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Sunday, August 30, 1998 Published at 04:57 GMT 05:57 UK


Anniversary in the papers

Stories ranging from conspiracy theories to ministerial faux pas

On the eve of the first anniversary of her death, the UK's newspapers are groaning under the weight of stories relating to Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Sunday People claims the driver of the Mercedes carrying the Princess and Dodi al-Fayed, was an MI6 agent.

[ image: An MI6 agent? The Sunday Telegraph doesn't think so ...]
An MI6 agent? The Sunday Telegraph doesn't think so ...
Henri Paul was, claims the tabloid, named by former UK spy Richard Tomlinson in his interview with examining magistrate Herve Stephan.

According to the People, Paul - who was killed in the Paris crash, along with the Princess and her boyfriend Dodi - was on the British secret service's payroll.

It claims Tomlinson showed M Stephan written evidence of this.

The paper says of Paul: "As deputy head of security at the Ritz Hotel, Paul would have been able to provide information on VIPs at Mohammed al-Fayed's showpiece hotel."

And it says 35-year-old, Cambridge educated Tomlinson is "convinced that the crash was the result of a plot to end the deepening relationship between the mother of the future king and a Moslem".

[ image: ... But the Sunday People does]
... But the Sunday People does
The Sunday Telegraph, however, quotes Dodi al-Fayed's former bodyguard as saying the conspiracy theory is "b*******".

Kes Wingfield, who was with the Princess and Dodi on the night that they died, resorted to profanity in his response to the allegations.

In the same article, the newspaper also says that Mohammed al-Fayed is offering rewards of up to £14m to anyone who can prove a conspiracy theory.

"Fayed simply will not give up," one private investigator who was allegedly offered £1m to come up with evidence supporting a plot, is quoted as saying.

And Elton John has told the newspaper's magazine that he thinks Diana should have been buried at Westminster Abbey.

He is quoted as saying: "Some things that have been done in her name have been extremely thoughtless towards the boys.

[ image: Elton John: Concerned for the Princes]
Elton John: Concerned for the Princes
"I think it's very hard for them to visit their mother.

"I just feel it's sad that she's on that island - it's as if she's all alone again."

Meanwhile, the Express on Sunday reports that Earl Spencer is planning to "defy" a "Royal wall of silence" on Sunday.

It says the Earl will talk about his sister when he addresses his local cricket club on Sunday.

Their story reads: "The Earl, who last spoke about his sister in his dramatic funeral oratory a year ago will take fondly about her."

But a Palace source is quoted as saying: "Time is a great healer, but the Earl's speech at the funeral wounded the Royal family deeply. They have never really got over it."

Chancellor Gordon Brown, however, according to The Sunday Times, is managing his grief admirably.

'Gordon has really put his foot in it'

The chair of the Diana Memorial Committee told fellow member Diane Louise Jordan during an interview for a special Songs of Praise programme, that he was "continuing the work of Diana".

His comments are said to have angered ministers and "astonished" other senior politicians.

One minister is reported in the paper as saying: "Gordon has really put his foot in it this time.

"He is at risk of pulling off a hat-trick here - he could offend the Prime Minister, the Royals and the Tories all at once."

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