Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, reported a plot to assassinate her. Diana documented her concerns in a letter that she entrusted to the former Royal Butler, Mr Paul Burrell. She identified the man behind the plot.
PRINCESS DIANA PREDICTED HER OWN DEATH
Diana was warned about a conspiracy against her by a sympathetic insider. A 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."
After many years of experience as a senior employee of the Royal household, Mr Burrel recalls: "It is a matter of routine that members of government and the royal family are monitored." Princess Diana complained of being spied upon and bugged by "dark forces". She declined the police protection provided by Scotland Yard because these officers are considered "tools of the state". Burrell revealed that Diana was tipped-off by a private contact within the intelligence community: "She was being cautious, not paranoic, 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."
Soon after her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana wrote in a letter to Mr Burrell: "This phase in my life is the most dangerous". Afraid that she was about to be assassinated, Diana decided to leave a written record naming those who were plotting her downfall. In a letter dated October 1996, Diana identified one of the key individuals who she suspected was "planning an accident in my car".
Ten months after she wrote that letter, her prediction came true. Princess Diana and her lover Mr Dodi Fayed were killed early on the morning of 31 August 1997 when their Mercedes, driven by chauffeur Henri Paul, crashed in the Pont D'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. The events surrounding Diana's death are cloaked by a catalogue of unexplained anomalies and unanswered questions, which have led the majority of people in Britain to doubt the official explanation that she died by accident.
The Daily Mirror today became the first newspaper to report the news that Diana named the person who was planning to have her killed in a car crash. The names of the conspirator was censored - blacked out for "legal reasons". The newspaper suggested that Diana might have been referring to "the Establishment" which they described as "an undefined, invisible network of interlocking social circles". The newspaper also suggested that Diana "might have been referring to the domestic intelligence service MI5" because "the Queen does not know of its secret work and darker practices". The Queen of England herself has warned Mr Burrell that "There are powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge."
No mainstream source has mentioned Prince Edward yet, or his secret society connections. We are the first to name him. His Royal Highness, Prince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick, has been Grand Master of British Freemasonry since 1967. This powerful role as the most senior Freemason carries the title "The Most Worshipful". As the cousin of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward is also Duke of Kent. The Prince is also Field Marshall of the Knights of the Garter (an elite medieval chivalrous Order based on Holy Grail mythology), as well as Hereditary Grand Master of Anglo-American Freemasonry, and holds a pleithora of other influential positions which mean nothing to outsiders.
Prince Edward's status as a senior member of the British Royal family, together with his high-ranking position in the world's most established secret societies, give Prince Edward unparalleled influence and privileged access to high-ranking officials in the intelligence and security services throughout the world.
Wittingly or unwittingly, Princess Di created a problem for the establishment. Her high-profile campaign against land mines threatened to undermine the UK's single most economically important industry - the international arms trade. Her sons are the sole heirs to the British throne, and Diana was becoming too popular and too powerful. Somehow, she had to be stopped. A few centuries ago a courtier in Diana's position could be easily disposed of at the Tower of London, but these days the authorities are more sophisticated.
Some people are afraid to ask what's really going on in the world, but The Insider is not afraid to tell you.
Daily Mirror (UK), "DIANA LETTER SENSATION: 'THEY WILL TRY TO KILL ME'", 20 October 2003.
BBC News (UK), "Diana 'feared car accident plot'", 20 October 2003.
Princess Diana feared the brakes of her car were going to be tampered with, 10 months before she died in a crash in Paris, her former butler has claimed.
The princess allegedly wrote in a letter to Paul Burrell: "This phase in my life is the most dangerous".
She reportedly named someone who was "planning an accident in my car, brake failure and serious head injury."
The alleged letter, which Mr Burrell kept secret until now, has been published in the Daily Mirror.
The name of the alleged person has been blacked out by the newspaper for legal reasons.
Diana and Mr Fayed were killed early on the morning of 31 August, 1997 when a Mercedes driven by chauffeur Henri Paul crashed in the Pont D'Alma tunnel in Paris.
In the alleged letter, Princess Diana reportedly believed the plot was "in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry".
A French inquiry in 1999 blamed Mr Paul, concluding he had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs and was driving too fast.
In August, Surrey Coroner Michael Burgess announced he would conduct inquests into the death of Diana and Mr Fayed, but did not specify a date.
