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Report: Philip support for Diana

Alleged letters reveal a new dimension in the relationship between the royals
Alleged letters reveal a new dimension in the relationship between the royals

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LONDON, England -- The Duke of Edinburgh wrote to Princess Diana showing support in her troubled marriage, according to letters purportedly written by the prince.

Prince Philip has always been reported as having been unkind to his daughter-in-law, but correspondence revealed by the former royal butler Paul Burrell also show a sympathetic nature.

The Duke of Edinburgh wrote to Diana in the summer of 1992 telling her that he and the queen "disapproved" of Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, a report says.

The prince is alleged to have told Diana: "I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla."

He reportedly goes on to say: "We do not approve of either of you having lovers.

"Charles was silly to risk everything with Camilla for a man in his position. We never dreamed he might feel like leaving you for her. Such a prospect never even entered our heads."

The letters are printed in the UK tabloid Daily Mirror on Tuesday as part of a serialization of former royal butler Paul Burrell's book, "A Royal Duty."

Previous correspondence -- including letters written in the same year -- reveal a harsh and critical tone towards Diana, which upset the princess.

But she expressed admiration for Prince Philip's honesty, Burrell added.

Amid the stream of letters between the royals, though, the Duke of Edinburgh appears to have blamed Diana for the breakdown in her marriage and her husband's affair.

He is alleged to have asked Diana if she could "honestly look into her heart" and say the affair was nothing to do with her behavior towards Prince Charles.

And after the publication of Andrew Morton's book "Diana, Her True Story," the prince wrote a series of letters which "upset and infuriated" Diana with their "brutality."

In one letter, Prince Philip allegedly told the princess that being married to Charles "involved much more than simply being a hero with the British people."

He was also reported to have told her that jealousy was the "cancer" within her marriage and said her "irrational" post-natal behavior following the birth of Prince William had not helped her relationship with Charles.

Dodi Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales
Fayed and the princess were photographed on holiday weeks before they died.

"The remarks kept punching away at the princess's ego and spirit, delivered by the man she had held in great respect ever since she married into the family, and that was what bothered her most," Burrell said.

But Prince Philip did not accuse Diana of damaging the monarchy, Burrell added.

The Duke of Edinburgh's letters came a day after revelations from the same book that Diana feared a plot to kill her in a car accident. (Full story)

Diana is alleged to have written to Burrell saying she thought a named person would try and tamper with her car brakes. The Mirror has not named that person.

Diana died in a car crash in Paris on the morning of August 31, 1997, along with her companion Dodi Fayed and the chauffeur Henri Paul.

So far, Clarence House -- representing the Prince of Wales -- and a spokeswoman for Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, have declined to comment on Burrell's claims.

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