Burrell Accused Of 'Lies' Over Ring

The Princess of Wales' former butler, Paul Burrell, has been accused of lying about a ring given to Diana by Dodi Al Fayed at the inquest into their deaths.

The 49-year-old admitted to the High Court that he had deliberately kept quiet about Mr Al Fayed giving Diana a ring shortly before they died in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris in August 1997.

In his book, 'A Royal Duty', Mr Burrell wrote that all he knew of a ring was from a conversation he had with the princess in the summer of 1997. He wrote that he had advised her to wear the ring on her right hand, so that she did not give the impression that she was engaged.

However, Mr Burrell provided more detail about the ring in a subsequent book, 'The Way We Were' and he admitted to the inquest that he had collected a ring with Diana's possessions shortly after her death.

Michael Mansfield QC, acting for Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed, accused Mr Burrell of lying in his earlier book, to which Mr Burrell replied that this was a "strong term".

He told the inquest that he did not feel that he needed to include the details of the ring in the earlier book, but said that he had included details in the later book because so much was being said about the princess that he wanted to "dispel the... myth".

Mr Burrell again insisted that Diana was still in love with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan in the weeks before her death and told the inquest that he knew the princess would not get engaged.

However, Mr Mansfield said: "You may like to think you knew that but actually you really don't know, do you?", to which Mr Burrell replied: "I don't know".

Earlier this week, Mr Burrell had told the inquest that Diana had considering marrying Mr Khan and said that her relationship with Mr Al Fayed had appeared to be a rebound relationship.

During the inquest on Wednesday, Mr Burrell also said that the Queen was "concerned" about the future because of Diana's relationship with Dodi and that there were also concerns about her "political" activities on landmines before her death.


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