Rosa Monckton, a confidante of Diana, Princess of Wales, said yesterday that someone close to her was involved in the Secret Intelligence Service. Ms Monckton, who was with the Princess ten days before she was killed in a car crash in a Paris underpass, told the inquest into the Princess’s death that she had “no connection with the security services” but that “someone close to me is connected with the SIS”.
The SIS, also known as MI6, is responsible for protecting British interests overseas. Mohamed Al Fayed has alleged that British Intelligence was involved in a conspiracy to kill the Princess and his son Dodi, who died with her in the car crash in Paris in 1997.
Ms Monckton said that the Princess was unaware of her indirect connection with the security services.
She also disagreed with the testimony given on Wednesday by Raine Spencer, the Princess’s stepmother, that the Princess was serious about her relationship with Dodi Fayed. “I think that Lady Spencer was merely expressing an ill-informed opinion,” she said. “There is no way that Diana would have cohabited with [Mr Fayed]”.
She said that the Princess was still recovering from the end of her relationship with Hasnat Khan, a heart surgeon. She added: “She was very much in love with Hasnat. What was great for her, I think, about that relationship is that he accepted her as Diana, not the Princess.
“She wanted to marry [Mr Khan]. She was deeply, deeply upset and felt that she got rejected by people when she became close to them. She felt that that had happened in her marriage and with [Mr Khan]. Ms Monckton said that the Princess was hurt by the idea that people on the street who did not know her professed to love her but people who got to know her intimately did not.
The Princess had told her that she expected Mr Fayed to give her a ring, Ms Monckton said. “She said: ‘I know he is going to give me a ring, but that is going to go firmly on a finger on my right hand’.” She was asked by Ian Burnett QC, counsel for the inquest, what her assessment was of the Princess’s relationship with Mr Fayed. She replied: “It is a very difficult thing to gauge . . . [I] think Dodi was a distraction for the hurt that she felt from the break-up [of her relationship with Mr Khan].”
Ms Monckton also told the inquest that the Princess could not have been pregnant at the time of her death. She said that she and the Princess had been together, as guests of Dodi Fayed, on board a boat moored in the South of France. “She could not possibly have been pregnant while we were on this boat . . . She had her period and that was ten days before she died,” she said.
She added that the Princess did not intend to become engaged to Mr Fayed. “She would have called me if she was going to do that,” she said.
Ms Monckton had originally told the Princess that she should “not even consider” accepting Mr Fayed’s invitation for her and Princes William and Harry to join him on holiday in St Tropez in the summer of 1997 — where her relationship with Dodi had begun — because “Mr Fayed is a man who puts lots of cash in brown envelopes and bribed MPs”. The inquest continues.