- Paul Burrell's sensational book A Royal Duty tells the
real story of life with Diana, Princess of Wales.
- He reveals for the first time how she really felt about
the Royal Family and the end of her marriage to Prince Charles.
- In this extract he tells of the princess's increasing
concern that she had made powerful enemies and how she was convinced 'they'
were determined to spy on her and control her movements.
- Ever since the end of my trial when I first detailed
that meeting with the Queen, there has been much speculation, and again
scoffing, over the tone and meaning of the "be careful" message
from Her Majesty.
- So, what did she mean? All I know is what I heard. It
wasn't quantified or expanded upon, neither was it melodramatically delivered.
I walked away and accepted what had been said as it had been intended ñ
as sound advice to be vigilant.
- In my opinion, she was telling me to be careful of everyone
because no one more than the Queen understood the position in which I found
myself, and the closeness I had shared with the princess.
- The reference to the "powers at work in this country
about which we have no knowledge" has often played on my mind in the
intervening years and, yes, I have worried about it too.
- The Queen might have been referring to the power base
of media barons and editors who can topple individuals from their pedestals.
- She might have been referring to that unknown quantity
called "the Establishment", an undefined, invisible network of
interlocking social circles of the great and the good. She might have been
referring to the domestic intelligence service MI5 because, have no doubt,
the Queen does not know of its secret work and darker practices but she
is aware of the power it is capable of wielding.
- Like the royal household, the intelligence services are
given carte blanche to act in whatever way is considered to be in the best
interests of state and monarchy.
- All I do know is that within four years of Her Majesty's
warning I was arrested and sent to trial for a crime I never committed
in a case that barely had the legs to stand up. All the time, the undercurrents
running beneath the surface of that case were about the secrets of the
princess. Who had them? Where were they?
- But, in all honesty, I cannot pinpoint what the Queen
was referring to. I have beaten myself up mentally many times over why
I didn't ask her at the time what she meant. I, like you, can only speculate.
- No one is more aware than I of the knowledge locked away
inside my head. In choosing to impart certain information to me, the princess
ensured I shared a historic knowledge.
- I was her independent witness to history, in the same
way that I was her witness to the letters she wrote and received, the divorce
papers she handled and the will she made. She also shared with me her concern
that she was constantly monitored.
- It is naive of anyone to think that the princess, from
the moment she married Prince Charles, would not have had her telephone
calls bugged, or that the associations she made were not checked.
- It is a matter of routine that members of government
and the Royal Family are monitored.
- She knew that. So, in that regard, "the powers"
were discreetly at work in all my years at Highgrove and Kensington Palace.
She made me constantly aware of it, and the need to be vigilant.
- If there was one thing about life at KP the princess
loathed it was the inescapable feeling of constantly being listened to
- It was one of the reasons why she shed her police protection.
She didn't trust the police as tools of the state. In fact, she had a deep-seated
suspicion about anything and everything to do with the state.
- When both of us were away from the palace, she even suspected
that listening devices had been planted in apartments 8 and 9.
- Once, both of us moved all the furniture to one side
in her sitting room and rolled up an Aztec-style rug, the blue fitted carpet
and its underlay.
- Then, we prised up the floorboards with screwdrivers.
She was convinced there were listening devices in the palace but we found
- She worried about devices being placed in plug sockets,
light switches or lamps. Some will dismiss this kind of worrying as outright
paranoia. If such worries were in isolation and devoid of rational reasoning,
I would tend to agree. But the critics who were far too eager to dismiss
her as paranoid didn't realise she had good reason to be concerned.
- She was being cautious, not paranoid, because she was
acting on sound information received from someone who had worked for the
British intelligence services; a man whose expertise, advice and friendship
the princess came to rely on.
- Even another member of the Royal Family warned the princess:
"You need to be discreet, even in your own home, because 'they' are
listening all the time."
- (Before my trial at the Old Bailey in 2002, I witnessed,
with my legal team, documented evidence that my telephone lines, during
the course of the police inquiry, had been intercepted without my knowledge
and at least 20 telephone numbers had been monitored.) Armed with such
advice, I defy anyone in the princess's position not to go on the hunt
- When she found none, she called on the help of her ex-intelligence
- One weekend afternoon, he visited the palace, using a
pseudonym. He carried out a sweep of the apartments to detect listening
devices. Every room was checked. Nothing was found.
- Then, in demonstration after demonstration, the princess
and I were given a sharp lesson in hi-tech surveillance techniques.
- But what startled the princess most was to learn that
"monitoring" did not necessarily require devices to be planted
in a household.
- So hi-tech were the intelligence facilities that a conversation
could be listened to from a surveillance van parked outside, transmitting
a signal into the building and using mirrors to bounce it back.
