- LONDON -- In the ultimate
irony, the late Princess Diana, Britain's self-styled 'Queen of hearts'
and heart-throb of millions of readers of glossy magazines around the world,
is now revealed to have been betrayed by every man in her life, including
her only brother, her butler, the lover whose ring she died treasuring
and famously, her adulterous husband.
- On Tuesday, the betrayal by her brother, Earl Spencer,
became office water-cooler gossip in a shocked Britain, as it was revealed
that he had refused to let his hounded sister escape her crumbling marriage
and seek peace, solace and refuge in a humble lodge on his fine country
- Significantly, after her death, the Earl insisted on
taking Diana's body for burial to her ancestral home. Within one year of
the royal funeral, the Earl had created a commercially-successful landmark
memorial to his sister on the grounds of the family estate, Althorp.
- As commentators tut-tutted about the never-ending royal
soap opera, it was revealed that Diana had apparently died treasuring a
signet ring owned by the first lover she took while married, Major James
- The Princess is said to have kept Hewitt's ring close
by her, in a locked wooden box in her sitting room. The box and the private
treasures within vanished after her death, leading to suspicions that her
butler had stolen them along with hundreds of other royal items.
- That whodunnit has renewed the spicy allure of the rivetting
but five-year-old Diana saga, putting yet more embarrassing fragments of
the dead woman's life on public view as the butler's trial unfolds.
- After a forlorn gap of many years, the British tabloid
once again has the photogenic late Princess as its lead story.
- Much of the gossip centres around the lover's ring and
the brother's letters, underscoring what analysts are calling Diana's 'betrayal'
by the men closest to her.
- Her brother was unwelcoming during Diana's lifetime,
it emerged late on Monday, as the Earl's harsh and unsympathetic letters
were read out in a public courtroom during the butler's trial for theft.
- The correspondence revealed that Diana had asked her
brother to allow her to live on his estate. The Earl refused, saying he
could not stomach the inevitable intrusion by the securitymen, public and
press that followed his royal sister. At one point he even suggested he
was too poor to be able to allow her to live rent-free on his land.
- Royal-watchers are lamenting the common postscript to
a magnificent royal story, but no one believes it is over yet.
- "Dearest Duch," wrote the Earl in one letter,
using the pet name by which his iconic sister was known to close family
and friends. "I am sorry but I have decided that the Garden House
is not a possible move. There are many reasons, most of which centre on
the inevitable police and press interference that will follow
- "Seriously though, there are farmhouses around here
that may well not interfere with us, but I cannot afford to give them rent
free although I wish I could. In theory it would be lovely to help you
out and I am sorry I can't do that".
- Copyright 2002 Times Of India Internet Limited. All rights