The inquests will be the first official public hearings in Britain to examine the circumstances surrounding the Princess's death.
Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan said the letter, taken for a forthcoming book by Mr Burrell, was "sensational".
"There has been to date, incredibly, no inquest into the death of Princess Diana and there has been no public inquiry in this country.
"I think Paul Burrell has watched and watched and waited and nothing has happened and he now feels that this is the time to come forward and demand those two things happen and what better way to do that than with this incredibly compelling document."
While Mr Morgan said he did not know if the letter and Diana's death were connected, he said publication of the letter was in the public interest.
"I believe at the very least the British public can expect after this morning's revelations an immediate announcement that there will be an inquest, not in another six year's time but right away, and we can finally get to the bottom of what may or may not have happened that night."
Mr Burrell was acquitted of theft in 2002. His trial collapsed after the intervention of the Queen.
He had been charged with stealing from Diana's estate.
Mr Burrell, currently in the US, said in a statement that he had reflected on events since the princess's death, and particularly since his trial collapse last year.
"During that time I have watched and listened as many individuals have claimed to know the truth about the Princess.
"I know that what was claimed to be the truth is actually far from it."
He said he decided to include details of the alleged letter in his upcoming book, A Royal Duty, because he believed "that someone has to stand in the princess' corner and fight for her now that she cannot do so herself."
Daily Mirror, "ROYAL WARNED DI: YOU ARE BEING SPIED ON", 20 October 2003.
(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 princessís position not to go on the hunt for devices.
A question of self-doubt led to reassurance from me, and one more question led to us sitting on the stairs and talking through her concerns.
Again, the pen put her thoughts into some form of therapeutic order.
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.
ALL I do know is that within four years of Her Majestyís 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?
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.
As the princess sat at her desk sat on the sofa, watching her scribble furiously. "Iím 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.
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.
But what startled the princess most was to learn that "monitoring" did not necessarily require devices to be planted in a household.
But, in all honesty, I cannot pinpoint what the Queen was referring to. I have beaten myself up mentally many times over why I didnít ask her at the time what she meant. I, like you, can only speculate.
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.
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:
Even another member of the Royal Family warned the princess: "You need to be discreet, even in your own home, because Ďtheyí are listening all the time."
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 andmeaning of the "be careful" message from Her Majesty.
"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 marry.
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 to me.
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.
Arenít I fortunate to have had their wings to protect me..."
I had hoped that the matter would be put to rest by an inquest into the princessís death Ė 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.
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.
If there was one thing about life at KP the princess loathed it was the inescapable feeling of constantly being listened to or watched.
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.
IN one particular period of anxiety, in October 1996, the princess called me from my pantry. I met her half-way down the stairs.
In the autumn of 1996, she had an overpowering feeling she was "in the way". She certainly felt that "the system" didnít 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 donít like it when I am able to do good and stand on my own two feet without them," she said.
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.
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 hearingís scope would include the death of the princess.
In this extract he tells of the princessís increasing concern that she had made powerful enemies and how she was convinced 'they' were determined to spy on her and control her movements.
It is a matter of routine that members of government and the Royal Family are 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 was one of the reasons why she shed her police protection. She didnít 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
She felt there was a concerted attempt by what she referred to as the "anti-Diana brigade" to undermine her in the publicís 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 held.
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.
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.
She said she was "constantly puzzled" by the attempts of Prince Charlesís sympathisers to "destroy me". It was a "down day", and the princess needed to talk.
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.
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.
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 didnít realise she had good reason to be concerned.
She wrote down what she was thinking but didnít 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.
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.
So, what did she mean? All I know is what I heard. It wasnít quantified or expanded upon, neither was it melodramatically delivered. I walked away and accepted what had been said as it had been intended Ė as sound advice to be vigilant.
That letter has been part of the burden I have carried since the princessís death. Deciding what to do with it has been a source of much soul-searching.
The Queen might have been referring to the power base of media barons and editors who can topple individuals from their pedestals.
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.
Then, in demonstration after demonstration, the princess and I were given a sharp lesson in hi-tech surveillance techniques.
Then, we prised up the floorboards with screwdrivers. She was convinced there were listening devices in the palace but we found nothing.
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.
When both of us were away from the palace, she even suspected that listening devices had been planted in apartments 8 and 9.
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 wasnít the first time, or the last, that she would express, verbally or in writing, such concerns to me.
When she found none, she called on the help of her ex-intelligence services friend.
