London, Sep 30: Ten years after Princess Diana was killed in a high-speed car crash in Paris, a British judicial inquest into her death finally begins this Tuesday.
Two major investigations by French and British police have concluded the crash was an accident caused by her speeding chauffeur, who was drunk. But they have not satisfied Mohamed al-Fayed, father of Diana's lover Dodi, who also died in the crash, or a small number of remaining conspiracy theorists.
Now it is the turn of the British judicial system to stage what Diana's sons, princes William and Harry, passionately hope will be an ''open, fair and transparent'' inquest that will finally allow their mother to rest in peace.
Media and public interest are so intense that the jurors have been given police protection at the inquest, which could last up to six months.
The coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, told jurors he was ''very anxious'' they should not be harassed in any way.
Diana, 36, Dodi al-Fayed, 42, and chauffeur Henri Paul were all killed when their limousine smashed into a pillar in a road tunnel as they sped away from the Ritz Hotel in Paris, pursued by paparazzi on motorbikes.
Under British law, an inquest is needed formally to determine the cause of death when someone dies unnaturally. It was delayed until the two police probes were completed.
Dodi's father, the Egyptian tycoon who owns the Paris Ritz as well as the London luxury store Harrods, is convinced his son and Diana were victims of a British establishment conspiracy to stop them marrying.
Al-Fayed, implacable foe of the House of Windsor and Diana's former husband Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, told Reuters in a recent interview: ''The royal family must have ice water in their veins.'' The Egyptian, who fought a long legal battle to have the inquest held before a jury, pledged: ''I will never rest until I have exposed the whole murderous conspiracy. My son and Diana were slaughtered.'' So, will the inquest finally lay to rest the theories surrounding the death of the ''People's Princess'', one of the 20th century's most iconic figures? Royal biographer Penny Junor told Reuters: ''There are people who are obsessed with the idea that it was not an accident. How long can they go on? Mohamed al-Fayed has no intention of dropping it.
''I hope this will put an end to the conspiracy theories, but I wouldn't put too much money on it.''