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Fresh Look At Princess Di

How did Prince Charles feel when Diana died? Why did the princess predict her own death? Is Prince Harry really Charles's son?

A new book by Christopher Andersen called "After Diana: William, Harry, Charles And The Royal House of Windsor" tries to shed some light on the questions all devoted royal watchers want to know the answers to.

Diana died on Aug. 31, 1997, in a car crash with boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed. But 10 years later, the public's fascination with the princess simply will not go away.

Diana: Tragic Accident
In fact, a British broadcast channel plans to show graphic photos of the fatal car crash in an upcoming documentary, even though Princes William and Harry have written a letter to Channel Four saying use of the pictures would be a "gross disrespect" to their mother's memory.

One picture shows a French medic giving Diana emergency treatment at the scene.

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Andersen says Diana still inspires fascination because she was a singular figure not only in Great Britain, but throughout the world.

"She was at the top of all of the lists of the most admired women in the world. In the last few years, we've seen this kind of systemic dissing of Diana," he told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "You know, portraying her in these books as spoiled and scheming and manipulative. I think it's terribly unfair. I don't think Charles was unhappy to see it happen, though, because he has lived with the ghost of Diana and the comparisons with his new wife Camilla is kind of odious and I think he would like to see her brought down a peg or two and I think that's unfortunate."

The popular Princess of Wales was born Lady Diana Spencer in 1961. Twenty years later, the blonde, blue-eyed beauty married Charles, the Prince of Wales. She and the prince had two sons, William and Harry. Diana devoted her life to her sons and to helping others.


Photos: Diana's Majestic Wedding
"I think the biggest disease this world suffers from in this day and age is a disease of people feeling unloved," she once said.

For a time, her marriage seemed like a fairytale, but by the mid-'80s there was trouble.

"I've had difficulties, as everybody has witnessed over the years," Princess Di said.

Their marriage unraveled under the weight of accusations of infidelity on both sides, which led to their divorce in 1996. But when the princess died, Andersen said Charles was devastated.

Diana was laid to rest dressed in a black dress and matching pumps. Her hair and makeup was done to resemble a recent photo and she clutched rosary beads given to her by Mother Teresa only a two month before the car accident. When Charles saw her lying in the coffin, Andersen writes that he looked "as if he was struck by some unseen hand."

"He was shocked. At one point, the air conditioning kind of ruffled her hair and he almost passed out," Andersen said. "There's no question he was grief-stricken. He became obsessed oddly enough with her earrings at the time. He wanted her to be seen wearing her favorite gold earrings. So he asked — there was only one earring on her and he asked where the other one was. They couldn't find it until weeks later when it was found embedded in the dashboard of the matter Mercedes."

Now, 10 years after her funeral, Prince Charles is married to Camilla Parker Bowles. Oddly enough, Andersen says that Diana predicted the death of her rival for Charles' love, as well as her own. Albeit, Diana was incorrect about Camila.

"With the official investigation by Scotland yard, came and asked me for help, sources and information," Andersen said. "They discovered Diana had talked to many people many times about her fear she would be killed in an arranged car crash or plane crash. Just eight months before her death, she wrote in a note very specifically, described a situation practically what we saw, she would be killed in a car crash. She said she thought Camilla was also in danger of being removed, as she put it, because she felt Charles really wanted to marry the nanny...who was a favorite of the boys, very young and beautiful. You know this was an obsession of Diana's for a period of time."

Infidelity was prevalent in Charles and Diana's' marriage, Andersen writes. He said the princess also had a lover, James Hewitt. The book contains adjacent pictures of Prince Harry and Hewitt. Andersen said the resemblance is uncanny. There is speculation that Hewitt could be Harry's father. Andersen said he has heard that Harry wants to take a DNA test.

"The line Hewitt had was he had not met Diana until Harry was 2 years old," Andersen said. "Now he confesses his affair with her started right after William's birth. So the possibility is there. The photograph I have in the book, I pick that one because it shows not only the physical similarity but everyone comments on the two men's mannerisms, expressions."

Read an excerpt of the book here here.

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