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|Duke's 'cruel' letters to Diana |
(9 minutes later)
The Duke of Edinburgh wrote cruel and disparaging letters to Princess Diana, the inquest into her death has been told by an alternative therapist.
Simone Simmons, who is a complementary therapist, told the London hearing she had seen the letters.
She told the inquest she had been shown two letters by Diana from Prince Philip, dating from 1994 or 1995 and that these were "derogatory".
Diana and Dodi Al Fayed died in a Paris car crash in August 1997.
Ms Simmons first met Diana in 1993 and had an ongoing friendship with the princess, although the pair did fall out several times, according to the BBC's Nicholas Witchell.
During the inquest she said the letters she had seen were one handwritten and one typewritten.
I believed that if they could bump Diana off, then they could bump anyone off and I value my life Simone Simmons
"Diana read one out to me," she said. "She was absolutely furious, she was imitating the duke's voice at the time and at the end she said 'what a cheek'."
Ms Simmons said the duke had made cruel and disparaging observations about the propriety of the princess' behaviour.
Ms Simmons also said she had what she called a dossier under her mattress on what the princess had been compiling about landmines.
Diana was an ardent campaigner against the use of the weapons.
|Safety fears||Safety fears|
The therapist said the document was several inches thick but that she burnt it after Diana's death because she was afraid of what might happen to her.
She said: "I believed that if they could bump Diana off, then they could bump anyone off and I value my life."
However, just before she left the witness box Ms Simmons agreed with counsel for the inquest that no member of the Royal Family "would ever have harmed" the princess.
The jury at the inquest has previously seen extracts of other letters between Diana and the Duke of Edinburgh.
That correspondence, presented to the High Court hearing by Prince Philip's private secretary Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis, dates from between June and September 1992.
|In those handwritten replies, Diana referred to him as "Dearest Pa" and praised his "great understanding and tact".||In those handwritten replies, Diana referred to him as "Dearest Pa" and praised his "great understanding and tact".|
|The inquest continues.||The inquest continues.|