- As a result, she took down the round convex mirror that
hung above the marble fireplace opposite the window in the sitting room.
She was not paranoid: she was being advised.
- In the final two years of her life, the princess grew
increasingly concerned about the security around her. Ever since the separation
in 1992, she felt she had grown in stature, and she was ready to take on
the world in her humanitarian mission.
- But, rightly or wrongly, she felt the stronger she became,
the more she was regarded as a modernising nuisance who was prepared to
go out on a limb and do the unconventional.
- She was later to be proved right, to some degree, when
her humanitarian work in Angola in early 1997 led to suggestions that she
was a "loose cannon" who was doing more harm than good.
- In the autumn of 1996, she had an overpowering feeling
she was "in the way". She certainly felt that "the system"
didn't appreciate her work and that, for as long as she was on the scene,
Prince Charles could never properly move on. "I have become strong,
and they don't like it when I am able to do good and stand on my own two
feet without them," she said.
- In one particular period of anxiety, in October 1996,
the princess called me from my pantry. I met her half-way down the stairs.
- A question of self-doubt led to reassurance from me,
and one more question led to us sitting on the stairs and talking through
- She felt there was a concerted attempt by what she referred
to as the "anti-Diana brigade" to undermine her in the public's
eyes. We spoke about the continuing role of Tiggy Legge-Bourke. We spoke
about Camilla Parker Bowles and whether Charles really loved her. Inevitably,
we spoke about how the princess felt undervalued and unappreciated. But
the basis of the conversation seemed to be her worries about what the future
- She said she was "constantly puzzled" by the
attempts of Prince Charles's sympathisers to "destroy me". It
was a "down day", and the princess needed to talk.
- With all sorts of jumbled thoughts racing through her
mind, we went into the sitting room to write it all down and then make
sense of it.
- Again, the pen put her thoughts into some form of therapeutic
- As the princess sat at her desk sat on the sofa, watching
her scribble furiously. "I'm going to date this and want you to keep
itÖjust in case," she said. For she had another reason to write
down her thoughts and present them to me that day. She was, rationally
or irrationally, worried about her safety and it was preying on her mind.
- She wrote down what she was thinking but didn't articulate
her justification for doing so. I think she would have felt silly, or perhaps
embarrassed. She just wanted to put it down. It was, in a way, her insurance
for the future.
- When she finished the letter, she popped it into an envelope
addressed to "Paul", sealed it and handed it to me. I read it
the next day at home, and thought nothing of it. It wasn't the first time,
or the last, that she would express, verbally or in writing, such concerns
- But, with the benefit of hindsight, the content of that
letter has bothered me since her death. For this is what she wrote 10 months
before she died in that car crash in Paris:
- "I am sitting here at my desk today in October,
longing for someone to hug me and encourage me to keep strong and hold
my head high. This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous. (The
princess then identified where she felt the threat and danger would come
from) ... is planning "an accident" in my car, brake failure
and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to
- I have been battered, bruised and abused mentally by
a system for years now, but I feel no resentment, I carry no hatred. I
am weary of the battles, but I will never surrender. am strong inside and
maybe that a problem for my enemies.
- Thank you Charles, for putting me through such hell and
for giving me the opportunity to learn from the cruel things you have done
- I have gone forward fast and have cried more than anyone
will ever know.
- The anguish nearly killed me, but my inner strength has
never let me down, and my guides have taken such good care of me up there.
- Aren't I fortunate to have had their wings to protect
- That letter has been part of the burden I have carried
since the princess's death. Deciding what to do with it has been a source
of much soul-searching.
- All I can say is, imagine if that letter had been penned
to you by loved one and then, within the next year, they died in a car
crash. In trying to make sense of it, you tend to waver from considering
it a wild coincidence to more bizarre, paranoid explanations.
- I had hoped that the matter would be put to rest by an
inquest into the princess's death ñ a full examination by a coroner
and court in the UK of the events of 31 August 1997. But, for some inexplicable
reason, there has not been an inquest. If it were anyone else, an inquest
would have had to be held and yet that essential, inquisitorial process
has been pushed to one side.
- In the late summer of 2003, it was announced that an
inquest was being planned in Surrey to examine the circumstances, primarily,
of the death of Dodi Al Fayed. It was unclear whether that hearing's scope
would include the death of the princess.
- Whatever the situation, the lack of an inquest to date,
and the attempt by Scotland Yard and the CPS to destroy my reputation with
my Old Bailey trial in 2002, has led me to make the contents of that note
public. I agree that it may be futile in what it achieves because it can
do no more than provide yet another question mark.
- But if that question mark leads to an inquest, and a
thorough examination of the facts by the British authorities, it will have
achieved something. Perhaps there is a desire to allow the matter of British
inquest to go away, but that cannot be allowed to happen.
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