Princess Diana was obsessed with accidents, her stepmother told the court investigating her death on Wednesday, adding that she felt Diana's anxieties had been exaggerated and amplified by fortunetellers.
Raine, Countess Spencer told the inquest into the death of Diana that the princess often talked of accidents and of her fears that she was being spied upon.
"I can say that she was quite obsessed by the idea of accidents in general, primarily involving the Prince of Wales (her former husband). She often mentioned helicopter crashes, never an accident involving a car," she said in her testimony before the court. "She mentioned it so often and it was all connected with _ she felt her telephones were bugged and her house was bugged, and she seemed always very conscious of that, that she was being watched." Asked if she took Diana's obsession seriously, Spencer referred to what she said was Diana's interest in horoscopes. "She did go endlessly to these different soothsayers, fortunetellers," Spencer said. "So she was taken up with listening to what these people said, and it is my feeling that one of them could have enlarged _ I do not say put the idea in her mind _ but enlarged on these fears and heightened them."
Diana died as a result of a car crash on the night Aug 31, 1997, as she was being driven through the streets of Paris. Her companion Dodi Fayed also perished in the crash.
Fayed's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, claims the couple were targets of a plot directed by Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, and carried out by British intelligence agents. Conspiracy theorists have also claimed that their deaths were engineered to head off a reported engagement, or a possible pregnancy.
Spencer, a friend of Al Fayed's, said she did not think the princess was pregnant, although did not know for sure. Diana "was brought up in quite an old-fashioned way," Spencer said. "Many, many years have gone by now and I do not personally believe she would have considered it. It would have been out of the question for her. But I do not know if she was or not." But she said Diana's and Dodi's relationship was one "highly likely" to have eventually led to marriage.
"It is very discourteous to both Diana and to Dodi and to everyone concerned that it should be written off, their relationship, as a summer romance," she said. "It was much deeper, much more profound and much closer."