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Diana Made 'Last-Minute' Car Switch Before Crash

By Tim Castle

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LONDON (Reuters) - Princess Diana made a last-minute switch of cars before the high-speed drive through Paris that ended with her death in an underpass crash, official documents showed.

The papers, released late on Tuesday under freedom of information laws, gave conflicting reasons for the change in cars by Diana and her lover Dodi al Fayed before their deaths in the early hours of August 31, 1997.

In one document written three weeks after the crash, Britain's ambassador to France, Michael Jay, said it was a "last-minute change of mind aimed at diverting the awaiting paparazzi."

But two other memos, written by unnamed officials, said the couple's hire car had failed to start as they attempted to evade journalists outside the Paris Ritz hotel where they had been staying.

"Because, apparently, their getaway car failed to start, they got into another nearby car driven by a Ritz driver," one memo said. "This car drove at high speed, followed by journalists, until the accident in the tunnel under the Pont d'Alma."

Jay's note reported how the British pathologist hired by the al Fayed family had challenged initial blood tests which showed the car's driver Henri Paul, also killed in the crash, had been three times over the legal alcohol limit.

French authorities conducted a third test, including a sample of fluid from the white of Paul's eye that confirmed the alcohol level and showed that he was on anti-depressants. The documents showed how in the days after Diana's death officials in London fretted over the mounting cost of her funeral.

One official wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites)'s office promising that his department would "try to keep costs as low as possible."

Another said the probable 5 million pound ($9.6 million) cost was "scarcely a deck on the Royal Yacht," referring to a recent government decision to scrap the royal family's ship "Britannia."

The circumstances of the crash still cause controversy. John Stevens, a retired senior British police officer, is investigating allegations Diana's death was not an accident at the request of Britain's Royal Coroner Michael Burgess.

Dodi's father, Harrods store owner Mohammed al Fayed, has alleged the couple were murdered by British secret services because their relationship was embarrassing the royal family.

The claim was dismissed last year by Stella Rimington, former head of the domestic spy agency MI5.

Diana's marriage to Britain's heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles broke down in 1992 and later ended in divorce.

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Parker Bowles in Line to Become Queen

By ROBERT BARR

LONDON - In the latest twist in a royal wedding saga that has been full of flip-flops, the British government revealed Monday that like it or not, Britons will have to get used to Queen Camilla.

That's because Camilla Parker Bowles will, by law, automatically become queen when Charles is crowned. While the public has come around to supporting the marriage, opinion polls still show strong opposition to Parker Bowles taking the title of queen.

But any attempt to change the rules to bow to popular sentiment would be exceedingly difficult: It would require not only a new law in Britain, but also legislative changes in 15 nations of the Commonwealth.

Ever since Prince Charles' office announced the wedding in February, preparations have been riddled with reversals that have prompted many observers to liken the nuptials to a farce.

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The Windsor Guildhall where Britain's Prince Charles

and Camilla Parker Bowles will hold their marriage

ceremony on April 8.

Charles and Parker Bowles were initially to get married at Windsor Castle, but were forced to choose a decidedly more downscale venue

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Guest ranster627

We Canadians compare her to the polo ponies she adores, but we are always careful not to offend the horses!

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Guest ranster627
My fellow Australians have a good name for her. I cant/wont type it here. :twisted:

Not even a hint????

If Camilla becomes Queen and even likely if Charles becomes King, Canada will likely leave the commonwealth IMHO.

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Guest Anonymous

I'm going to be in trouble for this. I'm a proud Canadian and I love the queen as much as I loved the Queen Mother. I loved Diana as much as I would a sister.

I am really happy for Charles and Camilla. They are changing the prudish standards by which the royal family has lived for centuries. Should Camilla become queen? Why not? It was no one's fault that Charles found himself in a loveless marriage. Not his -- not Diana's. And... not Camilla's. Can any of us choose who we love? Uh uh. Let them find happiness together -- I think she'd make a very lively queen. I just want to see the sadness the royal family has had over the last decade to end and see them happy again.

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I personally don't have a problem with her being Queen. The only thing I wouldn't like is if they gave her Diana's title, and that's been ruled out already.
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Guest GaYToR

OK, I am admittedly clueless on this. I once was able to name the royal lineage from 1066 to current. Wouldn't even attempt it now. But not sure I ever knew about this one thing. Maybe some of you Canucks or Aussies can help me out.

When a queen ascends to the throne, her husband does not become king but instead keeps his title such as Phillip has done as Duke of Windsor.

But when a king takes the throne, as most likely Charles will, his wife takes on the title of Queen. Personally, I kinda like the ring of Camilla, Whore to the King. :roll:

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Guest Anonymous

She does become queen but she cannot rule. In other words, Charles becomes king -- and its expected that he will -- but the next in-line would be Harry. This means that when Charles dies or descends from the throne, Camilla would lose the title of queen. Nor could she be queen mother because that remains Diana's title. Camilla is not Harry's mother.

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Guest ranster627
I'm going to be in trouble for this.  I'm a proud Canadian and I love the queen as much as I loved the Queen Mother.  I loved Diana as much as I would a sister.

I am really happy for Charles and Camilla.  They are changing the prudish standards by which the royal family has lived for centuries.  Should Camilla become queen?  Why not?  It was no one's fault that Charles found himself in a loveless marriage.  Not his -- not Diana's.  And... not Camilla's.  Can any of us choose who we love?  Uh uh.  Let them find happiness together -- I think she'd make a very lively queen.  I just want to see the sadness the royal family has had over the last decade to end and see them happy again.

