Diana 'Considered Marriage To Doctor'

Paul Burrell, former butler to Diana, Princess of Wales, has told an inquest into her death that the princess had considered marrying heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.

Mr Burrell, who worked for the princess for more than 10 years, told the inquest that he had approached his wife's parish priest to inquire about a private marriage between a Christian woman and a Muslim man.

Mr Burrell told the inquest that the relationship between Princess Diana and Mr Khan had lasted two years until July 1997. He said that she had asked him whether it would be possible to arrange a private marriage for the couple and said that she referred to him as her soul mate.

Referring to her relationship with Mr Al Fayed, Mr Burrell said that it appeared to be a rebound relationship and that he believed that it began at the end of July that year.

He also said that a ring bought for the princess by Mr Al Fayed was a "friendship band", not an engagement ring and that she had told him that she needed marriage "like a rash".

Mr Burrell also told the inquest that he had seen letters between the princess and her father-in-law, the Duke of Edinburgh.

He said that the letters, written at the time that the princess and the Prince of Wales were getting divorced in 1992, were not nasty, but reflected the "healthy banter" between the pair.

He said that the princess "did not particularly like what she was told", but said that Prince Philip was "always frank" and was "fond" of Diana.

Mr Burrell is also likely to be questioned about a note Diana gave him which allegedly accused Prince Charles of "planning an accident in my car".

Mr Burrell, 49, was cleared of stealing possessions from the princess in 2002, after a trial at the Old Bailey collapsed.

Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in the Pont d l'Alma tunnel in Paris in August 1997, along with Dodi Al Fayed and the couple's driver, Henri Paul.


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