Page last updated at 20:25 GMT, Thursday, 13 December 2007

Diana inquest: Duke of Edinburgh letters

letter

The jury at the inquest into the death of the Princess of Wales has seen extracts of letters between Diana and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The correspondence, presented to the High Court hearing by Prince Philip's private secretary Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis, dates from between June and September 1992.

Diana's letters, handwritten on Kensington Palace headed notepaper, greet the duke as "Dearest Pa", while he replies using a typewriter.

The coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, decided that just the start and end of each correspondence should be viewed by jurors. This was to protect the private nature of the content in the full versions of the letters.

In the first extract, dated 21 June, Diana responds to a letter from the duke. She expresses how pleased she is to hear from him and is grateful that he is "anxious to help". At the time, the princess was having trouble in her marriage to Prince Charles.

letter

letter

Prince Philip's reply, dated four days later, expresses the hope they can continue the correspondence as "there appears to be very little other opportunity to exchange views".

letter

On 29 June, Diana agrees their letters seem to be the only effective form of communication "in the present situation".

But it is a start which she is grateful for, she writes.

letter

letter

In his next letter, the duke offers, if invited, to "do my utmost" to help her and Charles "to the best of my ability". But he doubts his talents as a marriage guidance counsellor.

letter

Diana replies that his letter shows "you really do care". She disagrees with him by saying "you are very modest about your marriage guidance skills".

letter

letter

The duke responds on 20 July:

letter

In another letter on 26 July, Diana expresses her admiration for the "marvellous way" in which the duke has "tried to come to terms with this intensely difficult family problem".

letter

letter

In his reply, Prince Philip writes:

letter

In the final extract, Diana thinks it is good their letters are getting shorter. "Perhaps it means that you and I are getting to understand each other," she suggests.

letter

The princess signs off: "With much love, from Diana."


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