The Diana conspiracy theorists have struck again, and this time Scotland Yard is investigating. Despite mountains of evidence to prove her death was an accident, Tina Brown says some fantasists just can't let it go.
Here we go again. Scotland Yard has revived the old phantoms of conspiracy with the announcement that it is looking into new claims that Lady Diana and her lover, Dodi Fayed, were victims of an assassination. According to a new book by Alan Power, The Princess Diana Conspiracy, the latest allegations of murder most foul spring from the trial of one Sgt. Danny Nightingale, an SAS sniper convicted of possessing illegal weapons. The estranged parents-in-law of a witness against Nightingale, “Soldier N,” claimed he had told his wife that an SAS unit called The Increment had contrived to make Diana’s chauffeur crash into the 13th pillar of Paris’s Pont de l’Alma Tunnel on August 31, 1997, by disguising a secret service agent as a paparazzo to shine a strobe light into the driver’s eyes.
Diana, Princess of Wales, in Zenica on August 9, 1997. (Ian Waldie/AP)
This is old potatoes indeed, but Scotland Yard is taking it seriously enough to announce an investigation. And perhaps the most interesting aspect is that this time the allegations have not come from Dodi’s crazed, vengeful father, Mohamed Al Fayed, who spent 11 years accusing Prince Philip of ordering up the hit team to assassinate Diana to stop her from marrying a Muslim (by whom, he claimed, she was pregnant).
At one time in the frantic aftermath of the tragedy, there were not just thousands of feverish stories of high-level plots to cause Diana’s car to crash but 35,000 conspiracy sites, factories of fantasy. They were all blown out by the first of the French inquiries and then by the exhaustive official inquest in London in 2008.
Sixteen years after a fatal car crash in a Parisian tunnel, Scotland Yard is investigating claims that Princess Diana was assassinated by the British military. Nico Hines reports.
Was Princess Diana assassinated by the British military? Scotland Yard announced this weekend that they were examining that possibility after the family of a former Special Forces operative allegedly broke the code of silence surrounding her death.
Diana, Princess of Wales attends a centenary gala at the Tate Gallery in London, July 1, 1997. (Dave Benett/Getty )
Sixteen years after a fatal car crash in a Parisian tunnel, some argue that questions still remain over the cause of a collision that killed Diana, her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul. Fayed’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed, and a host of conspiracy theorists have claimed that the British military or the royal family were behind the crash.
Since the closure of a formal inquiry into her death, the British police have not considered any of the theories worthy of investigation, until now.
British police said Saturday that new evidence shows a former soldier bragged to his parents that the military was behind the princess’s 1997 death in car crash, reigniting suspicion that foul play was involved in the tragedy.
The British military has been accused of masterminding a plot that killed Princess Diana.
Jerome Delay / AP Photo
Scotland Yard announced Saturday night that police officers were examining claims that the elite SAS Special Forces unit was behind the death of the princess in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
Conspiracy theories first emerged within hours of the fatal crash that killed Diana and Dodi Fayed when their car struck the 13th pillar of the Alma Tunnel 16 years ago. Official inquiries concluded that their driver was drunk and had crashed accidentally while being pursued by the paparazzi, although Diana had feared that members of the royal family were plotting to have her killed.
Farewell, Wales! William says he’s leaving his post as a rescue pilot to focus on the ‘mentally demanding’ task of raising baby George. Nico Hines on what Wills and Kate will do next.
Prince William says looking after baby George is as much hard work as his grueling day job—so it’s just as well he’s decided to quit his full-time post as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot.
Prince William gives his father, Prince Charles, a tour of the RAF rescue base in July 2012 in Valley, England. (Chris Jackson/Getty)
The Duke of Cambridge gave the first public insight into the young family’s plans Wednesday when he revealed that he would leave his post and move away from Anglesey, the remote Welsh island where he and Kate had their first home in a cottage that can be most generously described as “cozy.”
The royals’ abrupt departure poses an obvious question: where will they raise their tiny heir? That will depend on William’s new job. It seems a little early for the future king to assume purely royal duties like his father, Prince Charles, and the queen, but there is speculation that he will take on a less demanding role in London with the Household Cavalry, which would allow him to ease into the life of a full-time royal.
The Royals are on holiday, and so is the Royalist.
The Queen is on holiday – with her Corgis, naturally – in Balmoral, Prince Philip is heading there on Monday and the guest of honor, Prince Georgie, is due up later in the month accompanied by his parents, William and Kate.
So the Royalist is taking a break too. I’ll be back here bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on on Monday 26 August, all ready for the new term. Of course if any big royal news breaks, the Daily Beast team will be all over it, as you would expect.
On Hols: Prince Charles and Princess Anne play in the sand with a Corgi at a beach in 1957 (Buckingham Palace / Clarence House via Getty Images)
Until then, I leave you with this rather charming vintage picture of one the Queen’s corgis playing in the sand with Charles and Anne in 1957.
Kate will be joing William in Wales, sources tell the Royalist
Kate Middleton will be joining Prince William "at some stage" on the Isle of Anglesey, a senior courtier at Kensington Palace has told the Royalist, raising the intriguing possibility that the newest Royal Family could be planning, in a major break with tradition, to raise an heir to the throne completely outside the royal sphere of influence.
William returned to his RAF base on Anglesey yesterday when his paternity leave came to an end.
Nicky Loh / Getty Images
The new information – the courtier was not willing to say when Kate might head to Wales - suggests that predictions that William may be about to shortly quit the RAF and move back to London could be wide of the mark, and that the couple may yet harbor a desire for their child to experience a more normal rural life in Wales.
