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Bodyguards Reveal British Royal Family’s Affairs

Royal Family
Princess Diana during her visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia in June of 1983. Credit: Russ Quinlan, CC BY-SA 2.0

Richard Aldrich and Rory Cormac, former bodyguards for the British royal family, have recently released a book called The Secret Royals: Spying and the Crown, from Victoria to Diana.

The book chronicles the fraught relationship between the royal family and their secret service, moving from Queen Victoria to the era of Princess Diana Spencer.

An extract from the book was recently published on the Daily Mail’s online platform, MailOnline.

New book explores drama throughout modern history of the Royal Family

The extract offers a revealing glimpse into the dissolution of Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage as seen from the vantage point of their close security detail.

The two authors discuss how Charles would take his Aston Martin from Highgrove to carry on his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, who later married the Prince after his marriage officially ended with Princess Diana. The pair says that the Prince was always accompanied by “his Special Branch officer, Colin Trimming.”

Diana was, however, simultaneously carrying on her own affair with cavalry officer James Hewitt, and Aldrich and Cormac claim that her security officer even slept downstairs on a couch while the two lovers were together on another floor.

The extract published on the MailOnline website reads:

Not surprisingly, Charles and Diana became intensely secretive and at times tried to evade their own security. Diana was the worst. Even early in her marriage, she became rather good at giving her own security the slip. Like an intelligence operative, she knew how to elude her tail. This caused periodic panics when royal flunkies realized she had slid out to go shopping down the King’s Road, protected only by a pair of stylish sunglasses.

After the couple separated, she was even more reckless. In the Austrian mountain resort of Lech, she evaded her protection team by making a night-time leap into deep snow off a first-floor balcony at her hotel and then going for a walk.

Her protection officer later asked her: ‘Ma’am, what were you thinking?’ He left her service, and thereafter she dispensed with routine police protection—a dangerous strategy indeed.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ divorce and the tragic accident that followed

On August 28, 1996, Prince Charles and Diana divorced. Almost exactly a year later, of course, she was the victim of a tragic car accident in Paris that brought an end to her young life.

On Saturday, August 30, 1997, Diana and her boyfriend, Egyptian billionaire Emad “Dodi” Fayed, arrived in Paris following a ten-day getaway on the French Riviera. They dined at the private salon at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. Coincidentally, Fayed’s father, Mohammed Al-Fayed, owned the hotel at the time—along with Harrod’s Department store in London.

A few minutes past midnight on Sunday, Diana and Fayed left the hotel and got into the Mercedes Benz that was waiting for them, likely to travel to Fayed’s private Parisian estate.

Although the posted speed limit was thirty miles per hour, the driver, Henri Paul, reportedly approached the entrance of a tunnel at Paris’s Pont de l’Alma driving at approximately seventy miles per hour. According to reports, Paul lost control of the car and collided into a pillar in the middle of the highway.

Paul and Fayed were pronounced dead at the scene, and Diana—still alive—was taken by ambulance to the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital. Early reports said Diana was suffering from a concussion, broken arm, and lacerated thigh. However, the Princess had also suffered massive chest injuries, leading to the doctor on the scene working on her heart in the ambulance, making the extremely slow and careful ambulance ride a necessity in his opinion.

Operating for two hours, doctors tried and failed to get Diana’s heart beating properly again.

She never regained consciousness. Diana passed away due to internal bleeding at 4:53 in the morning of August 31, 1997.

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