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.
BBC News, "Burrell 'given safety warning by Queen", 6 November 2002.
Former Royal butler Paul Burrell has claimed the Queen warned him his closeness to Diana, Princess of Wales, could put his safety at risk.
He says the dramatic comments were made during the same three-hour meeting that, when eventually recalled by the Queen, triggered the collapse of his trial for theft last week
In an interview with the Daily Mirror newspaper, for which he was paid £300,000, he says she told him: "There are powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge."
Evening Standard (UK), "What the Princess wrote to her Butler", pp 4-5, 20 October 2003.
'Plot to kill her'
Princess Diana warned 10 months before she died in a letter to Paul Burrell that there was a plot to kill her to clear the way for Prince Charles to marry Camilla Parker Bowles.
In a handwritten letter on Kensington Palace notepaper to Burrell, Diana wrote: "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 of my life is the most dangerous.
X 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 says the Princess told him he should keep her letter as "insurance" for the future when she wrote the note to him in October 1996, sealed it an envelope marked "Paul" and told the butler: "I'm going to date this and I want you to keep it . . . just in case."
The claims, which are part of a serialisation of Burrell's book in the Daily Mirror, will only fuel the conspiracy theories that have surrounded the death of the Princess, her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and their chauffeur Henri Paul in the Paris road tunnel in August 1997.
Harrods' owner Mohamed Fayed -- Dodi's father -- has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on a private investigation in a failed bid to prove that his son and Diana were murdered in a secret service plot.
She was 'spied upon'
Princess Diana believed she was being spied upon and bugged by "dark forces".
Paul Burrell reveals he helped Diana "sweep" Kensington Palace for electronic listening devices at the height of her concerns that she was under surveillance. "It is a matter of routine that members of government and the royal family are monitored. She knew that," Burrell says.
He added: "If there was one thing about life at KP the Princess loathed it was the inescapable feeling of constantly being listened to or watched."
He claims that it was one of the reasons that she abandoned her Scotland Yard police protection, as she regarded the officers as "tools of the state".
He describes how she feared listening devices had been planted in her apartment when she was away.
"Once, both of us moved all the furniture to one side in the sitting room and rolled up an Aztec-style rug, the blue fitted carpet and its underlay. Then we prised up the floorboards with screw drivers. She was convinced there were listening devices in the Palace. But we found nothing."
He says she was so worried about devices she even checked plug sockets, light switches and lamps. Burrell says: "She was being cautious, not paranoic, 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."
Burrell even claims that another member of the Royal Family warned the Princess: "You need to be discreet, are listening all the time."
The 'cruelty' of Charles
The collapse of Charles and Diana's marriage left the Princess feeling " battered, bruised and abused mentally."
She claimed that for 15 years the Palace "system" nearly destroyed her and she wrote in another letter to Burrell that Charles put her " through such hell" with the "cruel things" he did to her.
During their divorce in the summer of 1996 the Princess felt undermined by the anti-Diana brigade. She spoke to Burrell about being "constantly puzzled" by the attempts of Charles's friends to "destroy" her.
Burrell said "We spoke about the continuing role of Tiggy Legge-Bourke. We spoke about Camilla Parker Bowles and whether Charles really loved her. We inevitably spoke about how the Princess felt undervalued and unappreciated."
The letter she wrote records how she spent hours analysing why her marriage failed But Burrell also says that after the divorce Diana's relationship with Charles actually improved.
She sent Valentine cards to Charles and spoke of wanting to be "Charles's best friend."
She once said "A part of me will always love Charles."
It shows, however, that the Princess died without making peace with the Queen following her comments about Charles's unsuitability to be king in the Panorama interview.
Discussing the problems of the future of the monarchy, she wrote: "I so want the monarchy to survive and realise the changes it will take to put 'the show' on a new and healthy track."
Diana also revealed that she agreed with the Queen's "disappointment" over the failure of her marriage to Prince Charles.
Evening Standard (UK), "Diana 'foresaw death crash'", front-page (pp 1, 4), 20 October 2003.
Diana 'foresaw death crash'
Princess Diana predicted her death in a car crash only months before the Paris tragedy which killed her.
The extraordinary revelation emerged today as a handwritten letter she gave her butler Paul Burrell was made public for the first time.
The letter says: "They're planning Ďan accident' in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry."
In the letter Diana names who she believed was plotting to kill her. But for legal reasons the identity cannot be revealed.
