Monday, June 8, 2009

Candle in the Wind

Source: Wikipedia

Tribute, funeral, and burial

Diana's funeral took place in Westminster Abbey on 6 September 1997. The previous day, following a week long absence from the public eye, Queen Elizabeth II paid tribute to her former daughter-in-law in a live television broadcast. The funeral procession of Diana passing St. James' Park, London.

The sudden and unexpected death of a very popular royal figure brought statements from senior figures worldwide and many tributes by members of the public. In reaction to the death people left public offerings of flowers, candles, cards and personal messages. By 10 September, the pile of flowers outside Kensington Gardens was five feet deep in places and the bottom layer had started to compost. The same day, Fabio Piras, a Sardinian tourist, was given a one week prison sentence for having taken a teddy bear that a member of the public had put down among the flowers at St James's Palace as a tribute to Diana (this was later reduced to a £100 fine, a reduction that led to him being punched in the face by a member of the public when he left the court.) The next day, Maria Rigociova, a 54-year-old secondary school teacher, and Agnesa Sihelska, a 50 year old communications technician, were each given a 28 day jail sentence for having taken eleven teddy bears and a number of flowers from the pile outside St. James' Palace. This, too was later reduced to a fine (of £200 each) after they had spent two nights in jail.

Diana's funeral was attended by all members of the Royal Family. Her sons, Prince William and Prince Henry, walked in the funeral procession behind her casket, along with their father, Prince Charles, and grandfather, Prince Philip together with Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer,. During the service, Elton John sang a new version of "Candle In The Wind", his hit song initially dedicated to Marilyn Monroe. The title of the remake version was changed to "Candle in the Wind 1997" and the lyric to refer to Diana. The burial occurred privately, later the same day. The Prince of Wales, Diana's sons, her mother, siblings, a close friend, and a clergyman were present. Diana's body was clothed in a black long-sleeved dress designed by Catherine Walker, which she had chosen some weeks before. A set of rosary beads was placed in her hands, a gift she had received from Mother Teresa, who died the same week as Diana. Her grave is on an island within the grounds of Althorp Park, the Spencer family home.
The original plan was for Diana to be buried in the Spencer family vault at the local church in nearby Great Brington, but Earl Spencer said that he was concerned about public safety and security and the onslaught of visitors that might overwhelm Great Brington. He decided that he wanted his older sister to be buried where her grave could be easily cared for and visited in privacy by her sons and other relations.

The island is in an ornamental lake known as The Round Oval within Althorp Park's gardens. A path with thirty-six oak trees, marking each year of her life, leads to the Oval. Four black swans swim in the lake. In the water there are water lilies, which, in addition to white roses, were Diana's favourite flowers.

On the southern verge of the Round Oval sits the Summerhouse, previously in the gardens of Admiralty House, London, and now adapted to serve as a memorial to Diana. An ancient arboretum stands nearby, which contains trees planted by Prince William of Wales and Prince Henry of Wales, other members of her family, and Diana herself.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why Diana Had To Die

