PRINCESS Diana is getting ready to rock. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)
“Hopefully it would be one of those things she would adore because the whole point is this is for her – it’s for no other reason,” says Prince William in the Mirror.
Of course, the Prince means to say the concert celebrating ten years since Diana died, a decade of Daily Express headlines, conspiracy theories and Al Fayed vomit-n-cuff shirts, is for the people, Diana’s people.
But if it is only is for Diana, then so be it. So long as the people pay, they are invited to the private show.
This may stick in the craw with some who realise that no guest paid to attend HRH Prince Azim of Brunei’s 25th birthday party, where Michael Jackson appeared. Our advice to the selfish and ungrateful is to view their outlay at the turnstiles as a present to their idol. Prince Azim got gold watches and diamond-encrusted flamingos and book tokens at his do; Diana prefers cash.
And it promises to be quite a show. Duran Duran, Sarah Brightman, Donny Osmond, Jason Donavon and a special medley by Andrew Lloyd Webber will make this the funeral show of the year.
And then there’s David Beckham. The Suns says that he will dribble on stage and introduce one of the acts.
An “insider” tells us: “He’s like the People’s King… And for Beckham it is excellent exposure for him in America right before his move to LA.”
And there was William thinking it was all for Diana…
Today, Diana is wearing a black gown, pearl and sapphire choker, pearl drop earrings and a smile.
It is good to know that with in the maelstrom of changing fashions, Diana’s look remains as constant as her position on the Express’ front page.
And what news of Diana? In “DIANA DEATH PHOTOS SHOWN,” the paper is to investigate how “disturbing images” of Diana’s final moments were made public.
We look anew at the Express’ front-page picture. And wonder if this is such a photo? Is this how Diana looked in her final moments, maintaining poise and purpose as the flashbulbs popped?
The story is that “secret agents” have been linked with “conspiracy plots” surrounding Diana’s death.
An unnamed lawyer tells us: “There is no doubt that the secret services would have every reason to steal the photographs and then distribute them, causing maximum upset and confusion.”
“They want to make out that Diana died from a simple road accident, but most people know the truth is far more complicated.”
Most people. Not those people who read the French report into the case. Not those people who read Lord Stevens’ report. Not most people who have read the stories form themselves. Not them. They believe what they are told.
The Express concerns itself with the most people who know the real story. The most people who can see past the facts and into the heart of the matter. The most people who can’t believe Diana died in anything as mundane as a car accident.
Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel, as broadcast on Channel 4, will shock.
As the Observer reports, viewers will be jerked from their comfort zone by graphic images of Princess Diana receiving oxygen from a French doctor, Frederic Mailliez. Diana has been involved in traffic accident and been thrown forward into the footwell behind the driver’s seat.
Patrick Jephson, Diana’s former private secretary, is appalled. “’I'm profoundly shocked,” says he.
Anthony Holden, Observer critic, Diana friend and biographer of the princess, is just as shocked: “It’s grossly intrusive and beyond the bounds of anything remotely tasteful, and will no doubt upset her sons enormously.”
People never tire of Diana, as they never tire of talking on behalf of her sons. But what if Diana’s death can prevent others from travelling without seatbelts? Might some good come of the tragedy?
Lord St John of Fawsley, a friend of Diana and a founding director of Sky TV, says Channel 4’s broadcast is “terrible”. “They certainly shouldn’t be subsidised publicly to follow up such causes. The best thing that could happen is that their public funding be taken away instead of going towards programmes like this.”
And: “I thought Diana was going to be left in peace, but Channel 4 is doing this for ratings or commercial gain and it’s really horrible.”
Diana will never be left in peace. Not until we get the message on seatbelts.
Not while so many of her friends and admirers are willing to step forward and tell the media about their shock and dismay.
And not when the tenth anniversary of her death is being celebrated in a Concert for Diana…
Of course, before we go on we should say the current regent, Elizabeth, is in rude health. There is every reason to believe that with the right power supply and hardwood teeth Liz can go on for many decades, as her mother did.
Queen Camilla may never occur. And any chance that it will is dashed by the Express. The paper has conducted a poll of its readers and in response to the Question “Would you like the woman who as good as killed Princess Diana to be our Queen” 90% answered to the negative.