The claims will reignite the conspiracy theories that have surrounded Diana since she died with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed in the Alma tunnel in Paris in August 1997.
The revelations are made in Mr Burrell's new book, A Royal Duty, which is being serialised in the Daily Mirror. It comes amid continuing controversy about the failure to stage a full inquest in Britain into Diana's death.
Although it has been six years since the tragedy, only in the last few months has Royal Coroner Michael Burgess agreed to a full public investigation.
He was expected to name a date within days, but it has now emerged he will not be drawn on a timescale.
Today's revelations are certain to impact on the relationship of Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. They pose a setback for the couple just as they are becoming increasingly accepted by the Queen, the public and the establishment and as a forthcoming marriage was being seen as a more realistic prospect.
Diana gave Mr Burrell the letter in October 1996 just 10 months before the accident as "insurance" for the future.
He claims it has been part of "the burden I have carried since the Princess's death." He adds: "Deciding what to do with it has been a source of much soulsearching."
But Mr Burrell, who is set to make millions from his book, is bound to be accused of cashing in on Diana's memory.
Last year he was cleared of stealing her personal possessions after the dramatic intervention of the Queen just before he was to give evidence.
Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed, father of Dodi, has always claimed his son and Diana were killed in a Secret Service plot.
He has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on a private investigation to try to prove his conspiracy theory.
The United Grand Lodge of England - "Who's Who at The UGLE"
Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, KG, GCMG, GCVO, ADC
Prince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick, born in 1935. Educated at Eton and Le Rosey, Switzerland. He is a cousin both of the Queen and of the Duke of Edinburgh. His father, who was Grand Master 1939-42, was the fourth son of King George V, and his mother, Princess Marina, was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece. He has been the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England since he was first elected in 1967.
Evening Standard, "Former aide launches attack on royal family", 22 October 2003.
Mr Bolland, the media adviser credited with improving the Prince's image, claims the royals and the "snooty men in grey suits" who run the monarchy are "out of touch".
His comments in the Daily Mail are the strongest-ever attack on the Queen by a high-ranking former aide to Charles.
Mr Bolland, 36, was assistant private secretary to the Prince of Wales but resigned to avoid a conflict of interest when he set up a PR company last April, with clients including National Lottery operator Camelot.
He retained a £150,000-a-year consultancy role with Charles, but ended it earlier this year after tensions with the Prince's new private secretary Michael Peat.
Mr Bolland continues as an unpaid, unofficial adviser to Camilla Parker Bowles. He organised her transition to an increasingly public role as the Prince's companion, and has become close friends with her.
Daily Telegraph, "Royals are totally out of touch, says Prince's ex-aide", 23 October 2003.
Mark Bolland, the Prince of Wales's former spin doctor, launched an astonishing attack on the Royal Family and their courtiers yesterday, claiming they were "totally out of touch with the real world" and unable or unwilling to deal with the media.
Mr Bolland, the Prince's deputy private secretary for six years, blamed royal advisers for mishandling the Paul Burrell affair and claimed that, had he had his way, the former butler would probably never have been prosecuted for alleged theft from Diana, Princess of Wales's estate.
The 37-year-old public relations expert, who left the Prince's employ after the appointment of Sir Michael Peat as private secretary, said the Royal Family had performed "a music hall vanishing act" since the Golden Jubilee.
"The diktat went out from the snooty men in grey suits at Buckingham Palace: no more stories about any member of the Queen's family in newspapers, no more pictures on television," wrote Mr Bolland, who was a close friend of tabloid editors, in particular Rebekah Wade of The Sun.
Mr Bolland, credited with rehabilitating the Prince's image after his separation from Diana and promoting Camilla Parker Bowles from mistress to semi-official consort, added that he had tried to set up a meeting between the Prince and Mr Burrell before last year's trial, aimed at persuading Mr Burrell to hand back items to the princes, but his attempts were thwarted by "forces stronger than the Prince of Wales".
"In these circumstances I doubt there would have been any prosecution and Paul would probably not have felt the need to reveal all he has," he wrote in the Daily Mail.
Daily Mail, "Questions that won't go away", 21 October 2003.
The explosive publication of Diana's letter predicting her own death can only fuel the conspiracy theories that have refused to disappear since the tragedy.
As the British and French authorities continue to maintain a stubborn silence, these theories - however unpalatable - will be given a degree of credence by yesterday's revelation.
