"Diana, Princess of Wales. The full tragic story since her death in the car crash in Paris. A LondonNet News Feature
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DEATH OF THE PRINCESS
Diana Case Faces Chop | 'Diana Effect' Hits Stores | Di Death Doubts Resurface | Queen's Mail Wail | Diana Shorts | Candle Sales Ignite | Pub Brawl Over Di Joke | Paparazzi Off the Hook | Al Fayed Facing Police Charges | Queen Feels Sharp End of Charles' Tongue | Diana in Airport Name Bid | Charles Goes on Attack
The continuing story
Diana Case Faces Chop
PARIS investigators are set to abandon their attempts to nail anyone for the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Magistrates looking into the crash that caused the Princess's death and that of companion Dodi Al Fayed are said to be on the point of announcing that they will close the case through lack of evidence. One magistrate is quoted as saying that the investigation is "going nowhere," after police failed to trace the Fiat Uno reckoned to have been involved in the smash in a Paris tunnel that saw Diana's Mercedes spin out of control.
The decision to put an end to the investigation that has so far cost some $400,000 also lets off the hook the paparazzi posse chasing the Mercedes that fateful August night who had previously been charged with manslaughter.
* Meanwhile, rumours are spreading in the US that profits from the sale of a Princess Diana Beanie Baby doll are not going to the Diana Memorial Fund as promised by manufacturers Ty Inc. Any news on this topic gratefully received here at LondonNet.
THE DEATH of Diana, Princess of Wales is being blamed for a dip in shop sales in the UK in recent months.
LondonNet has reported on the wave of so-called 'Diana Depression' that had hit the capital but now it seems the effect of the people's Princess' tragic death was financial as well as emotional. Experts believe the fact that many shops shut on the day of Diana's funeral plus the way millions of people were glued to their TV screens and to the internet is responsible for wiping 250 million UKP ($375m) off retail sales figures.
CONSPIRACY theorists have received a boost with the news that a royal official has said he wants to open a second investigation into the mysterious death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Rumours have been flying around ever since Diana's death that sinister forces were behind the accident that caused her demise, but the revelation that senior members of the British Establishment share that belief will come as a shock.
According to informed sources, respected figures in the Queen's Coroner's Office are lobbying for the right to hold their own investigation as soon as the French authorities have finished their trawl through the evidence. Apparently top officials drew the conclusion straight away that the Paris crash was no accident and now want to test their theories out.
THE QUEEN's handlers have acted to stamp out the fires burning over the Diana postal tribute, it emerged today.
Accusations flew around this (Monday) morning that Her Majesty had blocked the proposed Diana stamp that the Post Office had planned to issue as its contribution to the Diana memorial fund.
But sources close to the Queen have now tried to deflect any criticism onto the Spencer family. One adviser to Queen Elizabeth said: "The Spencer family need more time to consider the matter."
Now that the story has come to light, it is hard to see whether the Royal Family or the Spencers putting up a fight over the stamp issue, but the damage down to the Queen's image has already been done.
The Queen is already reeling from revelations that she tried to block the large scale funeral for Diana and is also on the back foot after the publication of Kitty Kelly's muck-raking The Royals book in the United States.
Spanish tourist Guillermo Hernandez-Setien fined 100 pounds after being found guilty of stealing flowers and a teddy bear from the Diana tribute outside Kensington Palace ... Take That to reform for Diana Memorial Fund concert at Wembley Arena on December 7th. Spice Girls will appear, too ... Pizza Express considering launching a Diana Pizza.
Candle Sales Ignite
'CANDLE in the Wind' went on sale in Paris today with record industry insiders predicting it would go on to become the biggest selling single of all time.
Elton John's tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales is reckoned to have world wide appeal and is set to break the million barrier within days of hitting the streets.
The song originally written for Marilyn Monroe back in the 1970s goes on sale in London tomorrow and in the US within the next few days. In Paris, the city in which the Princess met her tragic end, music retailers were inundated with people asking for the single today and similar scenes are expected to be repeated around the world.
The song is also set to feature on a Diana tribute album being planned by Virgin owner Richard Branson. The proceeds of both album and single are to go the Diana Memorial Fund, which has already taken close to 150 million pounds ($200 million). Meanwhile, former boy band Take That are said to be planning to reform for a concert in aid of the memorial appeal.
Pub Brawl Over Di Joke
A West London pub witnessed furious scenes last night after a fight broke out over the telling of a joke about Diana, Princess of Wales.
Jokes at times of tragedy are common, according to psychologists, and are even seen as an effective means of coming to terms with grief. But that wasn't the way pub goers saw it yesterday.
The joke in question (What's the difference between a Mercedes and a Skoda? Diana wouldn't be seen dead in a Skoda.) caused mayhem with the joke teller being immediately surrounded by irate regulars. At least one punch was thrown as emotions, still scarred by Diana's death, were sent out of control.
The name of the pub? The Prince of Wales, believe it or not.
What do you think about jokes at times of tragedy? Are they merely a harmless reaction to grief? Or are they never justifies in any circumstances? Have you hear any Di jokes yet? What was your reaction?
Paparazzi Off the Hook
MANSLAUGHTER charges are expected to be dropped today on the paparazzi photographers who followed the car of Diana, Princess of Wales before it crashed into a Paris road tunnel.