Camilla should not feel too down, and refrain from chucking herself down the stairs or seeking comfort in the arms of the nearest man.
The Express holds phone polls for the same reason that Saddam Hussein used to hold the occasional election – not to provide an objective measure of public opinion, but to see how close to 100% of the vote they could get.
Unlike Saddam, however, the papers never quite get the result they want – there’s always a few readers who misunderstand the question, dial the wrong number or are just plain bloody-minded.
But undeterred, the Express concludes on its front page: “Poll shows she will never find a place in the nation’s heart.” Was it not Camilla and Charles “whose adultery ruined the life of Princess Diana”?
No vote is required to answer that question. The Express jumps in says it was. And just in case Camilla has not got the message that we don’t want her sort round here, the paper says in another headline: “Camilla should reject the idea of ever being Queen.”
The words are taken from a quote supplied by Alan Berry, co-founder of the Diana Appreciation Society. Says Berry: “What they did to Diana during her short lifetime is a dreadful indictment of Charles’s lack of moral fibre and Camilla’s ruthless ambition.”
But what do we do with them if not make them King and Queen?
Can we sell them to a country in need of a ruling class, like the French or Ukrainians? Or should they be made to work for a living? You can see the advert now:
Camilla (emerging from battered Fiat Uno, her legs encased in white jodhpurs): Cackles
Charles: (muffled) There’ll be no more sobbing/ When he starts throbbing
Camilla and Charles: When the red red robin comes/ Bob bob bobbing along, along
Advertiser’s Voice: (Prince Edward): The new Royal tampon, by appointment.
Fade with Bryan Ferry’s ‘I’m in with the in crowd…’
NOT once during President Bush’s speech to welcome Queen Elizabeth to America did he invoke the spirit of Princess Diana.
Manchester United did not dedicate their winning of the Premier League to the memory of the People’s Princess, without whom their triumph would have been devoid of glory.
And we can confirm that Tony Blair has not once uttered the real reason for his imminent departure, which – naturally – coincides with the tenth anniversary of Diana’s passing.
And this is all because, as the Express’s reports on its front page: “Royal ban on Diana because she’s too popular.”
Dressed in a light pink, wide-brimmed hat with central bow, pearl drop earrings and matching chocker, Diana is beaming on the Express’s front page.
Doubtless, Diana is responding to the news that her never-waning popularity continues to unsettle the royals and dictate official postcard policy.
In “Diana is still loved…but her Palace postcards are banned”, readers learn that shops at royal palaces will not be selling postcards of the Princess of Hearts. And this is because they have been “banned”.
Says a spokeswoman for the Royal Collection, which runs such shops: “We do stock some Diana memorabilia, particularly books,” of which they are many. “It’s just the postcards that we don’t sell. We have this rule that we only stock postcards of current members of the Royal Family.”
So you can buy a postcard of Prince Edward, The Weed In Tweed, running away from the Marines, a shot of Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi and an advert for tampons featuring Prince’s Charles wearing knee-length white socks and a bodice of biodegradable cotton wool, but no picture of Diana?
This is an outrage. We urge the keepers of ye olde royal shoppes to reconsider. Let’s have those bestselling postcards of what is rumoured to be Camilla’s white Fiat Uno, Prince Phillip in that uniform before Harry borrowed it and the Queen standing on a grassy knoll in Paris armed with a pack of hunting hounds.
This is what the tourists want. And at £2.50 a go, plus postage, it’s time to let them have it…
The Express’s Diana News-ometer points towards a bright and sunny day with showers over the lower part of Lincolnshire. And a chance for William and Harry to “open their hearts”.
It seems that the princes are to star in a television interview.
Diana’s sons have recorded a “frank and extensive” chat with American TV show Today. The interview will be broadcast in connection with the concert to celebrate a decade of conspiracy theories and death.
As reported on Anorak, the show will embrace funeral rock’s No. 1 star Elton John, the English National Ballet, Nazi enthusiast Bryan Ferry and all manner of stars sure to have the crowd leaning well back in their seats and empathising with their resting idol.
But before that, interviewer Matt Lauer tells us that the boys are “enjoyable, nice, wonderful, warm and normal”. Would we expect him to say anything different?