By Barbara Jones The Star March 9, 1999

Top-secret telexes, tapes and never before seen photographs will prove that Princess Diana and Dodi were assassinated in cold blood - and British and American intelligence agencies worked together to cover up their murder.
That's what Dodi's grieving father, Mohammad Al Fayed, told a Washington D.C., court in a successful bid to force the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to turn over 1,056 pages of secret files to the French judge investigating the devestating August 31, 1997 crash.
Now Al Fayed has told Judge Herve Stephan - who had previously announced he's ready to turn over his vast dossier to a public prosecutor - that what is in these files will blow open the 18-month probe.
In an exclusive interview with the Star, Al Fayed says the documents contain crucial evidence of a cloak-and-dagger conspiracy involving the CIA, the DIA, the National Security Agency (NSA) and their British pals in MI6 which resulted in Diana's death.
"I believe the judge will now suspend his findings until he has seen the CIA and DIA paperwork," said Al Fayed.
Al Fayed told the Star that he believes the stunning new intelligence documents will show:
Diana and Dodi were set to announce their engagement on Monday, Sept 1 - as soon [as] she broke the news to Prince William and Prince Harry.
The CIA found out about the impending announcement because it bugged Di's phone calls in which she confided her wedding plans to Lucia Fleche Di Lima, wife of the Brazilian ambassador in Washington, D.C.
The CIA immediately tipped off spies in Britain's top-secret MI6 by telex - and MI6 then unleashed its trained killers, sending them to the underpass at Place D'Alma where Diana died.
Meanwhile, a new witness has also come forward with what could be blockbuster information about the fatal crash. The witness claims he was in the white mystery car that fled the scene - and which authorities have been looking for ever since in the hope that the driver could shed new light on the deadly events in the Paris tunnel.
Photographers at the crash scene filmed the mysterious white car, believed to be a Fiat Uno, and two suspicious motorbikes - and then wired the stills to a photo agency in London. But the crucial photographs disappeared 12 hours later when the agency's offices were burgled.
Al Fayed claims that the plot to kill Diana was kicked into high gear as soon as British authorities found out from the CIA that Dodi had picked out a $215,000 star-shaped diamond ring for his future bride - thanks to the bug on Di pal Lucia's phone.
"The only reason my son and Diana were in Paris that night was so that he could personally collect the ring and propose to her," he told Star.
He had seen it 10 days previously and called earlier from the south of France (the couple had been on an idyllic cruise on Al Fayed's luxury yacht) and arranged to pick it up that fatal Saturday afternoon.
"Later I spoke to Dodi and he was so excited and happy. Diana was too," said Al Fayed. "They deserved a lifetime's love together, and this beautiful ring was to put a seal on that."
Al Fayed says that just looking at the ring - now preserved in a glass case at his Paris apartment - makes him weep. It was handed to him along with all his son's other personal belongings when he flew to France to identify his body.
The billionaire owner of Harrods, the upscale London department store, has spent a year and a half - and a fortune - trying to make sense of his son's tragic death.
On Feb 5, Judge Henry Kennedy ordered the CIA and the DIA to hand over all their files on Al Fayed, Dodi, and Di.
"Diana believed all her married life that she was under surveillance by British and foreign intelligence agencies who reported back to her husband Prince Charles and the British establishment," Laurie Mayer, Al Fayed's London spokesman, told Star.
"She had every reason to think they intercepted her phone calls. The call she made to Lucia on the afternoon of her death could have alerted them she really was going to marry Dodi and that he, a practicing Muslim and the son of a man who helped bring down the British government, would be stepfather to Prince William and Prince Harry."
Al Fayed also wanted - and got - files on two photographers, a Frenchman and a Dutchman. He is trying to discover what they know about the death plot.
"These men know what went on that evening," says John McNamara, Al Fayed's director of security, who has worked full time on the investigation since the fatal crash.
"They filmed the motorbike we know was blocking the exit road, forcing the Mercedes to take the tunnel. That could show the license plate of that bike and another one we believe shot into the tunnel behind the white Fiat Uno. The Fiat Uno was waiting at the mouth of the tunnel. There was a collision and since then the bikes and the Fiat have vanished.
"Immediately after the crash, the photographers sent their pictures round the world. Some of those wired to an agency in North London had vital frames showing the vehicles we cannot now trace. The agency was broken into just hours after the crash and neither we, nor the police, believe it was an ordinary burglary," says the former Scotland Yard senior detective.
"Many photographs show Diana lying in the rear seat of the Mercedes, one arm flung across Dodi and her legs buckled up under, have been seen across the world. Some have even been published in Europe. But none has shown the bikes or the car."
Just one of the unanswered questions is why the NSA has files on one of the photographers on the scene that night.
"He has a criminal record and is not an accredited photographer. His role is unclear, but we find it strange that there are files on him in American," adds McNamara, who told Star he's been chasing down every lead since the terrible night that Diana and Dodi died.
Just last week, a mystery man came forward to claim the $1 million reward money Al Fayed put up for information about the crash. The man claims he was a passenger in the mystery car they were looking for which fled the scene - not a Fiat Uno as it was orginally described, but a white Citroen AX.
The witness claims he fled the scene because his car was uninsured - and that now he's terrified for his life. French police say tests confirm that paint chips and pieces of rear light covers came from a Fiat Uno, but McNamara and his team are carefully checking this new story.
Al Fayed's also trying to get to the bottom of a mysterious operation in which he was offered alleged CIA files for information on Di and Dodi's deaths for $20 million.
McNamara said that on April 1, 1998, Al Fayed was contacted by Keith Fleer, a high-flyer lawyer who has pulled off many multimillion dollar deals in Hollywood. "He arranged for us to meet a man called Oscar LeWinter and others in Austria, where they had secret government files from the CIA with a price tag of $20 million." After an extraordinary series of meetings involving false names and passwords, McNamara said he discovered that LeWinter and his associates had suspicious backgrounds.
Working with the Austrian authorities, he established that the documents were forgeries and had LeWinter arrested.
"He's doing two-and-a-half years in a Viennese prison and we still haven't tracked down the con men working with him," says McNamara. "We have tried to persuade the FBI, offering them video of conversations with Fleer, to take legal action against him and his cronies. If he is not prosecuted for fraud, we will not hesitate to take civil action against him. Either he has been involved in a huge con trick or else he has been attempting to sell genuine government files."
Al Fayed's belief that intelligence agencies played a role in the deaths of his son and Princess Diana was fueled by ex-British intelligence agent Richard Tomlinson's detailed description of an Mi6 assassination plot against a Serbian leader, which eerily mirrored the death of Dodi and Di.
Tomlinson told Star readers in an exclusive interview last year that the deputy head of British intelligence was in Paris at the British Embassy on August 31 and returned to London immediately after Di and Dodi's tragic deaths.
He also says that the driver of the death car, Henri Paul - head of security at the Rtiz Hotel, owned by Al Fayed and where Di and Dodi were staying - was a low-level informer for the British and was likely plied with drinks and told to drive fast because there was a terrorist threat.
Al Fayed employed a team of four pathology professors to study evidence - and they have submitted reports to Judge Herve Stephan which say that an extraordinarily high level of carbon monoxide in Paul's blood cannot be explained.
McNamara says that Al Fayed is determined to find out about all the surveillance activities being carried out on Diana and Dodi - and to bring to justice the people responsible for their deaths.
"Mohammad Al Fayed will continue his own inquiries forever, long after the authorities have given up. He will never believe his son died in a simple road accident. He firmly believes that Dodi and Diana were killed and that secret service agencies were involved. He wants to know the truth and he will not give up until he gets it."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Di's Love Letters

