Tue, Oct 21, 2003 - Page 7 News List

Diana foretold her own death, says former confidant

REUTERS , LONDON

Princess Diana made a chilling prediction of her own death in a car crash just 10 months before she died in Paris road tunnel, according to a secret letter revealed by her former butler yesterday.

The former wife of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles wrote the letter in October 1996 claiming there was a plot to kill her in a car crash and gave it to her butler Paul Burrell, asking him to keep it for insurance for the future.

The Daily Mirror newspaper, which is serializing Burrell's book A Royal Duty, said the letter includes an allegation by Diana that someone was planning her death, but that the plotter's name could not be published for legal reasons.

"This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous," it quoted the letter as saying. "[deleted words] is planning `an accident' in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry."

Burrell claims in his book that before sealing the letter in an envelope marked "Paul", Diana told him: "I am going to date this and I want you to keep it ... just in case."

A spokesman for the royal household declined to answer any questions. "We are not making any comment," he told Reuters.

Burrell was Diana's servant, friend and confidante for more than a decade during some of the most turbulent times in her marriage to Charles.

Burrell stood trial last year accused of stealing hundreds of the Princess' belongings including jewelry and clothes, but the case collapsed dramatically after Queen Elizabeth told prosecutors she remembered Burrell telling her after Diana's death that he would look after some of her possessions.

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