“They were quite open,” adds Lauer, “and they talked a lot about their mom and about the pressures they face…the exposure and the over-exposure and their quest for normality. They treat it like the Holy Grail. They don’t think they’ll ever be able to attain it.”
Anorak is less certain. Chin up, boys. Come the revolution, Harry and Wills will be as normal as the rest of us.
But right now they have a concert to promote, a televised celebration of their mother’s death. Wills and Harry’s quest for normality takes in a concert at the new Wembley stadium and an interview on American TV.
Not preferential treatment – just what Diana would have wanted…
The show that promises to be the last word in Funeral Rock already boasts a line sure to have the living empathising with the resting Diana.
The Queen of Hearts memorial gig will feature James Blunt, Sir Elton John, Duran Duran, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the English National ballet.
Death does not come any more compelling.
But now, as the Sun reports, the line up will be pebble-dashed by Lily Allen.
As the Sun notes, private-school educated Allen will “have to watch her language” is she is to appear before the royals.
Allen will surely have to learn to swear with more gusto if she is to keep up with the royals…
But what has brought about this shift in the visage of the Express’s masthead, the Express’s Diana News-Ometer?
As Anorak has noted, the Express utilises Diana as a barometer of the world’s fortunes. And today she is beaming.
“DIANA: NEW SENSATION,” says the Express’s front-page headline.
She’s alive! We knew it. We have long suspected that Diana did not die – how could she? – but retired to the fabled Six Floor at London’s Harvey Nichols department store.
But it seems that story is for later. Today’s sensation is that Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss has stood down from her role as official coroner in the Diana inquest.
“It seems to me that once again the secret hand of the Establishment is at work,” says Mohammed Al Fayed, sounding not too unlike Hercule Poirot in an episode of Scooby Do.
In “DIANA FIASCO,” the Mirror hears Butler-Sloss say that she considers herself lacking the necessary experience to handle a jury case.
“This is further indication of the Establishment’s intention to cover up the murders of two innocent people,” says Fayed. “If the first coroner doesn’t do what the Royal Family want, they change for another coroner.”
And then in full Poirot mode: “Clearly, Butler-Sloss was pushed.” With Fayed on the case, Humpty-Dumpty, sorry, Butler-Sloss, will not be allowed to get away.
But she already has. And while Fayed seek out his Evans, Butler-Sloss’s replacement is upon us. The new coroner is Lord Justice Scott Baker.
As the Mirror notes, he’s the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play who jailed former Cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken at the Old Bailey in 1999.
Lord Justice Baker will get to the bottom of the matter. He’s the case’s third contender in nine months. Third time lucky.
Or as Fayed might put it: “Hickory Dickory Dock”…
STAYING with Princess Diana, the Express introduces its new Diana news-ometer.
In a rare departure from the paper’s usual shot of a beaming Diana, readers are today confronted by a glum looking princess.
And we realise that Diana’s visage is a sure sign of the prevailing mood. This is the interactive masthead for today’s modern Express reader.
On the day Diana’s brother Earl Spencer hears a “whisper that sounded like satisfaction” from Diana’s coffin as he spoke out at his sister’s funeral, readers feel the gloom.
But you can cheer Diana up.
As the Express says in its Diana classified section, a Chopper-style bicycle once owned by the princess is expected to fetch more than £5,000 at auction.
Those who want to own set once sat upon by Diana should dig deep. The red Trusty Tracker cycle features in a sale at Keys Auctioneers in Aylsham, Norfolk.
Pay up and bring a smile to Diana’s face…
Like you, dear reader, we too feel sullied to have even read that line. And we choke back the bile upon reading that our Princess of Hearts was “spiteful, media-savvy and neurotic”.
With the tenth anniversary of Diana’s supposed death looming, former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown has penned a book on Diana’s life. And this is brown who, as the Mail says, had lunch with Diana just week before her death.
The book contains details of a conversation between Diana and he late mother Frances Shand Kidd. Kid is said to have asked her daughter if she loved the prince for “what he is” or who he is. Diana replied: “What’s the difference?”
It should not go unsaid that Diana was not the sharpest academic mind and her response may have been rooted less in her cynicism than a lack of comprehension.
Other claims in the books are:
Wow, indeed. Who knew anyone could find a gap in the Diana narrative. But Brown has a sharp quill.But others are less then pleased.
