CHANNEL HOPPER: I Taught Princess Di Everything She Knew about Carburettors
Millar, Iain, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
It's not widely known (and I don't like to show off), but I used to give instruction in practical car mechanics to the late Princess of Wales. She had heard of my reputation as a handy chap with a torque wrench and called me up right out of the blue one spring lunchtime and demanded my presence at Kensington Palace. In a courtyard at the back was a battered, old, lime-green Hillman Imp. The Princess and I would spend many an afternoon changing the carburettor or re-aligning the wheels as she poured out her heart about the state of the Royal marriage.
Do you believe me? OK, try this: psychic healer Simone Simmons says she taught Diana, Princess of Wales to be a healer. "It's going to take a lot of hard work," Simone told her, but apparently the Princess was up for it. Ms Simmons also claimed to have "healed" Kensington Palace, visiting every room (that's an awful lot of rooms), with the Princess in tow, in order to make it a happier Royal pile. Oh, and the Princess often spent up to eight straight hours on the phone to her for good measure.
Convincing? The forum for these claims (Simone's, not mine; I was lying) was Living TV's The Spirit of Diana: The Debate, the British channel's response to a pay-per-view programme that aired in the US on Sunday night which had claimed to have contacted the late Princess through the medium of, well, a medium. The British programme claimed to be a discussion of the issues raised by its American counterpart, but it also showed clips from the US show, hosted by former Avenger Patrick Macnee, looking like he'd imbibed so much embalming fluid that he might have been speaking to us directly from the afterlife (making contact with the Princess a little easier, perhaps).
"Would it surprise you," intoned the man (who once sang about Kinky Boots) from behind the kind of desk that yells heritage to American tourists, "to know that Princess Diana was trying to heal the very people she touched?" Well, no, as Ms Simmons had already set us straight on that score. The format then went as follows: interviews with folk who all, of course, had been very close to Diana, then back to the London studio for a "debate" that had the dubious merit of making veteran Royal …
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Publication information: Article title: CHANNEL HOPPER: I Taught Princess Di Everything She Knew about Carburettors. Contributors: Millar, Iain - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: March 16, 2003. Page number: 12. © 2009 The Independent on Sunday. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.