Along with millions worldwide I watched the first four new episodes of Netflix‘s The Crown, which linger over the final days of the relationship between Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed that led to both their deaths in a Paris tunnel.

Many have commented on the truth or otherwise of their affair — some claiming Diana was planning a new life abroad with Dodi, that he’d proposed marriage, she’d accepted and was pregnant with his child.

To which I can categorically say none of this is true. How do I know? Because a dear friend — so close to Diana he had a long phone call with her from the Ritz hotel in Paris one day before her death — told me so.

My friend met her at the Chelsea Harbour Club gym she frequented in London. She walked down the spiral staircase in her leggings as he walked up — and she coquettishly asked him: ‘What does a girl have to do to get a cup of coffee around here?’

Diana told my dear friend there was never, ever, the prospect of long-term love with Dodi. Pictured: Diana and Dodi in 1997

Diana told my dear friend there was never, ever, the prospect of long-term love with Dodi. Pictured: Diana and Dodi in 1997

Along with millions worldwide I watched the first four new episodes of Netflix 's The Crown, which linger over the final days of the relationship between Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed Pictured: A scene from the Crown

Along with millions worldwide I watched the first four new episodes of Netflix ‘s The Crown, which linger over the final days of the relationship between Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed Pictured: A scene from the Crown

Not long afterwards he was being smuggled into her Kensington Palace home in the boot of a car to avoid security. He met the boys. He attended her memorial service at Westminster Abbey by personal invitation.

Despite my questions, he was a gentleman and never revealed how far their relationship had gone. Had he slept with her? No comment. 

What he did reveal is that in the phone call she told him she was sad and lonely and desperately missing her boys, William and Harry. He added that she planned to cut short her trip and come home.

Diana said she hoped it would make Charles and the Royal Family furious and be one in the eye for Camilla

Diana said she hoped it would make Charles and the Royal Family furious and be one in the eye for Camilla

What’s more, Diana told him there was never, ever, the prospect of long-term love with Dodi. Stung by the emergence of Charles and Camilla’s relationship, she’d wanted to steal the limelight as only she could.

Diana said she hoped it would make Charles and the Royal Family furious and be one in the eye for Camilla. 

She hoped the stories on the front pages of her cavorting with Dodi might even make her former lover, heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, jealous and rekindle their doomed affair.

She talked to my friend of her plans to come to his secluded estate in the North of England when she returned from what she called ‘this madness’.

Perhaps she was telling him what he wanted to hear, though I don’t believe so. ‘I’ve made my point, I’m coming home,’ she said.

The tragedy is that she never did.

The Government’s latest wheeze to get benefit scroungers back to work includes denying them free NHS dental treatment. What’s the point of withdrawing a service most people can’t get in the first place?

Saving all my love…

After the death of her Friends friend Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston says she’s been laughing and crying over their texts adding: ‘I’ll keep them for ever.’

And so she should. I still have messages saved from the landline my parents used to call me on.

One from Mum in Australia with advanced Alzheimer’s to me in London, saying: ‘I’m cooking your favourite chicken curry Mandy. Hurry over. Can you bring some sultanas and desiccated coconut and curry powder?’ Precious and priceless.

Sarah Ferguson will not appear on I’m A Celebrity as negotiations are thought to have fallen apart

Sarah Ferguson will not appear on I’m A Celebrity as negotiations are thought to have fallen apart

Sarah Ferguson will not appear on I’m A Celebrity as negotiations are thought to have fallen apart when she insisted on a ‘never mention my disgraced husband Prince Andrew who I divorced 27 years ago and am still sponging off’ clause.

Good on you Fergie, an independent woman of principle to the end.

Jezza brings home bacon

Duchess of Sussex fans hoped they’d cancelled Jeremy Clarkson for ever after his cruel article about Meghan where he dreamed of muck being thrown at her and which led to him being suspended by Amazon. 

Nearly a year on, Clarkson is eyeing up a new multi-million pound, three-part Amazon deal for his next farm series about pigs. Which combined with the fury of the Megs’ fan club must make him happy as a pig in clover.

Police say they had no power to stop pro-Palestinian thugs climbing on top of Hyde Park’s Royal Artillery Memorial honouring nearly 50,000 gunners who died in World War I.

If the protesters had been carrying Israeli flags and clambering over London Central Mosque, I just wonder if they would have been arrested.

After dumping his pregnant wife Gillian — mother of their three children — rugby’s Stuart Hogg posted pictures of a spa break with new girlfriend Leonna Mayor. Snaps appeared the day Gillian announced the birth of their child, Phoebe. Hogg shatters one perceived wisdom — that rugby is a game played by gentlemen.

 Waterloo? Boo hoo!

The cheese-eating, surrender-monkey French denounce Ridley Scott’s movie Napoleon, with Vanessa Kirby playing Josephine, as a shameless pro-British rewriting of history

The cheese-eating, surrender-monkey French denounce Ridley Scott’s movie Napoleon, with Vanessa Kirby playing Josephine, as a shameless pro-British rewriting of history

The cheese-eating, surrender-monkey French denounce Ridley Scott’s movie Napoleon, with Vanessa Kirby playing Josephine, as a shameless pro-British rewriting of history.

Sure, it’s stretching belief for 49-year-old Joaquin Phoenix to portray a 25-year-old Bonaparte, and probably untrue he witnessed the execution of Marie Antoinette.

What the French can’t quibble with is that Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

So go stuff that in your breakfast croissants.

 Hero of the week is Dorset doctor Alastair Bush, who is Down Under competing in the World Mullet Growing Championships. He is raising money for Testicular Cancer UK and promises to cut off his 12 in locks if he wins.

 The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence wants menopausal women to be given the talking treatment cognitive behavioural therapy. CBT on top of HRT? Crikey, after the avalanche in print and on TV about ‘the change’, the last thing we need to do is talk about it even more!

 A fashion for hypocrisy

Nine Extinction Rebellion women who caused £500,000 worth of damage to an HSBC bank are cleared of criminal damage. They walked free wearing designer clothes lent them by fellow eco-warrior Stella McCartney. Oh, the irony of having a fashion designer as their champion when the industry produces over 10 per cent of global carbon emissions.

Westminster wars

How sincere do Rishi’s claims that he’ll stop the small boats sound to us battle-weary Tories, when he’s had a year to do it? Five Tory PMs in 13 years have achieved little, except for plans by Suella Braverman, who Sunak fired. As Tammy Wynette may have sung: ‘Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman Tory.’

As for new Foreign Secretary David Cameron being our saviour, fond of him though I am, he couldn’t win a majority in 2010 then had to resign after backing Remain. And, as George Osborne reveals, leaving the ECHR won’t happen on his watch.

The latest Marvel franchise movie — once a guarantee of box-office squillions — features three feminist superheroines, relentless messages on diversity, inclusivity and climate change and has been described as squeezing woke ideology into Spandex. No wonder it’s bombed. Kapow!

The Mail this week wrote about the moment women realised it was over with their partner. Oh, dear. The time one sent me Valentine’s roses addressed to his mistress? Or when, on honeymoon in Bali with fever, my new husband put buckets by my bed saying he was off to have fun as ‘there was no point in us both having a cr*p day’? Well, he did have a sense of humour.

 Charity’s medical muddle

Trans woman Steph Richards, now the head of an endometriosis charity, claims men can also suffer this crippling condition that affects more than 1.5 million women. Crazy isn’t it that a man born without a womb can be said to suffer from endometriosis?

What next, trans women with all their boy bits removed saying they’ve suddenly got testicular cancer?

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