4 OCTOBER 2007

The late Princess of Wales appeared to be in a sunny mood as she chatted happily to her companion Dodi Fayed in the lift of Paris' Ritz Hotel. The image of a smiling Diana being escorted down to the lobby by her beau was captured by a tiny security camera in the hotel's elevator. Taken just hours before her tragic accident, the newly released CCTV footage sheds further light on that fateful August day in 1997.

The image - part of the evidence being considered by the inquest into Diana's death - appears to belie previous impressions of the royal as hunted and unhappy.

In his opening address to the inquest's jury the coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, outlined details of the couple's last day. The jury heard there was no indication the Princess was pregnant - evidence indicated she was on the pill - as she hadn't informed her doctor or family and friends of any such possibility.

He also pointed out the unreliability of claims the pair were engaged. The footage does show a brochure and a bag being delivered from exclusive jewellers Repossi, but the judge stated that the attendant from whom Dodi allegedly brought a ring had changed his story more than once.

Photo: ©
Newly released CCTV footage from the Paris hotel's lift shows the Princess smiling, seemingly enjoying the afternoon with her companion DodiPhoto: © PAClick on photo to enlarge