Paris legal officials initially indicated that they would be pressing ahead with proceedings against the posse of shutter clickers in the wake of a media and public outcry after the deaths of Diana and Dodi Al Fayed, but are now close to abandoning the case through lack of evidence.
Instead further attention has been focused on the car's driver, Henri Paul, the Ritz Hotel employee who was three times over the drink drive limit and had taken prozac not long before ferrying his two illustrious passengers.
Now even the Ritz owners, the Al Fayed family, through their lawyer have admitted that Paul was over the limit. Questions are set to be raised as to the role of Paul's direct boss in choosing Paul as driver, despite the fact he did not hold a chauffeur's licence. Police have leaked the fat that they mat recommend action against the Ritz for negligence.
Two Slovak women are set to appear in court today charged with stealing 11 cuddly toys from the field of flowers outside Kensington Palace ... Man handed a seven day jail sentence for pinching a Diana teddy was punched by passer by as he left court ... Volunteers, mainly boy scouts and girl guides, are today starting the huge clear up operation of flowers left in tribute to Diana outside three London palaces.
Al Fayed Facing Police Charges
PARIS police are on a collision course with the Al Fayed family, it has emerged today.
Top officers in the French capital are thought to be on the point of charging the Al Fayeds, owners of the Paris Ritz, with negligence for using drunk, drugged Henri Paul as driver to Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi.
Police have confirmed that a third blood test on Paul backed up the earlier tests and showed the Ritz Hotel's driver to be three times over the French drink drive limit. Traces of Prozac were also found in the latest test.
The Al Fayeds are still sticking to the line that the paparazzi were to blame for the crash which killed Diana and Dodi, but that claim is becoming increasingly discredited as more evidence is released.
It has also been revealed by the authorities that there was no jewellery or cash missing from the wreckage of the Mercedes driven by Paul, and that no cocaine was recovered, contrary to earlier speculation.
'Candle in the Wind' is set to go straight in at number one when it is released in the US next week, record industry bosses predict ... New Toronto subway station to be called 'Princess' in Di's honour ... Asprey, the top London jewellers, have been unmasked as the contributors of the 3 million pounds ($4 million) donation to the Diana Memorial Fund ... Album of Diana's funeral to be released by BBC with all proceeds going to Memorial Fund. Sales of at least £1 million are already envisaged ... Some members of Althorp family, otherwise known as the Spencers, are said to be fed up with mispronunciation in the media. Apparently Althorp should be said Altrup ... Sardinian tourist jailed for seven days for stealing teddy bear left by grieving child outside St James Palace ... Earl Spencer has urged mourners not to leave flowers at the gates of his huge Althorp estate, citing road congestion
Queen Feels Sharp End of Charles' Tongue
PRINCE CHARLES had an amazing bust up with the Queen and her advisors in the build up to last weekend's funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, it has been revealed.
Queen Elizabeth, apparently still smarting from Diana's messy divorce from Charles, was keen to keep the funeral private and not to give it any royal status, a stance which Charles attacked with some vehemence.
At one point Charles is said to have told Sir Robert Fellows, the Queen's top advisor to "impale himself on his own flagstaff," such was his fury.
In the end, the intervention of Prime Minister Tony Blair plus the emotions of millions of people around the world forced the Queen to agree to demands to make the service a public affair.
Both Earl Spencer, the dead Princess's brother, and Royal spokesmen denied the story today, but journalist Jon Snow, who broke the news, stands by his report.
Diana in Airport Name Bid
HEATHROW airport could soon have a new name, if some English politicians get their way.
Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle was first off the blocks with the idea to re-name the world's busiest international airport in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales and Hoyle was quickly backed in her campaign by Conservative leader William Hague.
Others have suggested a statue be erected of Diana as the best tribute while there are also calls for hospitals and parks to be named after the tragic Princess.
One problem for the Heathrow scheme is that no one seems to be sure what the new name would be. Diana Princes of wales Airport is a bit of a mouthful, although the more informal Diana Airport is probably not respectful enough.
Charles Goes on Attack
PRINCE CHARLES is reckoned to be furious with the way the media, at least in this country, have portrayed himself and other members of the Windsor clan as the villains of the piece in the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The heir to the throne is under the spotlight after Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, made his astonishing attack on the royal family at the funeral service on the weekend.
Spencer promised Charles and Diana's sons that they he would make sure they didn't get choked by all the tradition and protocol associated with the Windsors. But Charles has been quick to point out that he has always been a supportive father to William and Harry and that he intends to everything in his power to protect them from the prying eyes of the media.
Spencer's speech has already been credited by many pundits with forcing a seismic shift in the way royalty conducts its own affairs but Charles is determined to wrest the initiative from his ex-wife's brother. Charles is now at his Highgrove estate in the west of England with his sons and has let it be known through aides that he was not happy with elements of Spencer's oration.
Spencer was the hero of the hour for many as he tore into both the Windsors and the media at Westminster Abbey but he is now likely to be bracing himself for some severe criticism, besides the rebukes coming from Charles's people.
The media has already rehashed some old stories about the Earl's various extra-marital affairs and the fact his ex-wife suffered from depression and was an anorexic. It has also been pointed out that Spencer is hardly in a position to help out with the young princes childcare given the fact that he now lives in South Africa.
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