Whatever the truth, the events surrounding the events of August 31, 1997, are riddled with mystery and inconsistency.
The Daily Mail has shone a spotlight on the days before and after Diana was found lying seriously injured on the back seat of the Mercedes, her life slipping away, her boyfriend Dodi Fayed already dead by her side. Many of those involved in the aftermath of the crash will still only talk in the strictest confidence, perhaps fearful of being branded conspiracy theorists.
Others believe what they have to say is of vital importance but complain that few have been willing to listen to it.
Here are some of the crucial answered questions from that night six years ago.
Why was the chauffeur so flush with cash?
The driver of the Mercedes, Henri Paul, was being paid just £20,000 a year at the time of his death. Yet he was found to be unexpectedly wealthy. As deputy head of security at the Paris Ritz, Paul had accumulated an astonishing pot of gold - £102,000 in 13 different bank accounts.
In the pocket of the grey suit in which he died, police found £2,000 in cash - more than he earned in a month. In 1997, alone he had paid £4,000 cash into his accounts on five occasions. He was spending £600 a week on flying lessons.
There are two other disturbing issues about Paul. The renegade intelligence agent Richard Tomlinson claims to have seen his name in MI6 files. And on the evening of Diana's death, he mysteriously disappeared for two hours before reappearing at the Ritz to take the wheel of the Mercedes.
Why did the CCTV look the wrong way?
The CCTV cameras inside the Alma Tunnel where the crash happened were, according to sources, turned inwards to face the wall on the night of August 31. They would thus have been unable to record anything of the collision, the people or the vehicles there at the time or during the tragic aftermath.
Not until dawn on Sunday, September 1, as Diana's body was being prepared for its return to Britain, were the cameras turned to face the traffic.
If this seems strange, so, too, was Paris officials' decision to send the green vehicles of its cleansing department into the tunnel only seven hours after the crash. Their efficiency at spraying the whole area with disinfectant expunged for ever all forensic evidence remaining at the crash site.
Why did 'drunk' driver have a healthy liver?
More clues about what happened in Diana's final hours lie today in a small medicine bottle in a refrigerator in Paris. It contains a small sample of blood taken during the post-mortem examination on Henri Paul. Further crucial evidence is contained in 27 confidential, buffcoloured files in the Paris offices of the French judge Herve Stephan, who first investigated the Princess's death.
French authorities have always insisted a combination of alcohol and high speed provoked the crash in which only the Princess's bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones survived.
They have let it be known that Paul was an alcoholic who was 'as drunk as a pig' when he left the Ritz to drive Diana and her lover back to Dodi's apartment half a mile away.
Two medical experts, Dr Gilbert Pepin and Professor Dominique Lecomte, said the chauffeur was twice over Britain's legal drink-drive limit when he took the wheel.
Yet only three days before the crash, Paul passing an intensive medical examination for flying lessons which showed no signs of alcohol abuse.
Was there a mix-up at the morgue?
That phial of blood remains at the heart of the controversy. For it suggests something else quite extraordinary: That Paul had breathed in a deadly quantity of carbon monoxide before he died. It was equivalent to the amount inhaled by a suicide victim who places a rubber hose through a sealed window of a car to gas himself.
Such a vast inhalation of the poison would have rendered him visibly disorientated, probably unable to stand unaided. It is possible he would have actually been unconscious.
Yet Paul can be seen on CCTV footage from the Ritz that evening alert, smiling jovially and even bending down to tie up his shoelace.
He was killed instantly in the crash. There is no way he could have then drawn breath and inhaled any poisonous exhaust gases in the wrecked car. Mercedes, for their part, insist their airbags do not contain the gas.
Significantly, Dodi's body contains no carbon monoxide. Unofficially, even Judge Stephan has called the presence of the gas a complete enigma.
What if the blood in the bottle containing the alarming readings, now lodged with the French legal authorities, is not really Henri Paul's? Could he have been completely sober as his parents maintain?
That weekend 23 other bodies were taken to the Institut Medico Legal mortuary where Paul lay. Had one of the dead committed suicide by drinking heavily or inhaling exhaust fumes?
Was there a muddle? Or was it a deliberate mix up?
Why did ambulance take so long?
As Henri Paul and Dodi's bodies waited to be taken to the mortuary at 12.40am on the Sunday morning, Diana was still alive. Three ambulances arrived to find she had a torn pulmonary vein in her chest and blood was seeping into her lungs.
