Campbell reveals fears for Charles at Diana’s funeral

PRINCE William was asked to walk behind his mother’s coffin at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, because of fears his father might be attacked if he was alone, Alastair Campbell claimed in extracts from his diaries published yesterday.

The former Downing Street director of communications wrote that a palace official was sent to Balmoral to ask William to join Prince Charles behind the coffin.

But he said that William — aged 15 at the time — was “consumed by a total hatred of the media” because of the way his mother had been pursued, and suspected that the plan was designed to appeal to the press.

The extracts from Power and The People, published in The Guardian yesterday, also reveal that Tony Blair advised the Queen shortly after Diana’s death to show her “vulnerable” side to win public sympathy.

Campbell said there was doubt over whether William and Harry would be willing to walk behind the coffin. “It was pretty clear that he really felt strongly about the role of the media vis-a-vis his mother, and would not want to be doing anything that he felt was for them. He was being strong and clear about what he wanted,” said Campbell.

“But as TB said, they were just one of the things he would have to deal with as king, and he’d need help. He felt that if he loved Diana as she had wanted him to, there was the chance he would set his mind on becoming king but having nothing to do with the rest of them.” He later added: “I sensed the boys were holding firm, and they seemed to feel it was being done for the media and the public, not for their mother.”

The diaries also suggest Blair believed Prince Charles briefed against Downing Street on other issues for years after the funeral.

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