No trouble from this Cannucker, I believe in free speech and the democracy we live in and therefore the fact that everyone is entitled to their opinion, even though mine is always the right one. :wink:

I will say I agree on one point, people should love whoever they choose to!

I just find it very convenient that Charles is allowed to stay while Edward with Simpson was forced into exile!

I have a lot of respect for Queen Elizabeth, and the thought of Camilla taking that title devaluates the sacrifice and devotion the current Queen has demonstrated.

In my mind, let's get a fresh start and move straight to William.

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Guest Anonymous

Ooopps!!! You're right Ranster -- its William not Harry who's next. I just like Harry a lot more. lol

And the issue with Simpson was that she was a commoner was it? No title? I think if Camilla didn't have a title the same might apply here.

Either way - Charles deserves some happiness. And I'd like to see him Crowned. Then again -- I don't want to lose the Queen quite yet.

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Guest ranster627
And the issue with Simpson was that she was a commoner was it?  No title?  I think if Camilla didn't have a title the same might apply here. 

Either way - Charles deserves some happiness.  And I'd like to see him Crowned.  Then again -- I don't want to lose the Queen quite yet.

Actually Spooky ole buddy. I think the issue with Wallis Simpson was that she was a divorcee just like Camilla!

I don't want to lose the Queen yet either, and I would also like to see Charles "crowned" :twisted: ... just not the way you mean!

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I thought I'd pass on this article about Wallace Warfield Simpson. The woman Edward VIII'th gave up the throne for. It's a short article.... but interesting. At the bottom of the page - you can click on some pretty interesting photos that you might want to check out.

http://we3.org/

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Guest ranster627

This is just taking too long to all come out, makes me a little suspicious ala Marilyn Monroe!

Seems it takes a long time to get the cover up done properly! I am not saying she was murdered, just wondering out loud what we will never know!

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Guest ranster627
I thought I'd pass on this article about Wallace Warfield Simpson.  The woman Edward VIII'th gave up the throne for.  It's a short article.... but interesting.  At the bottom of the page - you can click on some pretty interesting photos that you might want to check out.

   

  http://we3.org/

I finally followed this link! Wow! Reminds me of Anastasia and all that hooplah. Would love to see the DNA testing results!

All X-Filians should visit this site!

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Prince Charles Calls Media 'Bloody People'

KLOSTERS, Switzerland (Reuters) - For a man about to marry the love of his life, Britain's Prince Charles sounded distinctly grumpy on Thursday in the elegant Swiss ski resort of Klosters.

Mumbling under his breath at a photocall with sons William and Harry, the heir to the throne was caught on the assembled microphones saying: "I hate doing this." Confronted by a phalanx of reporters and photographers, he whispered "Bloody people!"

The royal party traditionally offers a carefully stage-managed photocall on the slopes in return for being left alone when they go skiing in Klosters every spring. This year, however, the unwritten agreement has already broken down, with paparazzi snapping William together with his girlfriend Kate Middleton.

Charles's marriage next week to his longtime lover Camilla Parker Bowles has been dogged by setbacks. The venue had to be switched from Windsor Castle to the local town hall in a mix-up over marriage licenses, Queen Elizabeth refused to attend her son's wedding and constitutional experts are even questioning the legality of a civil ceremony.

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Guest Anonymous

The royal family needs the media though. In the past, the royals actually ruled Britain. Now they are more of a figurehead and the whole idea of departing from a monarchy is a movement on the rise. But they are treated like celebrities now -- and without the media they would have little real purpose.

Now that I've stated the negative I'll add that I adore the royals. Having a Queen as head of the country is a very cool thing. I've often thought that perhaps the royals should take a larger role in actually ruling.

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Guest ranster627

Spooky, I want to be more specific for ME. I have the highest regard for the Queen who has arguably dedicated her life to her reign!

If Charles is saying "bloody people" at this event, I can just imagine what his reaction will be next week when he marries!

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Guest Anonymous
Spooky, I want to be more specific for ME. I have the highest regard for the Queen who has arguably dedicated her life to her reign!

If Charles is saying "bloody people" at this event, I can just imagine what his reaction will be next week when he marries!

I'm sorry Ranster -- I'm not disagreeing! Charles has been raised with a camera in his face -- he SHOULD be used to it by now and be a little smarter of what he says when!.

I know many are hoping Charles passes the thrown immediately to William. I just don't know if I agree with that. If you'd asked me about 5 years ago I would have hopped on that band wagon. Then I did a bit of reading about the whole royal family. His actions have been so much better than some others who have taken the throne. But it is really his choice. I'd just like to see whoever sits in that chair and wears that crown to do a little more than duck hunting and signing papers without worrying about agreeing or disagreeing with them.

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Guest ranster627

No sorry necessary, I was just narrowing my view (for me) ... I am 50/50 on this ... while I would not want Charles really to be on the throne, in a way I would like to see William have more of a life before becoming King ... what I really mean to say?

Long Live The Queen! :D

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Guest ranster627

It was announced today on CNN that the wedding of Charles and Camilla will take place on Friday even if it happens to be the day of the funeral of the Pope.

If you ask me, they are likely thrilled that the media's attention is diverted right now!

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