“Diana: Betrayed by her ‘friends’ again,” thunders the Express. “Diana: Fury over new insults to her memory.”
Why can’t people maintain a dignified silence, wonder Diana’s pals. “This is disgrace,” says Mohammed Al Fayed. “She is making money from stories that are not true.” (Ask to see Fayed’s 10-foot-high bronze statue of Princess Diana and Dodi dancing beneath an albatros, as unveiled at his Harrod’s shop.)
“What she was really seeking was a guy with a Gulfstream,” says Tina Brown.
This is believed to be a reference to a kind of jet airplane and not plans for a much grander commemorative water feature than that which features in Hyde Park.
But we cannot be certain…
PRINCE William’s ex-lover Kate Middleton is holding a tennis racket and the Sun’s Arthur Edwards is doffing his cap and wiping a rheumy eye.
Arthur has been staring up Royal nostrils man and boy. And one look at Middleton in her jeans and smile takes him back to a time in 1994 when Princess Diana was also smiling.
In holding her tennis racket, Kate was “Letting William know: ‘This is what you’re missing’,” says Arthur.
Just like Princess Diana did. Right. You know, when she played tennis with John Travolta…
Writes Arthur: “I remember when Prince Charles confessed to his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles in 2004. I waited 12 hours outside the Serpentine Galley in London’s Hype Park for Diana to make an appearance.”
Here comes Di.
Just like Kate, Arthur sees Di holding a tennis racket, her blonde hair lengthened into brunette swoosh?
Says Arthur: “The setting sun lit up her hair into a golden silhouette. She looked the sexiest I had ever seen.”
And, mind, this from the Sun’s man in the know who has seen a few Page 3 stunnas come and go in his time.
“She made the driver stop 25 yards away then walked toward us like a supermodel.”
Yes, now we see it. Kate and Diana – two peas in a gilded pod.
“Kate’s action were not on the scale to the master,” says Arthur “but still a piece of vintage Diana.”
All Kate has to do now is marry Wills, have two sons, have him leave her for an equine tampon dispenser and conduct a TV interview in which she reveals all.
And then date Mohammed Al Fayed…
“Has Wills made a massive mistake?” asks the Express on its front page.
“I just want to have some fun and do what other blokes my age are doing,” the paper hears Wills tell a, er, “confidant”. “I’m too young for all of this.”
Playing The Field
Wills is 24. And when other men his age were touching up Brazilian girls, nightclubbing, going skiing and having a laugh with not a care in the world, Wills was with Kate.
So they split. But the Express says they may yet get back together. In “why the Prince and Kate may one day have a fairytale wedding” the Express looks back at the stock it has put in Wills and Kate – the new Diana, lest we forget – and says maybe they will marry.
Or, perhaps, William will find another woman – if he hasn’t already.
Readers lean of Wills’ “serious ‘flirtation’” with another woman and how he has been seen “kissing and cuddling” a blonde in a London nightclub.
Which blonde. Which club? The Mail does not say. And it is left to the Sun to “ROLL OUT THE DOUBLE-BARRELS” and introduce readers to a bevy of gels.
The Diana Factor
Here comes blonde Isabella Ansthruther-Gough-Calthrope. She’s 26. “She was the first cover girl of pose Country Life magazine to appear with a belly button ring.” She has a Diana factor of 5.
It’s Holly Branson, 25. Daughter to billionaire beard Sir Richard Branson, Holly is blonde and was once voted the nation’s No.1 breeding stock in a TV show to decide who Wills should marry. With her showbiz connections, she has a Diana factor of 7.
And there’s Britney Spears. Potentially blonde Britney has two sons, a troubled past, dysfunctional parents and tattoos. We give her a Diana factor of 9. “IF EVERYTHING FAILS, SOMEONE ELSE IS BACK ON THE MARKET,” says the Sun.
This may of may not be a joke. The thing with the Sun is it is hard to tell and truth and parody can overlap.
Take the paper’s ever-so-humble-ma’am Royal snapper Arthur Edwards. He is making ready to speak.
And note this is the same Edwards who all the way back in March 2007 told us: “She [Kate] is a private citizen and she is in love with Prince William and I am sure that one day they will get married, I have talked to him about this.”
