Diana was a true friend, weeps her closest confidante Rosa - 14 December 2007

On Thursday Miss Monckton described the six-week romance as a "fling2.
She told the jury that during a holiday to Greece in the summer before her death, the Princess spoke more of her love for heart surgeon Hasnat Khan than she ever did of Dodi.


But in a forceful cross-examination yesterday, the barrister acting for Mohamed Al Fayed suggested Diana may have withheld the full truth about her feelings for Dodi - because Miss Monckton herself did not approve of the relationship.
The sombrely-dressed witness, married to journalist Dominic Lawson, was forced into defending her friendship.


She said: "She was not misleading me. We talked about it a lot."


Michael Mansfield QC continued: "You didn't approve of her relationship with Dodi?"


Miss Monckton replied: "No, I did not."


Mr Mansfield told her he did not believe that Diana gave her the full picture of either of the men in her life.


Referring to the letters Diana wrote to her lover, he asked: "She was treating this relationship with Dodi as a serious matter, wasn't she?"


Miss Monckton said she believed the contents of the letters were not as significant as they appeared.


"She tended to speak and write in an extravagant way."


But she agreed they not just written to make someone happy.


"It was clearly more than that."


The strength of Miss Monckton's friendship with Diana was well-known.
The Princess was godmother to her 12-yearold daughter, Domenica, who has Down's syndrome. And Diana comforted her after she lost her second baby at birth in 1994, arranging for the stillborn child to be buried in an unmarked grave at Kensington Palace.


In his cross-examination Mr Mansfield also asked: "Did she tell you about gifts she had given him and the letters she had written to him already by this stage?"


Miss Monckton answered: "Diana was a very good friend of mine for six years.
"She was godmother to my handicapped daughter and she was by my side when I buried my other daughter.


"She was a true and very, very close friend. That didn't preclude her from not telling me certain things. You do not tell people everything the whole time."
At this point, her eyes welled with tears and she shielded her face with her hand.


The inquest adjourned for ten minutes to allow Miss Monckton to compose herself.


At the restart Lord Justice Scott Baker, who is presiding over the inquest, warned Mr Mansfield about his method of questioning and said he had come "fairly close to the line".


Miss Monckton went on to tell how Diana regretted the television interview she gave to Martin Bashir in 1995, which was the first time the Princess had spoken publicly about her troubled marriage to Prince Charles and his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.


She said: "I would have told her not to do it because it was undignified and would not have been good for the boys, exposing herself in that way."
Miss Monckton first met Diana through a mutual friend in 1992 while she was going through her divorce from Charles.


She is now on the committee of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
As she left the inquest, clearly shaken, she told reporters: "I just felt some of the questioning was rather aggressive."