Four hundred years ago, Shakespeare got it right when he had Richard the Third say he was "so steeped in blood, that there was no way back."
Down the centuries our Royal Family's predecessors fought for control of the throne and no horror was too hard to sustain. They seduced, connived and murdered their way into power. And when they gained it, nothing, no morality could stand in the way of their keeping it. Absolutely nothing.
To make sure that she kept the crown, Elizabeth the First, the Virgin Queen, virtually invented the idea of a state-run secret service that watched events abroad and controlled them, ruthlessly, back home in England.
But that was way back then, wasn't it? Nowadays, our Royal family is surely made of softer stuff and the powers behind the Palace wouldn't, couldn't behave like, well, like they used to ...could they?
As you will have seen, Princess Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, has just released a letter, written, he claims, by her ten months before she died, claiming that there was then a plot to kill her in a car accident. In that letter she names the person she believed was behind the plot. We can't name that person because of the laws of libel. But we should be able to, and we should get answers to a number of troubling questions surrounding the death of the lady our Prime Minister called The People's Princess.
1. What really happened that night in 1997, in that Paris tunnel?
2. Why has there never been a British inquest into Diana's death?
3. Was Diana pregnant when she died?
4. What exactly did The Queen mean when she warned Diana's butler that, "there were powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge?"
Of course, this letter could just be a paranoid invention, written by a deeply troubled woman who was under undoubted stress. But until these questions are answered, the rumors will grow and grow and as sure as fate, the identity of the mystery plotter will become known. And that will start a real blaze that could burn out of control and consume, at the very least, the reputations of some very important people.
By Simon Bates