Now Arthur looks on and tells us: “I hope Clarence House help Kate through this difficult time. She should not be left alone.”
Indeed. We can’t have Kate, a private citizen, being allowed to return to the bosom of her family and retreat from the limelight unaided by the Royals.
What Kate Does Next
To emphasise its caring nature, the Sun publishes a picture of Kate arriving at her parents’ Berkshire home. She is carrying a box. “ONION RINGS,” says the message on its side. And we know what she means.
Kate should not be left alone. She should not be allowed to suffer. The Royals should not abandon her as they abandoned Diana.
And we should nor have to see pictures of Kate crying over so much heartache, pain and chopped onions…
“Coroner says she will not reveal Charles and Philip secret papers.”
This is, says the Express, “crucial evidence.”
Coroner Baroness Butler-Sloss, presiding over the Diana inquest, says it is wrong to release any “personal or private” information to the public.
The Baroness is out of step with public opinion. What is Princess Diana’s death if not the private made public? We need to know. We demand to know. And if we don’t know, who knows how many more inquests we will need until we know it all? Can we ever know it all?
“Is the probe into Diana’s death being covered up?” asks the Express. Readers are invited to spend a minimum of 25p to vote “Yes” or “No”. Monies raised will go toward helping the Express get to the truth.
We learn that Mohamed Al Fayed’s legal team believe the “lack of information” circling Charles’s contribution is “just the tip of the iceberg”.
Not that an iceberg played any part in Diana’s death. At least we don’t think so. And it is good to keep an open mind.
And there will be much to hear and see. Butler-Sloss will give the interested parties’ experts access to the car carrying Diana that fateful night.
You might suppose this vehicle had been examined more times than a Diana dress and was now ready to feature alongside the cars in which James Dean and Princess Grace of Monaco died in at the Museum Of Road Safety.
But perhaps something has been missed? The obvious often can be overlooked, like how Diana died in traffic accident and failed to wear a seatbelt.
The case goes on.
It was at Diana’s funeral that Elton’s career was given a new lease of life. His song about a dead Marilyn Monroe was tweaked to become a song about a dead Princess Diana. Elton had become the face of funeral music.
And now, as the Mirror’s front page says (“TAKE THAT PLAY FOR DIANA”), others hope Diana can work her magic on their careers.
News is that Take That are a headline act at this summer’s concert in memory of the Princess of Hearts. This is the concert being put together by impresarios Prince Harry and Prince William.
As Prince William says: “A church service wasn’t enough. We wanted this big concert full of energy – full of fun and happiness. And on her birthday as well. It has to be the best birthday present ever.”
What more wholesome and fun time than to gaze upon the sights and sounds of 100,000 Diana fans singing “Happy birthday, dear Diana” in harmony?
And we urge the acts to do their best, and to adapt their songs to the occasion. If it worked for Elton, it can work for you.
The line up should go something like this:
Duran Duran – Diana: “Her name Is Diana and she dances at Annabelle’s”
Take That – Relight My Diana
Andrew Lloyd Webber – Princess Diana Superstar
Bryan Ferry – Let’s Stick Diana
And many more…
Today Diana is wearing a pair of clip-on black earrings, coral pink lipstick and a white jacket.
But her look masks much concern. “DIANA: VITAL EVIDENCE WAS KEPT SECRET,” announces the Express.
Readers may wonder how something secret is now known to have been a secret? And right it is that questions are asked.
As the paper notes, “under Article 434-4 of France’s Code of Criminal Law it is an offence to conceal a document”.
Mindful of that, it is put to Express readers, that Lord Condon, Metropolitan police commissioner at the time of Diana’s death, “refused” to tell French legal authorities that Diana feared people were out to “put her aside”.
As the Express says, Diana had told Lord Mishcon, her legal representative, of her fears in 1995. After her death, Mishcon told Condon. Condon says he “co-operated fully with the French”.
But Mohamed al Fayed this was not on and Condon should, thereupon, have come on and told French investigators what Mishcon had said lest the case go on and on and on…
“Princess Diana, who was my drear friend, confided in me her fears that she would be involved in a car crash or something similar on the orders of the Royal household,” says Al Fayed. “It has now emerged that her fears were expressed to at least a dozen other people.”
Diana had many dear friends.
