Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TRUTH ABOUT DIANA AND PHILIP; (1) Evidence: The Duke of Edinburgh's Private Secretary, Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis, Read out Extracts from the Letters (2) Family Tie: Letters from Diana to Prince Philip, Revealed for the First Time Today, Showed Their Relationship to Be Fond and Affectionate

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TRUTH ABOUT DIANA AND PHILIP; (1) Evidence: The Duke of Edinburgh's Private Secretary, Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis, Read out Extracts from the Letters (2) Family Tie: Letters from Diana to Prince Philip, Revealed for the First Time Today, Showed Their Relationship to Be Fond and Affectionate

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL CHESTON, ROBERT JOBSON

PERSONAL letters between Princess Diana and the Duke of Edinburgh wererevealed for the first time in front of an inquest jury today.

They were written at the height of emotional turmoil in the royal family overthe breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles in 1992.

They reveal that the Princess referred to her father-in-law as "Dearest Pa",spoke repeatedly of her grateful thanks at his efforts to help with hermarriage and were signed "with fondest love".

Claims that the Duke had tried to threaten the Princess in "unpleasant, nastyand insulting terms" which frightened her were dismissed by the coroner LordJustice Scott Baker. He said he had read all the letters in full but decidedthat only parts should be read to the jury by the Duke's private secretary,Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt- Davis.

The letters were censoredin legal terms, redactedto show there was no truth in the allegations but to keep secret the privatethoughts and fears passing between members of the royal family, he said.

But there is no mistaking the Duke's compassion, and at times lively sense ofhumour, as well as the open relationship between him and his daughter-in-law.Sir Miles was giving evidence at the inquest in the High Court into the deathsof Diana and Dodi Fayed in the car crash which also killed chauffeur Henri Paulin Paris in August 1997.

He later came under intense pressure from Michael Mansfield QC, representingthe Fayed family, to describe the "extreme concern in the royal family at thePrincess of Wales cavorting on a yacht in the Mediterranean with the son ofsomebody regarded as undesirable". Mr Mansfield mocked Sir Miles's deadpanresponses and demanded that the Duke himself be summoned to give evidence infront of the jury.

The first letter to be read was dated 21 June 1992. Headed from KensingtonPalace, it was six pages of Diana's handwriting, starting: "Dearest Pa, I wasso pleased to receive your letter and particularly so to read that you aredesperately anxious to help." It finished: "Once again Pa I am very gratefulfor sending me such a wonderful and heartfelt letter and I hope you will readmine in the same spirit. …

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