William is back at work in Wales while Kate is staying on at her mom's
Sources at Kensington Palace are confirming that Prince William has returned to work as a search and rescue helicopter pilot on remote Anglesey, while Kate is staying on at her mum's in Berkshire, closer to London.
So far the new family have spent just one night at their London residence, Kensington Palace.
SAC Faye Storer
William will be back flying helicopters on his regular shifts in Wales rom today. He is ilkely, however, to have plenty of opportunity to spend time with his family because of the intensive nature of the work which sees pilots spend several days on call and then having several days off duty.
William is the first member of the royal family to have taken paternity leave.
Beatrice is hosting a lavish 25th birthday tonight
Speculation is mounting that Princess Beatrice may announce her engagement to her long term boyfriend, financier Dave Clark, tonight, at a lavish party being thrown at Prince Andrew's home, Royal Lodge, in Windsor Great Park.
According to the Mail on Sunday's diarist, the guest list for Bea's 25th includes Robbie Williams, Sir Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, Pippa Middleton and Dizzee Rascal.
‘Guests have been told to bring trainers [athletic shoes] as the agenda for the evening involves outdoor games, followed by a big dinner,’ a source tells the paper.
William and Kate will not be present, with William on duty in Anglesey and Kate at her parents’ home in Berkshire with Prince George.
Suggestions that William decided unilaterally to describe his wife as a princess, after Palace repeatedly insisted she was not one
The plot thickens in the Princess Kate mystery, with suggestions that the designation of Kate as a Princess on Prince Georgie's birth cerificate may have been the result of unilateral action by William, who filled out the registration document for Prince Georgie's birth.
Richard Palmer, the well-briefed royal reporter for the Daily Express, suggests William may have simply decided that it was time to set the record straight and put it in black and white that Kate is indeed a Princess of the United Kingdom.
A detail of the birth record of Prince George of Cambridge. (Stefan Rousseau/AFP/Getty)
Palmer writes, "A senior aide at Buckingham Palace suggested William might simply have taken it upon himself to decide that his wife was a Princess."
William jokes about need to pick up nappies after polo match
Prince William and Harry played in a charity polo match at Ascot on Saturday, to raise money for two charities, Skillforce and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
After the match William was presented with a mini polo mallet for his newborn son, Prince George.
As he was about to receive the gift, which an official was holding in a large shopping bag, William jokingly asked if it was a bag of nappies.
"I've got to pick some up on my way home," he said.
It's official, Kate actually is a princess, not just a duchess.
If there was one palpable moment of anticlimax after the royal wedding in 2011 when Kate and William tied the knot in front of a global audience of billions, it was perhaps when it came to the bestowing of titles.
The world had, quite naturally, expected the lavish ceremony would conclude with the arising of a new princess, Princess Kate, and there was tangible disappointment when it was announced, shortly after the wedding, that Kate would be known henceforth as the Duchess of Cambridge.
William and Kate on their wedding day in April 2011, when, unbeknownst to us all, Kate did become a princess. (Sean Gallup / Getty Images)
A duchess? Eh? We hadn’t come all this way for a duchess! We wanted a princess!
Pippa dressed up as a cricketer for pics to accompany her new Vanity Fair column
Pippa Middleton looks at her hottest since that wedding in a new shoot for Vanity Fair magazine, to accompany a jocular piece in which she attempts to explain the sport of cricket to her American cousins.
But it may not be for the prose (sample line: "I have many happy memories of afternoons spent lying on the grass and hearing the satisfying clunk of leather ball on willow bat..") that many readers will pick up the September issue of Vanity Fair, but the rather fetching photos of Pippa as a cricketer, photographed by Norman Jean Roy and styled by Jessica Diehl.
We are trying our hardest to get the picture here on the Royalist for you, but in the meantime, off you go to VF.com to see what I mean.
On the subject of cricket uniforms, Pippa writes, “From Imran Khan to England’s current captain, Alastair Cook, there is a tradition of the sultry cricketer powering in from the boundary or effortlessly gliding a ball to the boundary, tousled hair blowing in the breeze, his whites signifying a purity of action—oops, I almost forgot myself. Better have a cup of tea.”
Kate's ‘occupation’ given as ‘Princess’.
So is it OK to call her Princess Kate now?
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have formally registered the birth of Prince George, and Kate is described as a Princess on the document.
William—whose occupation is given as “Prince of the United Kingdom,” and there we were thinking he was a helicopter pilot—signed the birth register at Kensington Palace this morning, witnessed by a registrar from Westminster Register Office.
A detail of the birth record of Prince George of Cambridge. (Stefan Rousseau/AFP/Getty)
BBC issues apology over fleeting picture
The BBC has issued a brief apology after accidentally screening an image of Prince William - with a penis doodled on his head.
The mistake happened during the BBC Breakfast show, when a clip of a video by a barbershop quartet called Barbershopera was played on the show.
The quartet, made up of three men and one woman, were seen smartly dressed in a drawing room-style setting, with newspapers laid out on a coffee table in a clip from their song "I could have married Kate". Unfortunately, one of the papers had a picture of Wiliam in it which had been defaced.
Prince Charles comes face to face with a bald eagle at a country show
The balding Prince of Wales had a brush with a bald eagle at the Sandringham Flower Show yesterday.
Charles held the two-year-old eagle, Zephyr, as he and The Duchess of Cornwall came to the end of their tour of the show at The Queen's Norfolk retreat.
Pool photo by Chris Jackson
When the bird, which weighs more than 10lbs, flapped her wings, the prince was almost clipped by her impressive four foot span.
Prince Harry’s girlfriend is the opposite of Kate Middleton in every way. Tom Sykes examines the evidence: a pair of Doc Martens, some dungarees, and that infamous scrunchie.