One ambulance with four paramedics - never traced by the French authorities - stretchered her on board their vehicle.
The vehicle took the best part of an hour and a half to reach the nearby Pitie-Salpetiere Hospital. On its way it passed two other clinics which could have treated her.
The ambulance stopped twice at the roadside, apparently to give Diana emergency treatment for failing blood pressure, the second time just 300 yards from the hospital.
By the time she arrived it was too late to save her. She was to die of an injury which was life threatening but not necessarily fatal.
When Ronald Reagan was shot, his pulmonary vein ripped open. But swift hospital attention allowed him back to presidential duties in one month.
Was the Uno driver another victim?
The white Fiat Uno which clipped the Mercedes in the tunnel, causing the crash, was driven by a royal paparazzo called James Andanson. It took two weeks to trace him after the Fiat was discovered for sale in a Paris garage. The paint on the wrecked Mercedes matched exactly the paint from its tailgate.
Andanson insisted he was at home, in central France, during the early part of the night Diana died. He spun a yarn about flying out of the country through Orly Airport half an hour before she took her last breath at 4am. He produced a petrol receipt to endorse his presence near the airport. But that did not prove he was not in the Alma Tunnel a few hours before.
Andanson, who was never reinterviewed by French investigators, apparently committed suicide in strange circumstances two years later. His body was found in a burned-out car, 100 miles from where he had told his family he was travelling that day. It was locked from the outside.
Who were the masked raiders?
A month later, Andanson's offices in Paris - at the French HQ of the photo agency SIPA - were raided by three armed men in balaclavas. They shot a security guard in the foot, held screaming staff hostage for three hours before leaving with laptops, hard disks and cameras. The staff's frantic calls to the police went unheeded.
Could the security services have been involved? Renegade MI6 officer Tomlinson, who was sacked by British intelligence, has claimed they use paparazzi because of their skills at tracking the whereabouts of high profile 'targets'. Was Andanson one such agent?
Was the Princess pregnant?
This is a persistent rumour fuelled by Diana having told close friends during the Mediterranean holiday prior to her trip to Paris that she had some exciting news. Because she was a British citizen, no autopsy was carried out on her in France. Yet her body was embalmed from the waist up by Professor Lecomte at the hospital in the late morning of her death in an event that has never been explained satisfactorily by French authorities.
This broke French law, which bans embalming if another posthave-mortem is to be carried out because formaldehyde fluid used in the process corrupts some toxicological tests.
One of these tests is for pregnancy. The formaldehyde used in embalming the Princess would have ensured any subsequent tests on Diana would given a false 'positive' pregnancy reading.
Whatever the motive for embalming Diana it destroyed forever all evidence which would have revealed - one way or the other - if she was expecting Dodi's child.
Who was the shadowy figure?
Why did the Mercedes head in exactly the opposite direction from Dodi's apartment when it left the Ritz? Henri Paul knew Paris intimately and the correct route was along the wide Champs Elysee. If he had made a navigational error, why did he not turn back by using a slip road before the tunnel?
One eye witness claims this route was blocked by a helmeted rider on an unmarked motorbike.
Was Paul in the pay of the British and French secret services? Was the bike placed there to make sure the royal party took that fatal route?
Perhaps an inquest into Diana's death would start to unravel the extraordinary enigma.
Last summer, royal coroner Michael Burgess promised to hold one in the near future. A day later he changed his mind and said no date could be set.
In the light of what he knew, Paul Burrell may not have been surprised by that sudden change of heart. Nor, we have to presume today, would Diana have been.
BBC News, "PM rejects inquiry into Diana's death", 21 October 2003.
There will be no public inquiry into Princess Diana's death, Downing Street has confirmed.
The prime minister's official spokesman rejected calls for an inquiry into the car crash in Paris in which Diana, Princess of Wales, died.
An allegation in The Daily Mirror newspaper on Monday by Paul Burrell, Diana's former butler, said that the princess feared her life was in danger 10 months before her death in 1997.
"The Insider" mailing list article, 20 October 2003.
Tags: Diana, car, crash, letter, predicted, assassination, Paul, Burrell, letters, princess, of, Wales, Lady, Di, Dodi, evidence, death, assassination, murder, MI5, MI6, Queen, Prince, Edward, Royal, Prince Edward, , conspiracy theories.