For his part, Condon, says he and his officers “co-operated fully with the French at all stages and, on leaving, I handed over all the documents”.
Such things will doubtless be talked over when Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss opens the pre-inquest hearing in the High Court tomorrow.
Later, in October, a jury of ordinary men and women will listen intently as details of the matter are presented to them.
They will deliberate and cogitate. They will then decide whether there is more to things than meets the eye and that Diana, Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul were unlawfully killed.
Or that they died because of speeding, drink driving and the fact she forgot to put on her seatbelt…
PRINCESS DIANA looks out the window of the fabled sixth floor of Harvey Nichols, tilts her head and smiles.
Down at ground level the people are reading about her. And they are reading of her murder.
“SHOW US DIANA’S MURDER LETTERS,” orders the Express. It has been to the pre-inquest hearing into Diana’s death. It has journeyed to the Royal Courts of Justice and witnessed all.
Michael Mansfield, Mohammed al Fayed’s lawyer, wants answers. As the Express reports, these letters have “sensationally” gone missing.
And we hear Edmund Lawson, QC for the police reply: “Regarding the allegations covering letters from the Duke of Edinburgh despite the best efforts of the police to find any evidence or copies of them, none has been found.”
Mansfield wants Philip and Prince Charles to take the stand.
But since this is about as likely as Al Fayed letting the matter of his son Dodi’s death rest, we move on to other question. The Express lists them thus:
• “Whether Diana was in fear of her life when she died.”
• “Whether she was pregnant.”
• “The reason for embalming her body.”
• “The significance of the ring Dodi bought her the day before the crash”.
The Mail positions one of these posers on its front page: “Diana inquest WILL ask if she was pregnant?”
Since this question has been asked many times before and has always received the answer “NO”, we should focus on those other questions.
And the Mirror has one more: “Who drove the Fiat Uno?”
Was in Prince Philip behind the wheel, dressed as Colonel Mustard and holding a length of iron pipe in the library?
There are many questions. But Al Fayed knows the answers to all of them. He clams Dodi and Diana were murdered on the orders of Prince Philip and MI5. He says Diana was pregnant. He says the couple were engaged to be married.
And Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, the coroner, tells Fayed that “there’s not a shred of evidence in front of her to support these allegations”.
And Diana climbs into her old battered white car and drives away…
Diana had given Her Majesty an annus horribilis. Diana had been a pain in the backside. Thanks to Diana the House of Windsor had been raptus regaliter (royally screwed)
But then comes a work of fiction – some would say a work no more fictitious than the sanctifying of Diana. The Queen arrives at the cinemas, a film that focuses on Elizabeth II after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Liz is not polishing a pistol or cackling in German as news of Diana’s demise filters thought to the car radio in her white battered Fiat Uno. She is sensitive and attractive. Deus ex machine, she now mutters.
Her Majesty is now changed. Her silence after the death of Diana is no longer a sign of her aloofness and cold heart but noble and dignified.
Time and Mirren have healed.
Indeed, Her Majesty might even be pressed to read the Mail and thereby learn how to obtain the free “beautiful Royal Doulton figurine” of Diana, as the Mail’s front page promises.
The piece stands at 22cm. It is worth over £100. It is “lovingly hand-decorated bone chine and captures Diana’s timeless, style, elegance and beauty”. Who would not want it? It’s £19.99 with tokens.
And then there is the Mail’s Princess Diana jewellery ensemble. Get in touch with your inner Paul Burrell and kick start your collection with the Mail’s “fantastic crystal bow earring with faux pearl drop”. The earrings are “hypo-allergenic”.
The Queen is, after all, sensitive…
But darken and lengthen the hair, airbrush the thread lines and reshape the face. Look again. Diana’s resemblance to Kate Middleton is uncanny.
But history must not repeat itself. As the Express’s headline says: “Why we must not let Kate suffer the same fate as Diana.”
Does the paper mean that we should take care not to idolise Kate, to turn her into a living saint, make her the embodiment of all that is good and pure?
Or does it mean that Kate should take care not to ride in cars driven by an, allegedly, inebriated driver and always put on her seatbelt?
Lawyers acting on behalf of Mohammed La Fayed argue just that point. They tell the High Court that the decision to hold the inquest into Diana’s death behind closed doors is “fatally flawed”.
