Is ex-French President's 'romance with Di' fiction or reality?

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London, Sep 22 (ANI): Former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's novel about a secret love affair between a Princess from Cardiff and a dashing French president has caused speculation to arise as to whether the book is based on fiction or reality.

Questions have risen as to whether the former president was just a confidant, if not a lover, of Diana, Princess of Wales, as extracts from the book speak about familiar situations.

The book, 'La Princesse et le Président', translated as 'The Princess and the President', tells the tale of Princess Patricia of Cardiff and President Jacques-Henri Lambertye, who meet at Buckingham Palace during a dinner to mark the end of a G7 summit.

The novel describes how the young princess revealed the stress she was going through with the media, while her husband continues his relationship with his old flame.

"Ten days before my wedding, my future husband came to tell me that he had a mistress and that he had decided to continue his relationship with her even after our marriage," the Independent quoted a narrator as reading a line from the book.

The book goes on to describe the passionate liaison, which ensues, between the Welsh royal and the French leader in country houses across France.

In reality, Princess Diana and Giscard d'Estaing have never been romantically linked before but they did meet at banquets and receptions

"I kissed her hand and she gave me a questioning look, her slate-grey eyes widening as she tilted her head gently forward," the narrator read.

Throughout the novel there are references of his meetings with Diana, and in one part he writes about Patricia spending her time doing charitable work for HIV victims and landmine charities.

When the princess died in Paris in 1997, Giscard d'Estaing and his wife were reportedly the first to send flowers to the hospital where she had been treated.

The extracts from the book has caused people to marvel or recoil with its possibility of being based on reality.

"Discovering this incredible modern story, one can never for a moment forget who is the narrator. One muses, amazed, about his stature in international public life," Etienne de Montety, a literary critic for Le Figaro, which published the extracts, wrote.

Meanwhile magazine Marianne found the book distasteful, and the former president as just another gossiper.

"How does he want posterity to remember him? As the person who legalised abortion? Who gave 18-year-olds the vote? Who brought female ministers into government? By talking about Diana, Giscard is remaking himself as the great inventor of the celebrity presidency. A low-brow gossip president," it stated.

"La Princesse et le Président" is to be published on October 1 by Fallois-Xo. (ANI)

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