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Friday, December 19, 1997 Published at 19:32 GMT


Doubts over Diana and Dodi's 'last interview'
image: [ Princess Diana: quoted as making barbed comments about Royal life ]
Princess Diana: quoted as making barbed comments about Royal life

Princess Diana's former aides are examining an article published on Friday by the French magazine, Paris Match.

The magazine claims it conducted an intimate interview with the Princess of Wales and her friend Dodi Fayed not long before the couple were killed in a car crash on August 31.

Buckingham Palace says the interview never took place and Diana's closest adviser has cast doubt on its authenticity.

[ image: Paris Match: will not reveal the name of the interviewer]
Paris Match: will not reveal the name of the interviewer
Paris Match, now on news-stands in Europe and available on the Internet, carries pictures of Diana taken the day before her death in Paris and claims she made barbed comments about her royal duties.

Paris Match said it delayed publication out of respect for the Princess but it declined to name the journalist who secured the 'exclusive interview'.

In the interview, Dodi and the Princess are said to have been asked about their plans for a future.

[ image: Diana:
Diana: "profound feelings" for Dodi
Dodi is said to have spoken of marriage and Diana is quoted as having "profound" feelings for him.

"I've never enjoyed such harmony. My dream ... why not make a love marriage out of this?" Dodi said in the magazine.

Diana was more circumspect: "My feelings for Dodi are profound and I believe his are sincere," she said.

Diana's former Personal Secretary, Michael Gibbins, cast doubt on the magazine's claims that this was a genuine interview and that it was her last before she died.

"If it had taken place, it would have been during the Princess's first holiday to France when Dodi was only present at the end and any relationship there may have been had not developed," he said. "To talk about marriage and children would have been absolutely extraordinary."

He added: "My view is that this alleged interview, as an interview, did not take place. What may have happened is that people may have got together snippets of private conversations over a period - it is strange that the interviewer's name is not revealed."

It is understood that action against Paris Match is unlikely as advisers fear legal moves could further publicise the story and add to the distress of Diana's family.

In regard to her charity work, the magazine reports that Diana declared it was better to be involved in humanitarian causes than be stuck "on the sidelines of a polo field."

Visiting slums was more fulfilling than staying in "icy palaces", Diana is quoted as saying.

The magazine also quotes Diana as having said: "My only moments of real happiness were the births of William and Harry."

Her love for the young Princes would have kept Diana in Britain, according to the interview.

"William and Harry are in school in England and they need me as much as I need them, so I won't move abroad," she is quoted as having said.

Diana frequently visited America and there were constant rumours that she wanted to live there.

Mohamed Al-Fayed, Dodi's father, is launching his own investigation into the crash that killed Diana and Dodi. He has hired a former police investigator to head it.

Diana's bodyguard back in Paris

Princess Diana's bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, the sole survivor of the crash, is being questioned again by a French investigating magistrate at the Palais de Justice in Paris.

[ image: Trevor Rees-Jones arrives for further questioning]
Trevor Rees-Jones arrives for further questioning
It is the third time Mr Rees-Jones has been questioned about the accident. He has said he remembers leaving the Ritz Hotel but no details about the crash itself.

Mr Rees-Jones returns on a regular basis to Paris for medical check-ups. His face was seriously scarred in the tragedy.

Judicial authorities in France have deneid French tabloid reports that investigators had given up finding the owner of a Fiat Uno thought to have been involved in the crash.


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