Michael Beloff QC says: “There is no doubt at all on the evidence available…that the paparazzi were involved in the pursuit of the vehicle which crashed on the night in question.”
No doubt? “We respectfully submit that it is quite clear this is, alas, a recurrent problem in contemporary society.”
So it could happen again? Diana could perish again? Well, not Diana, but someone just like her.
“There are those who have in recent months – in particular in regard to Miss Kate Middleton… – said there is an eerie similarity in the way in which the paparazzi are now hounding the young lady and the way in which they hounded the late Princess Diana.”
So this is at the heart of the Express’s warning. Kate must take care. Kate must not gallivant about Paris with a playboy lover? Kate should wear a seatbelt.
Kate should not marry Prince Charles.
Princess Diana – The Inquest
“DIANA DEATH: TIME TO END THE COVER UP.”
We don’t much like the sound of this. Surely the Express is not advocating that we exhume Princess Diana’s remains and check for signs of foul play?
That is if Diana is buried on an island at Althorp. Was if Diana is that coffin being pelted with flowers as it edged down Finchley Road, or a mannequin taken from the windows of her beloved Harvey Nichols department store? As the Express notes, Diana’s body was embalmed. Why?
It is time the truth about Princess Diana came out. And looking past the report by the French police and the latest offering by Lord Stevens or Trumpton, the Express looks at the first day of the preliminary hearing into Diana’s departure from official duties.
The paper says Dodi Fayed, father of Diana’s late companion Dodi Fayed, wants all interviews and correspondence collected by Lord Stevens to be made public.
The paper says this is “vital” to quash allegations of a cover up.
The dossier is said to feature Prince Philip’s refusal to be interviewed and Charles’s response to the question as to whether he killed Princess Diana.
The paper says Prince Charles’s response is not known. But, as it says, “the fact the heir to the thrown was asked such a direct question sums up the complex nature of the inquiry.”
Of course, Charles’s response is known. It is known by him, most likely his pet begonia and Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, the royal coroner.
But do we know. And should we know? The Express puts this question to the readers. “Should the secrets on Diana be made public?” Note that Charles’s words have now become Diana’s secrets. Do you want to know them? Yes. Or would you like longer to think about it?
And while you think, know that the Queen is “preparing to back down over a controversial plan to have a ‘royal jury’ of courtiers to hear the inquest”.
The paper says the Queen’s lawyers have privately agreed that such a thing would “fatally undermine the royal family’s hopes that the coroner’s hearing will put an end to conspiracy theories”.
And that would never do…
Eva Longoria shops; Ricky Gervais by night…
Ricky Gervais is the top box office star in the United States. Night At The Museum, the comedy in which he co-stars, raked in £21million over the four-day Christmas holiday.
In the movie Gervais plays the director of a museum where the exhibits come to life: Small Roman soldiers come to life (Toy Story); a T-Rex comes to life (Jurassic Park); and Mongol fighters come to life (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure).
It’s art imitating art.
With the Christmas shopping season over it is now time to shop for those “bargains”. And what better place to get a must-have pink elephant in mink and taffeta than Harrod’s, that emporium of excess.
Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria opened this year’s bun fight.
And despite being very well paid she remains a bargain hunter at heart. “I still can’t bring myself to buy a $500 cashmere sweater,” says she.
Indeed. But at least she can now afford a stylist to go and buy it for her.
MATT Willis, he of the crocodile penis entrée, has been offered £1million to pen his memoirs.
The winner of TV‘s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! will surely draw on his two stints in rehab and life in boyband Busted.
Matt is just 23 year old but has lived a showbiz life. And, such is the way with celebrity autobiographies, Matt’s is a life that will surely be lived some more – in hardback, paperback and Outback….
CHRIS Evert, former darling of tennis’s silent era – the age before the grunting began – is now divorced from Andy Mill, her husband of 18 years.
Evert, 51, winner of 18 Grand Slam titles in the 70s and 80s, declared a monthly income of $58,000. Her expenses amounted to $41,000. Husband Mill, an ex-Olympic skier, makes $17,000 each month.
Evert is said to be worth $24million; Mill struggles along on a mere $10.4million. Which all means that because of her “superior earning capacity and net worth”, she will give him $7m in cash and securities and the couple’s $4m home in Aspen. Colorado.
