6.1.04

Mirror names Charles as Diana Inquest opens

Amid protests by royal bean-spiller Paul Burrell, the Daily Mirror has today revealed the senior royal Diana thought was planning an accident in her car was in fact Prince Charles.

Apart from getting Charles' year off to a good start the Mirror's decision to publish will no doubt court controversy.

Burrell was quick to issue a statement saying he had never intended this to come out and had censored it from his own book. Having been paid well over half a million pounds from selling his book and story rights to the Mirror he now has the cheek to say he is consulting his lawyer to see if there may be a cause of action against the Mirror for revealing the name. Considering that this 'sensational revelation' was heavily traded on by him to secure his media deal, Burrell is perhaps pushing the boundaries of even his self-appointed importance.

So Burrell aside, the Palace has kept quiet saying it was not going to respond at this stage - well if it is a fair and accurate report of a true statement then there is not much the Palace can say or do about the revelation itself. It is the implication of the revelation that is of greater importance and calculated to do more damage to Charles.

Was Piers right to publish and be damned? - yes. The letter has been requested as evidence by the long awaited Inquest into Diana's (and Dodi's) death. As such it will be placed in the public domain - or at least should be. The public have waited long enough for this Inquest and will now it seems have to wait a further 12 - 15 months to give the coroner a bit more time to think about this one - Michael Burgess said the extra time was necessary to consider all the evidence and decide which witnesses to call. He has also asked Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens to investigate the various allegations surrounding the Paris car crash. Whether Sir John will be knocking at Charles' door remains to be seen.

Whether what Diana wrote or its implications are - as many have suggested - preposterous will be a matter for the police and the Inquiry to ascertain. Whether they be proved true or untrue the public has a right to know why a now dead Princess thought the heir to the throne was planning 'an accident'

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