Diana’s bodyguard had help pleas ignored

Bodyguards for Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed had calls for extra security rejected during their fateful trip to Paris, the inquest into their deaths has heard.

Trevor Rees, who was one of two bodyguards assigned to the couple, said he believed Dodi and Diana should have had four security guards protecting them from hordes of photographers and onlookers in the days before their fatal car crash in the French capital.

Photographs of the couple had been splashed across newspapers around the globe as they holidayed aboard Dodi’s yacht in late August 1997.

By the time they arrived for a one-night stopover in Paris on August 30, dozens of photographers were waiting to track their every move.

In the early hours of the next day, Diana, Dodi and their driver Henri Paul were killed after their Mercedes crashed in an underground tunnel after apparently being pursued by photographers. Mr Rees was the only survivor.

Making his second appearance at the inquest, Mr Rees told how he and his fellow bodyguard Kes Wingfield repeatedly contacted top security chiefs for Dodi’s father, Harrods billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed, in London pleading for extra help during the couple’s holiday but none ever showed up.

“At that stage, it (the relationship between Diana and Dodi) was in the open, in the media, and the attention both from the paparazzi and general public would have been a lot higher,” he said.

“I would have expected, or I would have thought, it would have been good to have a four-man team, the same as would have been with Mr (Al) Fayed.

“We didn’t get any extra security. I believe at one stage we got an extra crew member to help the crew on the yacht, but we didn’t get any extra security.”

Mr Rees suffered extensive injuries in the crash which claimed the lives of the princess, Dodi and their driver.

He has rejected recent media reports suggesting his memories about the crash were gradually returning.

The inquest continues.

© 2008 AAP