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Diana had a secret abortion

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Sat Nov 27 2004 22:15:10 ET

DIANA, Princess of Wales had a secret abortion while having an affair before she and Charles were divorced, a new book sensationally claims.

The book says that Diana freaked out when she learned she was pregnant in 1994 and became almost unhinged with misery and grief .

At the time, the Princess was having an affair with wealthy art dealer Oliver Hoare. According to The Real Diana, by Royal author and socialite Lady Colin Campbell, she wanted to keep the baby and told friends wistfully: Suppose it s a girl. But distraught as she was, she knew what she had to do .

Diana was separated from Prince Charles at the time but not divorced. The author quotes one of her principal sources, an earl s daughter, as saying: How could she have a baby? She wasn t divorced. She couldn t have an illegitimate baby. She couldn t do that to William and Harry. The scandal would ve been too much.

The revelations, backed up by other sources who guessed Diana s secret, throw fresh light on her erratic behaviour at the time, which has often bemused Royal observers.

Lady Colin Campbell refuses to name the earl s daughter, but The Mail on Sunday under-stands it is Lady Victoria Waymouth, who died two months ago, and was a close friend of the Hoares. The daughter of the 9th Earl of Hard-wicke, Lady Victoria talks in the book of the anonymous calls Diana made to Mr Hoare s home which led to his wife calling the police. But she says these were made after Diana became almost unhinged by her worry over the pregnancy and misery over the abortion.

The book notes how a tearful Diana made arrangements for the abortion and used as cover for her absence an appointment with her former financial adviser and close friend Joseph Sanders, who died last year.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Mr Sanders ex--wife, Anita, said her husband had told her about the abortion and his role in keeping it quiet after she guessed what had happened. Diana would ring Joseph every day, sometimes in the middle of the night, Mrs Sanders said. They were very close and Joseph idolised her. He was discreet and wouldn t in the normal way tell me everything that Diana said. But I guessed what had happened and got it out of him.

Mrs Sanders, who also supports another allegation in the book, that Diana had an adulterous affair with an aristocrat, added: Of course, she could never have had the baby, it would have been madness.

The involvement of City investment special-ist Mr Sanders and Diana began in 1990, but has not been chronicled to any extent, a testimony, according to his wife, to his discretion and the way Diana compartmentalised her life.

The book stops short of naming the father of the child. But it claims the notorious nuisance calls she made to Mr Hoare in 1994 began only after she got pregnant.

It has always been assumed they were motivated solely by rejection but now it is revealed that another factor was driving Diana.

According to Lady Colin Campbell, Diana s misery over the abortion had altered her state of mind to such an extent that she wasn t responsible for her actions...she couldn t help herself.

Day and night, day after day, night after night, she d sit on that telephone, calling Oliver s house 30, 40, 50 times. She used her telephone. She d go out to the call boxes on the High Street (near Kensington Palace). She d call from her sister Sarah s house. She was desperate.

The book describes how in the throes of her passion for Hoare, Diana once slipped out of Kensington Palace wearing a pair of diamond earrings, a fur coat, the high-heeled shoes which she described as my tart s trotters and nothing else.

Police were called in after a complaint from Mr Hoare s wife, Diane, and although the calls were traced to Diana s private lines at Kensington Palace no action was taken. The couple s marriage survived the crisis as did Mr Hoare s friendship with Prince Charles.

It had been through Mrs Hoare s links to the Royals, via her own wealthy family, that Oliver Hoare first met and befriended Charles and Diana.

The Mail on Sunday offered 57-year-old Mr Hoare, a dealer in Islamic art, the opportunity to speak about the abortion claim. He did not respond. The identity of the father can never be proved, of course, and it should be noted that it is far from clear whether Mr Hoare was ever even told about the abortion.

According to the book, after Diana recovered from the abortion she was overtaken with anxiety.

Lady Colin quotes Mr Sanders as saying: She was terrified the police would prosecute her for making nuisance calls. She d call every day and say the same thing. I d tell her, Don t worry. The police aren t going to prosecute you. You re the Princess of Wales. It was ages before she accepted that nothing would happen.

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