Says Mill after the divorce: “That was the worst day of my life.” Which gives you an idea of how well his life has gone thus far…
DID you know that the human brain is designed to “plan a move from scratch each and every time”?
It seems that we are not lab rats. And it is by thinking anew and not by routine that we kick a football, swing a golf club or write the Daily Mail, the paper in which this story appears.
As the paper says: “This means that, unlike a computer, people cannot just automatically repeat what has gone before.”
For instance, could a computer create the Mail? No, it could not. Each story of imminent doom and horror is addressed on its individual merits.
And so it is that the Express is designed each day from fresh. It is down not to planning that Princess Diana features so prominently, it is down to the truth that she is big news.
And here is Diana taking to people at a Centrepoint hostel in London. Diana is blonde and fair of skin. Her audience is black.
Now look again. See the blonde royal talking to the dark-skinned youth. Note the “remarkable echoes” of Diana’s visit as Prince Williams, for it is he, converses with the homeless.
William helps out in the kitchen. He talks to 18-year-old Ali Iyiguven over a mug of tea. He wears a sweater and jeans.
William is “offering words of comfort” to the dispossessed.
He is a prince among men…homeless men. He is the Prince of Hearts. Reading the report in the Express, it is as if Diana never went away…
“DIANA,” announces the front page of the Express and once more we are back in the Alma Tunnel, Paris, the White House dancing with John Travolta, being Shy Di on her way home from kindergarten.
Diana – say the name and the memories come flooding back.
And as we look back, Princess Diana looks forward. “Princess predicted her own ‘murder’ time and time again in the two years before her death, says the official report,” says the Express.
(For illustrative purposes, Diana can be seen dressed in emerald and diamond chocker with matching earrings, blonde hair and smile. Lips are red. Teeth are white.)
This is Diana “eerie premonition” notes the Express. She knew she would die young. The good die young.
But why should this be news now? The official verdict is in. The French police produced a report that ran to 6,000 pages. The British police have just compiled a tome that runs to 832 pages.
The Express has pulped trees in their thousands, hundreds of thousands, to tell the tale of Diana. It might just be that Diana’s carbon footprint does for us all as she was done for.
Yes, in spite of evidence of an accident, drink driving, no seat belt and speeding, and no evidence of a cover-up nor murder, the conspiracy theorists will not let Di lie.
Diana’s belief that an “establishment plot was being cooked up to off her is given more space.
There is a “spooky accuracy” to her premonition says the Express. She believed she and Camilla Parker Bowles would be “put aside” like so much brittle bone china. “They” were going to get her. “Prince Philips wants to see me dead.”
Diana was a “threat”. They were going to blow her up. They were going to poison her. They were going to round her up, put her in a big field and bomb her.
They were going to get in a batted white Fiat and… Well, what of that car, the phantom Italian hot hatchback? “Hunt for crash riddle Fiat goes on,” says the Express.
It says the French police “will never give up” looking for a compact white Fiat with at least one not–all-that-careful owner. The car has yet to be traced. So too the driver.
What will happen next? Does anyone know? Does Diana know..?
In The Black
What price fashion? The black dress won by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s has sold at auction for £410,000. The dress was sold by Christie’s, London, for six times its estimated value.
The buyer of the size 6, 24-inch waist dress, signed by designer Hubert de Givenchy – with long black gloves and a pearl choker – remains a mystery, although there are rumours that Victoria Beckham bought it. If true, she may need it taking in a bit.
Send Begging Letters To…
The Sunday Times Rich list is out and the youngest person on it – listen up, ladies – is Daniel Radcliffe. The actor, famous for his outings as nerdish swot Harry Potter, is worth £14 million. His wealth has increased by £8 milion in the past year.
The youngest woman on the list is singer Joss Stone (£6 million). She’s 19. Aside from that, the richest person in the UK is Lakshmi Mittal, the steel magnate, who has £13.2 billion at his disposal. Second is Roman Abramovich, (£10.8 billion), whose wealth rose by over £3 billion last year. Third is the Duke of Westminster (£6.6 billion), the highest ranking person born in Britain.
Football’s wealthiest couple are Victoria and David Beckham (£87 milion), topping Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLoughlin (£20 million).