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Princess Diana suggested that lover was 'bumped off'

November 29, 2004

LONDON (AP) - Princess Diana believed that one of her lovers was "bumped off," according to tapes broadcast for the first time in the United States.

NBC acquired tapes made in 1992 by Peter Settelen, who worked with the princess to improve her public speaking. Excerpts of Monday's scheduled broadcast were released in advance by the network.

Diana speaks on the tape about Barry Mannakee, a policeman who was assigned to protect her. Reports that Diana had an affair with Mannakee surfaced in Britain in 1998.

"It was all found out and he was chucked out. And then he was killed," Diana says on the tape. "And I think he was bumped off. But, um, there we are. I don't ... we'll never know. He was greatest fella I've ever had."

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Mannakee died in a motorcycle accident in 1987, after being transferred from his post as Diana's guard.

Settelen won a court judgment earlier this year to regain the tapes, which had also been claimed by Diana's brothers and sisters. Diana died in a Paris car crash in 1997.

London's Metropolitan Police had been holding the tapes, which were made in the early 1990s and seized along with other items in a 2001 raid on the home of Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell.

Excerpts from the tapes add little to the public's knowledge of Diana's progression from shy young bride to disillusioned wife to vengeful ex-wife, but they do add some fresh quotations to embroider well-known stories.

She tells of an early meeting with Prince Charles.

"I said, 'It's pathetic watching you walking up the aisle at St. Paul's (cathedral) with (Charles' uncle) Lord Mountbatten's coffin in front.'

"I said, you know, 'It's ghastly. You need someone beside you.' Ugh!! Wrong word. Whereupon he leapt upon me and started kissing me and everything. And I thought, 'Waaah!'

"You know, this isn't what people do. And he was all over me for the rest of the evening. Followed me around, everything. A puppy. And um, yeah I was flattered, but I was very puzzled."

She also told of running to Queen Elizabeth II after she became convinced that Charles had resumed his romance with Camilla Parker Bowles.

"I went to the top lady and I'm sobbing. And I said, 'What do I do?' The Queen said, 'I don't know - Charles is hopeless."'

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On the Net:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6609385/

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