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Diana was pregnant when she died: French police
( 2003-12-22 14:36) (Agencies)

Princess Diana was pregnant when she died in a Paris car crash in 1997 with her lover Dodi Fayed at her side, a "senior French police source" told the Independent on Sunday.

A 'senior French police source' told the Independent on Sunday broadsheet that Princess Diana (pictured) was pregnant when she died in a Paris car crash in 1997 with her lover Dodi Fayed at her side.  [AFP/File]
"I can tell you that she was pregnant," the broadsheet quoted the source as saying Sunday.

However, the source dismissed suggestions that Diana, who divorced Prince Charles a year before her death, was the victim of a murder plot -- a theory clung to by Fayed's father, Harrods department store tycoon Mohammed Al Fayed.

The anonymous source told the Independent on Sunday that there was "a cover-up of sorts" in the days following the August 31, 1997 crash in Paris that claimed the life of Diana, 36, Fayed, 42, and driver Henri Paul.

Medical reports, never made public, showed Diana was pregnant, said the police source, who according to the Independent on Sunday "saw all the documents relating to the case".

The first inquests into Diana and Fayed's deaths ever to be held in Britain will open on January 6, amid speculation that coroner Michael Burgess (news) will touch upon some persisting conspiracy theories.

An official French investigation concluded that they were the victims of drunk driving at excessive speed with Paul, an employee of Al Fayed's Ritz Hotel in Paris, at the wheel.

Diana's bodyguard survived the crash with serious injuries, but he says he cannot remember anything of what happened.

Al Fayed, however, strongly suspects that the couple -- for whom he has built a shrine in Harrods -- were the victims of foul play.

He is currently awaiting a decision from a court in Edinburgh on whether an investigation can open in Scotland, where he has a country home. Scotland has a separate judicial system from the rest of Britain.

Diana was the mother of two children by Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry, who are second and third heirs after their father to the British throne now held by Queen Elizabeth.

Friends of Diana, as well as her former butler Paul Burrell, have strenuously denied that the princess was expecting her third child at the time of her death.

Coroners' inquests for Britons who die abroad are commonplace, but in the case of Diana and Fayed they could not begin before the completion of the French investigation, the Independent on Sunday said.

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