London: A new account has claimed that there were fears over Prince Charles’ safety during the funeral of Princess Diana in September 1997.
In extracts from his diaries published in The Guardian, Alastair Campbell writes that a senior official of St James' Palace was sent to warn the Prince of Wales of the threat of being attacked by a member of the public if he walked behind Princess Diana’s coffin alone.
As a result, Prince William was asked to walk behind his mother's coffin, claimed the former Downing Street director of communications.
Campbell further claimed that William, then 15, was "consumed by a total hatred of the media" because Princess Diana was killed along with Dodi Fayed when their car crashed in Paris, while being chased by media photographers.
Writing in 'Power and the People', Campbell reveals former British prime minister Tony Blair advised the Queen to show her "vulnerable" side in a bid to turn around a public backlash against the royal family.
Campbell wrote that fears over Prince Charles’ safety became clear during a conference call on September 04, 1997 with courtiers for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Balmoral.
Prince Charles' press secretary Sandy Henney was later sent to advise Prince William that his mother would have wanted him to follow her coffin.
"Sandy Henney had been sent up to try to explain why he might do it," wrote Campbell. "She was obviously saying it was what his mother would have wanted whilst there was also the fact it would avoid the risk of Charles being publicly attacked."
First Published: Monday, January 17, 2011, 14:47