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Princess Diana 'gave royal contacts to newspaper,' court hears

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Diana, Princess of Wales gave a royal phone book to the News of the World because she wanted to "take on" her estranged husband, the Prince of Wales, the phone hacking trial at the Old Bailey heard today.

Charles with Diana in 1991

The newspaper's former royal editor Clive Goodman claimed Diana sent him the internal phone directory in 1992 as she wanted "an ally" in the press.

Testifying in his trial on conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, Goodman said the royal passed over the book because "she was in a very bitter situation with the Prince of Wales at the time."

"She felt she was being swamped by the people close to him and she was looking to... to take him on," he told the Old Bailey.

She also wanted Goodman to see the "scale of her husband's staff at his household" and the "scale of the forces ranged against her," he said.

Diana in 1996

Goodman said the book was sent to the newspaper and "worked its way into my pigeonhole".

"She [Diana] called me that afternoon and asked me if I had got it," Goodman, who was jailed in 2007 for phone-hacking, told the court.

He claimed he received two more phone books from Kenneth Stronach, a former senior valet to Prince Charles, before Stronach left his post in 1995.

He testified that none of the phone directories came from public officials and denied paying police for them, or for other stories.

Clive Goodman

Charles and Diana married in a lavish ceremony watched by millions around the world in 1981.

Their "fairytale" marriage ended in acrimony (Diana famously told Panorama, "there were three of us in this marriage"). Then Prime Minister John Major announced the couple's separation in the Commons in 1992. A decree nisi issued on 28 August 1996 officially ended their marriage. As part of the divorce settlement, Diana was stripped of her royal title - HRH - and instead became known as Diana, Princess of Wales.

Rebekah Brooks

Goodman, 56, was made royal editor at News of the World in 2000.

His former editor at the paper, Rebekah Brooks, and five other defendants are also on trial and face charges of hacking phones, conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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