There is nothing the Windsors hate more than independent public scrutiny of their behaviour. When wrongdoing is alleged in Prince Charles' household, it is his "good friend" and employee, Michael Peat, that he appoints to carry out an "independent" investigation.
Some six years or so after the death of Princess Diana, the coroner appointed to investigate has finally set a date for the inquest which it is confirmed will commence on the 6th January 2004.
However, unlike normal inquests, this will be far from independent.
The Coroners Act 1988, the law governing the appointment of coroners, and the conduct of inquest states at s.29:
(2) The coroner of the Queen's household shall have exclusive jurisdiction in respect of inquests into the deaths of persons whose bodies are lying
(a) within the limits of any of the Queen's palaces; or
(b) within the limits of any other house where Her Majesty is then residing.
(3) The limits of any such palace or house shall be deemed to extend to any courts, gardens or other places within the curtilage of the palace or house but not further; and where a body is lying in any place beyond those limits, the coroner within whose district the body is lying, and not the coroner for the Queen's household, shall have jurisdiction to hold an inquest into the death.
Diana's body was not found within the limits of a Royal Palace, it was found in a wrecked Mercedes car in a tunnel in Paris. Clearly subsection 3 states that a normal coroner should have been appointed. One may therefore ask why a Royal Coroner has been appointed instead.
Subsection 4 provides a possible answer.
(4) The jurors on an inquest held by the coroner of the Queen's household shall consist of officers of that household, to be returned by such officer of the Queen's household as may be directed to summon the jurors by the warrant of the coroner.
There we have it. A nobbled jury. The Windsors are going to be permitted to hand pick the jury that will decide (inter alia) whether Diana's claim that a senior Royal would kill her in a car accident is true.
The law relating to the appointment of a Royal Coroner has been completely ignored so that a nobbled Coroner AND jury can be appointed.
Once again the Windsors are rigging the system to ensure no inquiry is indepedent. One wonders what they are trying to conceal this time?
BBC News - Date set for princess's inquest
BBC News - Q&A: Diana and Dodi inquests
HMSO - Coroners Act 1988 s29