Was Goldsmith really Princess Diana's father? Let's hope so

Anne Harris

THE revelation by an Australian publication that Princess Diana is the daughter of Sir James Goldsmith was greeted by the British press with predictable dollops of pomp and circumstantial evidence denounced.

Why should that surprise us? For years Fleet Street denied revelations by the American press thatthe Royal marriage wasin difficulties.

Make no mistake, with all the freedom of the press, the guard has not changed at Buckingham Palace and English newspapers only rattle the Royal cages when not to do so is no longer tenable.

So is Diana really Sir James Goldsmith's daughter and if so, why does it matter?

And why did topcolumnists in Fleet St rush into print last week to disclaim a story, which at present, is believable in exactly the same measure as it is deniable? In short, only DNA evidence can prove or disprove it.

Could it have had anything to do with the fact that Sir James was Jewish, which would mean that Diana had Jewish blood and therefore the heirs to the throne of England would havegenerous amounts of Jewish blood?

Personally, I've believed it for a long time and I'm hoping it's true. It certainly explains a lot about Diana: her passion for luvvies, her mood swings and her obsessive mothering.

But more importantly it bodes well for William and Harry, who could now boast Judaeo-English-German ancestry. A good dollop of Jewish blood, in my view, is precisely what is needed to shake up the wooden-headedness of the British Royal family (it might also help to banish that little blot where great uncle Edward flirted openly with fascism), and make them a truly international monarchy. Sir James was of the Sephardic Jews - which embrace the North African family too.

The fact that some royal commentators were so quick to deny it proves the point. The Royals and their messengers have always lagged dangerously behind British public opinion.

The strain of anti-Semitism which runs through certain elements of the English aristocracy has never been shared by the British people: they elected a Jewish Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, and of course, Cromwell liberated the Jews.

The circumstantial evidence that Diana is Sir James's daughter is certainly there and, as always with circumstantial evidence, it is seductive.

The physical resemblance, in this age of cosmetic enhancement, should be the least compelling argument.

Though if Diana, as is claimed, bears an uncanny resemblance to Jemima Khan (Sir James's daughter by his wife Annabel), she could be the twin of his son

In the throes of unhappiness, Diana sought solace in the Goldsmiths

Zac, both having the searing blue gaze of Sir James. We also know that Diana, shortly after her marriage, had an operation to make her hooked nose straighter.

Then there is the fact that Diana's mother, Frances Shand Kydd, is acknowledged to have had an affair with Sir James.

That relationship is usually dated to some time after Diana's birth, which was a neat way to spare the feelings of all concerned (this is how Paula Yates's mother hid the fact that Hughie Green was Paula's father and coincidentally, it also took 40 years for the truth of that paternity to surface).

Among the English aristocracy, a husband always accepted paternity of his wife's offspring - noblesse oblige has more connotations than droit du seigneur.

And not least there is the fact that Diana, in the throes of unhappy marriage, did not seek solace in - nor was offered solace by the Spencers - but rather in a surrogate family where she was much happier, the


Seven years ago this weekend, Princess Diana died in France, the location of the Dreyfus case. The first major case of modern anti-Semitism, it is said to have inspired Joyce's creation, Leopold Bloom.

Yes, Diana would have been amused last week.