nd birthday — rugby-mad Prince Harry was in Paris for the England team’s nail-biting victory over the World Cup hosts.”
Once absence looks like an accident, twice sounds the death knell for rugby’s lofty ambitions.
The very real fear is that should South Africa-based Chelsy not journey to Paris, rugby will never full replace football as the nation’s No. 1 sport, and be seen as an incidental matter, a game played by boys who grew up unable to control a football, or their girlfriends…
The Queen was on a visit to the locale and it was hoped that she would make full use of the facilities, particularly the town hall’s new indoor flushing toilet, installed at cost of £5,000.
Says “angry” town hall clerk Judith Giles: “I told Palace officials the toilets were not pristine but they were clean. They said, ‘You will have to replace it.’ There was no argument.”
“Wee are not amused,” says the Express. The Queen’s three-hour trip to mark the 400th anniversary of the town’s royal charter was the biggest thing to hit Romsey in years.
And the arrival of the new toilet was nothing if not newsworthy, placing the ceramic lid on an historic occasion.
That Her Majesty did not use it should not cast a shadow over events. Good Queen Bess leaves the toilet behind her as gift to the people of that parish.
That they might come and marvel…
DAILY MIRROR front page: “I SAW TWO DIANA HITMEN – Amazing claim at inquest”
Francois Levistre claims a “white flash” was directed at Diana’s Mercedes by two men on a motorbike
As organised hits go, death by blinding flash has it risks. But Levistre is certain. So why did he not get out of his car to help those trapped in the resultant wreckage? “Fear,” says he, “…I thought they were hitmen. We thought the two cyclists had come to kill the people in the car”
The two men got of their bike. They looked into th car window. They left
Pagers 4 and 5: “KILLED IN A FLASH” – Mr Levistre sees a white car enter the tunnel. It does not hit the Mercedes
DAILY EXPRESS front page: “DIANA SENSATION – I SAW ‘HITMAN’ CAUSE CRASH’. Witness Tells how intense flash of light looked like work of professional killer”
No need to guns, poison and a vial of the polonium 210
“The light was if you are caught by police radar,” says the witness. “The light was very powerful. It came into my car. The light was not direct towards me, it was directed towards the car which was behind”
A halo of light?
“Her car ‘bumped another in tunnel’” – Jean-Claude Catheline and wife Annick see two cars enter the Alma Tunnel. One is Diana’s. One is a big black car
DAILY MAIL front page: “Diana and blinding flash in the tunnel”
What is that light at the end of the tunnel?
Page 17: “Bright light flashed at Diana’s car before crash, says witness” – Mr Levistre has given “several different accounts of the incident, the court was told”. He was once held by police in an alleged plot to sell a child (case dismissed). He has been in jail for possessing an illegal weapon
Jean-Claude Catheline recalls seeing Diana’s car entering the tunnel at speed. He turns to the people he was with and says “what an idiot”. The Mercedes was going “so fast”
DAILY STAR page 20: “I FEARED ‘HITMEN’ CAUSED DID CRASH”
THE SUN PAGE 7: “I SAW A WHITE FLASH FORM THE MOTORBIKE IN FRONT OF TH CAR”
“LIMO DRIVER WAS IDIOT”
More to follow…
The Mirror looks on. And it finds Kate hard to spot. No sooner has Kate Middleton pulled on the ensemble then everyone’s wearing it.
“THEY’RE ALL THE BLOODY SAME,” says the Mirror.
And: “There you were believing Kate Middleton was worlds apart from the arrogant royals she now mixes with.” Yeah, the millionaire’s daughter from Berkshire had us fooled.
“But with the crack of a rifle the 25-year-old’s image of an everyday girl who loves animals is blown away as she joins in a cruel stag hunt at Balmoral.” A so-called stalk.
Kate is said to work at “anti-fur fashion chain Jigsaw”. We have delved into the world of animal pelts and find that Stag do not have fur. And then the Stag Kate is shooting at is made of metal.
But, as the Mail reports, she remains under fire from the animal lobby.
A spokesperson for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals says: “It is abhorrent that she is engaging in blood sports. Kate is obviously trying to endear herself to the Royal Family, which is absolutely appalling.”
Indeed it is. Who’d be friends with them.
As such, PETA may well be tempted to approve the use of firearms against the Royals. But the Windsors are clad in so much protective fur that to shoot them would be an act of unimaginable cruelty.
For this reason, it may be that Kate’s fashion will have to change…
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..?