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UK: Princess Diana’s grave targeted by robbers, says brother

There have been at least four attempted break-ins to Princess Diana’s grave since her death in a Paris car crash 20 years ago

world Updated: Jul 26, 2017 21:04 IST
PTI, London
UK,Britain,Princess Diana
Diana, the Princess of Wales and Prince Charles’ ex-wife, had been killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.(Reuters File Photo)

There have been at least four attempted break-ins to Princess Diana’s grave since her death in a Paris car crash 20 years ago, her brother claimed on Wednesday.

Earl Spencer said the decision to bury his sister, the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry, on an island on the Spencer family estate of Althorp, in the East Midlands region of England, was to protect her privacy.

“We have had four attempted break-ins towards her body in the last 20 years. I am very glad that we have seen all of them off. There are some odd people out there. Keeping her right here [at Althorp] is the safest place,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

The 53-year-old also claimed that Buckingham Palace had lied to him about William and Harry wanting to be part of their mother’s funeral procession in August 1997.

“I had been a passionate advocate for William and Harry not to have to walk behind their mother’s body. I thought it was a bizarre and cruel thing for them to be asked to do,” he said.

“I did feel she [Diana] would have wanted me to speak for her in that particular regard. I said ‘she just wouldn’t want them to do this’. There was lots of embarrassed coughing at the other end, and various other conversations, and then eventually I was lied to and told they wanted to do it, which of course they did not. But I didn’t realise that,” Spencer said.

Harry, who was 12 at the time, has previously spoken about the harrowing experience of walking behind his mother’s coffin.

“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television,” he had said.

“I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today,” he added.

It has also been reported that Prince William, then aged 15, had initially refused to walk behind the coffin.

Diana, the Princess of Wales and Prince Charles’ ex-wife, had been killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.

Britain is marking her 20th death anniversary with a series of documentaries and interviews.

First Published: Jul 26, 2017 21:03 IST