Excerpts from

Princess Diana's Love Letters – to Dodi and Prince Philip
By Simon Perry
Originally posted Friday December 14, 2007 08:50 AM EST

Love notes from Princess Diana to Dodi Al Fayed, the boyfriend who died alongside her 10 years ago, were revealed Friday and offered new insights into their relationship. "Darling Dodi, these cufflinks were the very last gift that I received from the man I loved most in the world, my father," reads a message that accompanied a gift of jewelry. Diana's note became public during the ongoing inquest into her and Fayed's fatal car crash, which took place in a Paris traffic tunnel on Aug. 31, 1997.As she also wrote in the note, "They are given to you as I know how much joy it would give him to know they were in such safe and special hands. Fondest love, from Diana." In another message, Diana signs off with, "This comes with all the love in the world and as always a million heartfelt thanks for bringing such joy into this chick's life." The letters surfaced a day after other sensational correspondence was unveiled from 1992 – the year Diana and Charles had separated.
Surprising Bond with Prince PhilipContrary to previous belief, the letters between Diana and her former father-in-law, Prince Philip, reveal a close, rather than an estranged, relationship. Calling Philip "Dearest Pa," Diana thanks him for his guidance. In a letter that he, in turn, sent to her, Philip, now 86, vows to "always do my utmost to help you and Charles to the best of my ability, but I am quite ready to concede that I have no talents as a marriage counselor!!!" Diana replies, "You are very modest about your marriage guidance skills and I disagree with you. This latest letter of yours shows great understanding and tact."
Friend: Diana in Love with AnotherThe inquest also heard from Diana's close friend Rosa Monckton, who on Thursday said Diana was "very much in love with" Hasnat Khan, her boyfriend before Dodi Al Fayed. Saying Diana became "deeply upset and hurt" when the relationship with Khan ended, "She wanted to marry him," Monckton told the inquest.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Princess Diana - Getting to Know Her

Diana Frances Mountbatten-Windsor, nee Spencer was born on July 1, 1961. She died on August 31, 1997.

She is most often referred to as "Princess Diana", but in actuality this is not her correct title. Diana, Princess of Wales is her proper title.

She was married to HRH The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales for 15 years.

She was mother of the second and third in line to the British throne, HRH Prince William of Wales and HRH Prince Henry of Wales. William's nickname is "Wills" and Henry uses the name "Harry".

She became one of the world's most photographed and popular celebrities. The public enjoyed her fresh outlook and down-to-earth attitude which she stayed true to throughout her life.

Humphrey Bogart was her 7th cousin.

She was a descendant of King Charles 1 of England.

She was an accomplished pianist and a daring and bold bridge player.

Princess Diana - A Legendary

Even after more than 10 years after her tragic death, Princess Diana is still as much alive because no one can ever forget her. Such a beautiful and lovely person, it is such a loss to the whole world. I remembered when I first heard the news, I almost burst into tears. That is such a surprise coz I never know her in person other than a world celebrity. And I heard from a friend who worked in the press, some group of girls cried uncontrollably when they heard the news. And we're not even Britons.

And every now and then, when I hear news about her and her death, there's always a lump in my throat. Sometimes a tear or two shed. That much impact on me for a stranger is incomprehensible.

Princess Diana was a living legend when she was alive, and now she is truly a legend for the world....