Diana tape claims her body guard was murdered
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Diana murder claim tapes to be broadcast in US
By Patrick Sawer, Evening Standard
26 November 2004
For years Prince Charles and the Queen have been hoping this moment would never arrive - but next week videotapes in which Diana, Princess of Wales, makes a number of embarrassing allegations are being broadcast.
Their content is damning, even if the most extreme claim is scarcely credible.
In the tapes, to be broadcast on America's NBC channel, the Princess is shown saying:
Her bodyguard was murdered for having an affair with her.
She begged the Queen for help over her husband's affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, only to be dismissed with the comment "Charles is hopeless".
Charles met her only 13 times before their wedding.
She was shattered when he replied "Whatever 'in love' means" when asked about their relationship.
The tapes were made by Diana's voice coach Peter Settelen to help her with public speaking between September 1992 and December 1993, one of the most troubled periods of the Princess's life.
Diana's family have fought a lengthy legal battle to prevent the tapes being aired, but last September they finally gave in and told the Met to hand the tapes back to Mr Settelen, who is thought to have sold them for thousands of pounds to NBC.
Now they are to be shown in two hour-long specials, starting on Monday. While there are no plans to screen the tapes in this country, extracts are bound to be used extensively in the media.
That is bound to cause deep embarrassment to the royal family and reopen old wounds about Charles's conduct during his marriage to Diana.
The tapes were recorded by Mr Settelen in Diana's Kensington Palace apartment. He gave them to her to watch in private, but after her death they disappeared. They were found by police officers at ex-butler Paul Burrell's home.
Mr Settelen then claimed ownership of the tapes, sparking a legal wrangle.
In the tapes the Princess says the road death of Sergeant Barry Mannakee, a married royal protection officer with whom she is thought to have had an affair, was "the biggest blow of my life." She says: "It was all found out and he was chucked out. And then he was killed. And I think he was bumped off. But um, there we are. I don't ... we'll never know ... he was the greatest fella I ever had."