Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diana: I Nearly Ran off with Bodyguard Lover

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Diana: I Nearly Ran off with Bodyguard Lover

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT JOBSON

PRINCESS DIANA considered running off with her bodyguard lover Barry Mannakee. The princess admitted she "fell deeply in love" with the policeman and insisted she was certain he was "bumped off". A top detective has been called in to investigate the claim which appears in tapes Diana recorded for her voice coach. In excerpts to be shown on American TV, Diana said of her marriage to Prince Charles: "I was quite happy to give it all up ... just to go off and live with [Mannakee].

She added: "Can you believe it? And he [Mannakee] kept saying he thought it was a good idea too."

She admitted she "fell deeply in love" and added: "He was the greatest fellow I have ever had. I was only happy when he was around."

She also admitted to her devastation when the affair ended - and how she needed to see a clairvoyant to help her cope with Sgt Mannakee's death, aged 39, in a 1987 motorbike crash. "I should never have played with fire," she said. "But I did. And I got burned."

Diana opened her heart about her love for Sgt Mannakee in September 1992, during the first of 20 videos she made with voice coach Peter Settelen.

They are the most explosive excerpts from the tapes that have been sold to American TV station NBC. She also discussed her unhappy marriage, Prince Charles seeing Camilla Parker Bowles and her troubled relationship with the Queen.

The affair with Mannakee began in 1985, four years after her marriage and a year after the birth of Prince Harry. Diana told Settelen: "I tell you one of the biggest crutches of my life, which I don't find easy to discuss, was when I was 24, 25, I fell deeply in love with somebody who worked in this environment. And he was the greatest fellow I have ever had.

"I was always waiting around trying to see him. Um, I just, you know, wore my heart on my sleeve. …

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