| The front page of the Daily Mirror tabloid on Monday. (AP)
London, Oct. 20 (Reuters): 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 today.
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 Mirror newspaper, which is serialising 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said the letter includes an allegation by Diana that someone was planning her death, but that the plotter’s name could not be published for legal reasons.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 word/s) 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 spokesperson for the royal household declined to answer any questions. “We are not making any comment,” he said.
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. The couple’s divorce became official in October 1996 after both Charles and Diana had admitted to having adulterous affairs during their rocky 15-year marriage. Burrell stood trial last year accused of stealing hundreds of the Princess’ belongings including jewellery 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. Diana died at the age of 36, alongside her lover Dodi al Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul when their car crashed in Paris on August 31, 1997.
Burrell told the Mirror: “With the benefit of hindsight, the content of that letter has bothered me since her death.”
Robert Lacey, a royal biographer, said the letter was an “extraordinary revelation and prophecy” which was bound to add to the raft of conspiracy theories on how and why Diana died. “There is something magic about this,” Lacey said. “People will say forever now that Diana foretold her death. And that will add to the magical aura — the supernatural and the prophetic — that surrounds Diana.” He also said it would add to growing pressure for a British inquest into Diana’s death. The coroner charged with investigating the death has promised there will be an inquest, but has so far declined to set a date.