Royalty and statesmen




Dodi's former butler has told the inquest into the couple's death that his boss asked for champagne to be prepared as he was set to propose to the Princess. He also claimed to have seen Dodi on bended knee and touching Diana's stomach
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Former butler tells inquest Dodi was set to propose to Diana


Dodi Fayed was seen on bended knee touching Princess Diana's stomach during their stay in Paris, an employee at the Al Fayed's Paris residence told the inquest jury into the couple's deaths.

Dodi's former butler Rene Delorm described the scene while giving evidence via a video link from his Los Angeles home yesterday. "What that meant, I have no idea," he said.

He also claimed that while in Dodi's central Paris apartment just hours before the fateful crash, his boss said to him: "Rene, have some champagne ready because when I come back I'm going to propose to the Princess." Dodi then showed him a ring he'd bought for Diana.

In a book he published about his time in Dodi's employ Rene didn't mention having witnessed the tummy-touching incident. When questioned about its absence from the work, he replied: "I didn't want to take advantage of a situation I didn't know. It was a rumour. How can I tell she was pregnant?"

The 65-year-old former butler, who worked for Dodi for almost seven years, also claimed his employer and the Princess were going to set up home in Malibu, and that he was planning to accompany them.

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