vrijdag 31 augustus 2007

'Media To Blame For Princess Diana's Death'

By Sky News SkyNews - Tuesday, August 21 11:54 am

The former editor of a tabloid newspaper has said he feels "huge responsibility" for the accident that killed Diana, Princess of Wales.

Ex-News of the World editor Phil Hall told a TV documentary: "I felt huge responsibility for what happened and I think everyone in the media did."

He added: "It's difficult because we knew the full story, we knew that Diana was helping newspapers and yeah, the driver was drunk.

"But my view is that if the paparazzi hadn't been following her the car wouldn't have been speeding and, you know, the accident may never have happened."

The ITV documentary, Diana's Last Summer, focuses on Diana's "love-hate relationship with the photographers who followed her every move".

It includes interviews and pictures from the photographers who followed her before the fatal crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris.

Patrick Jephson, Diana's former aide, tells the programme: "The Paris paparazzi were a well-known phenomenon. They were a kind of circus.

"They would chase the royal motorcade on motorcycles. They had pillion passengers carrying heavy television cameras.

"It all contributed to the sense of being inside a Wild West stagecoach while bandits were attacking it."

Following is a chronology of the life and times of Princess Diana, who died aged 36 on August 31, 1997. Reuters is running a package of stories to mark the 10th anniversary of her death.

July 1, 1961 - Born into an aristocratic family, third of four children of Lord and Lady Althorp.

1977 - Meets Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, at the family home, Althorp.

February 24, 1981 - Engagement to Charles is announced.

-- July 29 - Charles and Diana marry in sumptuous ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

June 21, 1982 - First child born, William Arthur Philip Louis. Diana suffers post-natal depression.

September 15, 1984 - Second child born, Henry Charles Albert David, known as Harry.

1985 - First reports of difficulties in royal marriage.

1986 - Charles renews his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, a woman he later refers to as "the love of his life". Diana develops eating disorder bulimia. Royal couple continue public duties but lead separate lives in private.

June 1992 - "Diana -- Her True Story", by tabloid reporter Andrew Morton, is published. Diana cooperated, through friends, in the writing of the book which shows her trapped in a loveless marriage and attempting suicide to attract Charles's attention.

-- August 25 - Newspapers publish excerpts of taped telephone conversation between Diana and James Gilby, who calls her "Squidgy" and tells her repeatedly that he loves her.

-- December 9 - Prime Minister John Major announces formal separation of the couple in parliament.

September 1994 - "Princess In Love", by Anna Pasternak, published, telling of an affair between Diana and cavalry officer James Hewitt. Book is condemned but Diana later confirms she had had an affair with Hewitt and says she adored him.

November 20, 1995 - Diana gives television interview in which she admits adultery with Hewitt and says she doubts Charles's ability to handle the responsibility of being king.

-- December 20 - Buckingham Palace confirms Queen Elizabeth had written to Charles and Diana urging them to divorce.

July 12, 1996 - Charles and Diana agree divorce terms. Diana is to get a reported 17 million pound settlement, but is stripped of the title "Royal Highness".

-- Aug 28 - Charles and Diana granted a decree absolute ending their 15-year marriage.

August 7, 1997 - First media reports that Diana has found a new love, Dodi al-Fayed.

-- August 31 - Diana is killed in Paris car crash with al-Fayed.

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