Royalty and statesmen




Jurors heard that a French photographer told police his editor phoned him at his Paris home on the night of Diana's accident and asked him to go to the Ritz Hotel because a major development was expected
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Diana jury told that snappers expected key announcement

18 OCTOBER 2007

Members of the press anticipated Princess Diana would be announcing she was engaged to, or expecting a child with, Dodi Fayed on the night of the fateful car crash, the inquest into her death has heard.

French photographer Tierry Orban told police his editor phoned him at his Paris home between 9pm and 9.30pm on the night of the accident and asked him to go to the Ritz Hotel, where the couple were having dinner, specifically as a major development was expected.

"He told me there was a rumour of an announcement that Diana was getting married or having a baby, and he asked me to go to the Ritz to take a few photos of Diana with Dodi," the 52-year-old snapper said in a statement read out to jurors.

Wednesday's revelation comes after the coroner in charge, Lord Justice Scott Baker, told the court on the second day of the hearing that it was likely "that pregnancy is a matter that cannot be proved one way or the other in scientific terms in this case".

He also warned the jury there was conflicting evidence as to whether a ring bought for the late Princess by Dodi days before the couple died was an actually engagement band, or merely a present.

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