A murky question after a decade of mushy Ps and QsThe mind can truly be disturbed by tragedy, writes a convinced Declan Lynch
We've had a lot of mushy coverage of the Diana business, 10 years on. A lot of analysis of what it all meant, all that emoting. But who was she? That is the question.
And this morning, I can supply the answer. She was the daughter of that notorious sha***r Sir James Goldsmith, and of her acknowledged mother, Frances Shand Kydd. I should say she was "probably" the daughter of Sir James Goldsmith, and Frances Shand Kydd, but in the style of the upper classes, I'm cutting to the chase here. The "Goldsmith" version had been circulating in aristocratic circles for a long time, and from the moment I heard it, I was so convinced by its credibility, I have come to regard all other versions -- especially the official one -- as balls.
Officially, the girl was the daughter of the Earl Spencer and Frances Shand Kydd, but those sources have long maintained that there were more than two people in that marriage with Goldsmith conducting an affair with Frances around the time that Diana was conceived.
The affair is no longer a matter of rumour, but of fact. Nobody denies that it took place, at a time when the highly-strung Frances was deeply unhappy in her marriage to the Earl, who was "drinking heavily" and "being beastly towards her".
It has been described as a brief fling, though Tina Brown, author of The Diana Chronicle, suggests a long-running affair. And in Brown's version, there is strong support for the idea of Goldsmith as the biological father of Lady Di, though she can't prove it.
Which is not the same thing as saying that it's not true. Certainly the evidence is so overwhelming, it defies understanding that any sane person could still believe the approved version.
We have the knowledge of the affair, but we also have Diana's physical resemblance to Sir James' other children, to Jemima Khan (nee Goldsmith), who happened to be her best friend, and especially to the boy Zak Goldsmith, who is the spitting image of the People's Princess (an ironic title for a lady whose grandfather felt that "there was no point to ordinary people", but I digress). Along with the uncanny resemblances, Diana seemed to regard the Goldsmiths as her natural family in a very real sense.
As the commentators might say, with the Goldsmiths she found a source of solace which she never found with the Windsors. We can savour such fine detail, and we can also make intelligent generalisations.
Diana was like her father in looks, but also in her charisma, her sexual appetites, her madness, and her propensity for causing trouble.
There is also a strong "cultural" veracity to this murky business. It is a matter of record that the upper classes have been carrying on like this for centuries, spreading their demon seed remorselessly, while maintaining the old-fashioned facade of the family for strictly business reasons.
Not that we need such background information, in this most convincing case. It is only when we come to the issue of Diana's demise, that we need to enter the realm of speculation, albeit speculation founded on the most simple deductions.
The Princess, you see, was Jewish. If we accept that she was sired by Goldsmith, then we realise that the British royal family is now rich in the blood of the Sephardic Jew. And while we might regard this as good, we all know that there are darker forces out there, who might regard this as a bad thing. A very, very bad thing indeed.
Conspiracy theorists have followed Mohammad Al-Fayed's enquiries. They have wondered if some parties were troubled about the lady's dalliance with an Arab. But what of the Jewish question?
What if Diana -- and here for the first time we enter briefly the realm of the imagination -- what if Diana, with her psychobabble, had felt the need for "closure" on the subject of her parentage, for honesty and openness?
Put it like this -- in merry old England, back in the day, they did away with the most high-born for a hell of a lot less.
Anyway, I'm glad to have cleared all that up for you.
And, lest we forget, the same Sir James Goldsmith was also strongly linked to the escape of Lord Lucan.
And here's a strange footnote: I remember well the day she died, because I was very much looking forward to seeing Liverpool on TV, only to discover to my horror that the match was cancelled, as a mark of respect.
Some still harbour a Fayed-like bitterness in their hearts, arguing long into the night that there was no need to call off the match.
And here's the most peculiar thing: several of us inexplicably recall that Blackburn were due to play Liverpool on that day, yet the record shows that Newcastle were the opposition.
We simply can't explain how we remember it as Liverpool v Blackburn. We can only conclude, that here is another illustration, of how the mind can be disturbed by tragedy.