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Monday, 6 March, 2000, 09:40 GMT
Diana-Dodi engagement 'myth'
Shrine at Harrods
Mohammed Al Fayed claimed they had the ring
Princess Diana's bodyguard has branded "a myth" suggestions that she and Dodi Al Fayed chose an engagement ring just before their deaths.

In an extract from his forthcoming book, Trevor Rees-Jones says he did not see the couple buy a ring in Monte Carlo, as Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, has claimed.

Trevor Rees-Jones
Trevor Rees-Jones was badly injured in the crash
The bodyguard also said there was no evidence that the couple planned to marry.

His book -The Bodyguard's Story - is an account of the days leading up to the 1997 Paris car crash in which Diana and Dodi were killed.

Mr Rees-Jones said he accompanied Diana and Dodi ashore at Monte Carlo from a yacht on August 23 - eight days before they died.

'No jewellery trip'

"They never went into a jewellery store," he said.

"The ring may be real, but the circumstances of its purchase and its purpose are lost in myth."

Harrods department store owner Mr Al Fayed says the couple intended to marry and that he paid for a 150,000 diamond and emerald engagement ring which his son had planned to give Diana.

"Fayed made the Monte Carlo shopping trip not only proof of Diana's plans to marry his son, but also the centrepiece of his wild assassination theory," Mr Rees-Jones said.

On Saturday, Mr Al Fayed, who has repeatedly accused the British establishment of a cover-up over the deaths of Diana and Dodi, accused the bodyguard of being part of the plot.

"I am saddened and disappointed that Trevor has chosen to tell his story in this way," Mr Al Fayed said.

"Legally and morally he owes me a duty of confidentiality and, I would hope, of gratitude for all I did to help him after the crash."

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