A French journalist made the sensational claim on Thursday that Princess Diana had been pregnant when she died in a car crash.
Chris Laffaille, formerly with the reputed Paris Match magazine, said he had obtained a sensational document which proved this fact with 'near certainty', after scouring the archival records of the hospital where Diana was admitted following her accident on August 31, 1997.
The revelation has been made in a book called Diana: The Inquiry They Never Published to be released on August 27.
Diana had been travelling with Dodi Fayed, son of Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed, whom she had been seeing, and who was also killed in the same crash.
But Laffaille also made another astounding assertion: the baby Diana was carrying was not Dodi's.
He claimed the records showed the foetus was more than nine weeks old. Diana's acquaintance with Dodi was less than nine weeks.
Laffaille's findings if true, contradict the assertion of John Burton, former Royal Coroner, who was present at Diana's post mortem.
He had famously stated: "She was not pregnant. I have seen into her womb."
The detailed Paget Inquiry into Diana's death, conducted by the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens also dismissed the suggestion that Diana had been pregnant.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, a royal columnist agreed that the revelation was an agonising embarrassment considering Diana's 10th death anniversary comes just four days after the book's release.
"It could have been published after the anniversary," the columnist said.
Laffaille said the document he has unearthed remained hidden for 10 years due to "ethical and privacy" concerns.
"It is a near certainty Diana was nine to 10 weeks pregnant at the time she died, according to papers from the Paris Public Hospitals archives," his book has stated.
The document was sent to the then minister of the interior Jean-Pierre Chevenement, with copies to health minister Bernard Kouchner, foreign affairs minister Hubert Vedrine and Paris police chief Martine Monteil.