The announcement of Princess Diana’s engagement to Dodi Fayed was imminent, her inquest heard yesterday (10.12.07).

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Jeweller Alberto Repossi claimed the couple had chosen a ring from his shop in the summer of 1997, just weeks before they died in a Paris car crash on 31 August.

He claimed Dodi had asked for the stunning piece of jewellery to be resized because they were going to announce their engagement at the beginning of September.

Repossi told the High Court that staff at his Monte Carlo shop told him the couple had visited on 5 August.

Around the same time, he claimed he received a phone call from Franco Mora, then manager of the Ritz Hotel in Paris, who told him a “very important client” would be coming in. Repossi said Mora called again to tell him Diana and Dodi had seen a diamond ring in his shop window and needed it resized by the beginning of September.

Repossi said he told Mora that would be almost impossible because his workshop would be closed for the whole of August.

Repossi added: “But then the same day I received a call from Dodi who told me that he needed this ring for the end of August because at the beginning of September their engagement would be announced.

“I told him that I would do everything necessary.”

However, his version of events was challenged by Nicholas Hilliard, counsel to the inquest. At one point, the jeweller thumped the table in front of him and said loudly in English: “You are very tough.”

Cross-examining him, Richard Horwell QC, representing the Metropolitan Police, also said: “I suggest that you have told, over the years, a series of lies about what happened in August 1997.”

Repossi replied: “I understand that it’s a problem for you that they had
chosen an engagement ring but it’s not my concern.”

Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed, has always maintained the couple were killed by the British establishment as they were about to announce their engagement and Diana was pregnant.