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Royal family have "ice water in veins": al-Fayed

LONDON (Reuters) - The British royal family must have “ice water in their veins,” says the father of Princess Diana’s lover who will forever be convinced their deaths in a Paris car crash were not an accident.

Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed arrives at the High Court in London for the latest hearing by the coroner investigating the deaths of his son Dodi and Princess Diana July 27, 2007. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

“They took a young girl who was only 19 and they made her life hell,” said Mohamed al-Fayed, an implacable foe of the House of Windsor, reflecting on Diana’s fairytale marriage to Prince Charles that ended in bitter divorce.

The Egyptian-born tycoon who owns the luxury London store Harrods said in an interview to mark the 10th anniversary of the deaths of Diana and his eldest son Dodi: “The royal family must have ice water in their veins.”

He has long maintained that his son and Diana were victims of an establishment conspiracy to prevent them from marrying.

“Agents of MI6 (the intelligence agency) or people working for MI6 or both combined to make sure that Dodi and Diana would never get back to London.”

“I will never rest until I have exposed the whole murderous conspiracy. My son and Diana were slaughtered. I am not going to let them get away with it.”

The Palace does not usually comment on al-Fayed’s claims. Two major investigations by both British and French police ruled that the high-speed crash was an accident blamed on drunken chauffeur Henri Paul who also died in the crash.

Despite a stream of stories linking her to various men, Diana was largely discreet about her companions until she dropped her reserve with millionaire Dodi in the weeks before her death.

Photographs of Diana and Dodi kissing on his luxury yacht in the Mediterranean were splashed over the world’s press, which reveled in the real-life “princess and the playboy” soap opera.

FIGHTING ON

Al-Fayed will not give up and has employed a phalanx of lawyers to make his case at a much delayed London inquest -- the official British inquiry where a jury will give a verdict on how the couple died.

Pressed on how he could prove his allegations, al-Fayed conceded: “It is difficult. But I believe in God. With the help of God I will give justice to my son and Princess Diana.”

Asked if he was in any way to blame for the couple’s death in a car driven by a chauffeur he employed, al-Fayed said “There is no reason why I should feel responsible”.

The 74-year-old tycoon who won a bitter battle to take over the “Top People’s Store” in the 1980s has been a controversial figure.

He revealed that he had paid members of parliament to ask questions and lobby on his behalf. The disclosures sparked a major scandal over sleaze and influence-peddling that contributed to the fall of the Conservative government in 1997.

Thwarted in his application for a British passport, al-Fayed argues that he employs thousands of people, pays millions of pounds in taxes and has been a patron of many good causes.

Today, his bitterness and anger are palpable whatever the perceptions of him may be.

“The establishment has done the only thing it could to hurt me. It has killed my son. That I cannot forgive.”

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