30 NOVEMBER 2007

Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed were planning to wed and live in Paris, the inquest into the couple's deaths has been told. The information came from Franz Klein, the president of Paris Ritz hotel, which is owned by Dodi's father, Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed.

Mr Klein told the jury that Dodi phoned him in the summer of 1997 to inform him of their plans.

"I remember very well," said Mr Klein, speaking of the first time Dodi revealed his intentions, around August 18 or 19. "He called me and said, 'Frank I just passed by a jewellers shop'. He said, 'I want to buy some jewellery, I'm going to get engaged'."

According to Mr Klein, in a second conversation around August 29, Dodi told him he was planning to settle in Paris' Bois de Boulogne. Moving into the Al Fayed-owned Villa Windsor, the stately mansion where the Edward VIII and his wife Wallace made their home after the British monarch abdicated his throne.

"He did not mention the Princess by name," said Mr Klein. "But he did tell me he was going to stay in Paris to live. He told me he was going to move to the Villa Windsor with his girlfriend and he told me, all the time in English, that they were going to get married. The words from Dodi were very clear."

The jurors were also shown a fax to the Ritz dated August 23 which detailed several rings and watches Dodi was interested in. It did not, however, list the £11,600 Dis-moi oui - 'Tell me yes' - ring, which was recovered from his apartment in Paris after the accident. Dodi is said to have bought the ring hours before the fateful crash, though the court has been presented with no evidence to suggest he gave it to Diana.

Photo: ©
According to the president of the Al Fayed-owned Ritz hotel in Paris, Dodi - pictured holidaying in the south of France with Diana before the fateful accident – had planned to move to Paris and get marriedPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
Jurors were told Dodi planned to settle down with his "girlfriend" at the Villa Windsor. The stately mansion, also owned by the Al Fayed family, which was once home to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor Photo: © AFP