- (AFP) -- Months before she lost her life in a road crash,
Britain's Princess Diana claimed in a letter there was a plot to kill her
in a car "accident", according to published extracts which reignited
conspiracy theories surrounding her death.
- "This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous,"
Diana reportedly wrote to her butler and confiant Paul Burrell, 10 months
before she was killed in a car crash in a Paris underpass on August 31,
- She wrote that someone "is planning 'an accident'
in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path
clear for Charles to marry" again.
- Diana also said in her letter that her husband and heir
to the throne Prince Charles had put her "through such hell",
and described how she longed to hug Queen Elizabeth, her mother-in-law.
- Extracts of the letter were splashed across Britain's
Daily Mirror tabloid, and will also be published in Burrell's book, "A
Royal Duty", which the newspaper is serialising ahead of its launch
- Diana named the person she believed was plotting to kill
her, but the newspaper said it was unable to repeat the allegation for
- Also killed in the crash were Diana's lover Dodi Fayed
and the driver of their limousine.
- Dodi, 42, and Diana, 36, were in the back seat of their
car -- pursued by photographers on motorbikes -- when it crashed. Only
Diana's bodyguard survived.
- A French inquiry in 1999 concluded that the car crashed
because the driver had been drinking and travelling too fast. But there
has never been an inquest in Britain.
- Burrell said he had released the letter in the hope that
it would lead to an inquest and a "thorough investigation of the facts
by the British authorities".
- Dodi's father, Egyptian-born tycoon Mohammed Al Fayed,
has long campaigned for a public inquiry, claiming the crash was the result
of foul play.
- "The British people have an absolute right to know
what really happened to their princess", The Daily Mirror demanded
in its editorial on Monday.
- Fuelling the conspiracy theories, it asked: "Was
she pregnant?... Was the car's driver Henri Paul really drunk?"
- More than a quarter of Britons believe Diana was murdered,
according to a poll published on the sixth anniversary of her death earlier
- Burrell was dramatically cleared by a court a year ago
of stealing hundreds of Diana's possessions following her death.
- The case against him collapsed after it emerged he had
told the queen that he had been keeping some items belonging to Diana for
- Burrell, once described by Diana as her "rock",
later sold his story to the Daily Mirror, in which he claimed the queen
warned him that his close relationship with the princess could put him
- "There are powers at work in this country about
which we have no knowledge," the queen is claimed to have told the
- Diana married Charles in 1981 and the pair separated
11 years later.
- She gave Burrell the hand-written letter in October 1996.
Clearly feeling much pain, she wrote: "I have been battered, bruised
and abused mentally by a system for 15 years now, but I feel no resentment,
I carry no hatred.
- "I am weary of the battles, but I will never surrender...
Thank you Charles, for putting me through such hell and for giving me the
opportunity to learn from the cruel things you have done to me.
- "I have gone forward fast and have cried more than
anyone will ever know," Diana added.
- Of the queen, she said: "I just long to hug my mother-in-law,
and tell her how deeply I understand what goes on inside her."
- In a famous British television interview, Diana claimed
there were three people in her marriage, referring to Charles' close relationship
with his long-standing companion Camilla Parker Bowles.
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