Princess Diana’s secret daughter?

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Under the terms of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which now allows females the same priority in the order of succession as males, the new baby, even if it is a girl — as William and Kate are rumored to be hoping — will be fourth in line to the throne, after Charles, William and George, and will maintain that position regardless of the birth of future sons to the Cambridges.

But is this really the case? Certainly not if you pay attention to sensational and scandalous claims that have been circulating in the U.S., and are now making headlines in Spain and other parts of Europe.

Princess Diana's secret daughter?
Princess Diana’s secret daughter?

It is alleged that Prince William was not his mother’s first child: that he has a ‘secret sister’, now 33, called Sarah and living incognito in a small New England town in the United States.

How, you may well wonder, can this possibly be true when William was born in June 1982, only 11 months after his parents’ marriage?

The answer, according to this unbelievable claim, is that in December 1980, Lady Diana Spencer, then a 19-year-old virgin, was ordered by the Queen to undergo gynecological tests to establish that she was capable of bearing children before her engagement to the heir to the throne could be announced.

During these tests, so the story goes, Diana’s eggs were harvested and fertilized with Prince Charles’s sperm. The tests proved successful, and the engagement of Charles and Diana was duly announced. Charles, asked if they were in love, responded with his famously cynical observation, ‘Whatever in love means’ — and the embryos were ordered to be destroyed.

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But a member of the team who examined Diana, a ‘rogue doctor’, secretly held one of the embryos back and implanted it in his own wife. Unknown to her, she became the surrogate mother of the biological child of Charles and Diana.

The baby, a girl, was born in October 1981, ten weeks after Charles and Diana’s fairy-tale wedding on July 29 of that year, and eight months before William’s own birth on June 21, 1982, in the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, where fans are already camping out to catch the first glimpse of Kate and William emerging with their new baby.

There’s more. Sarah is reported as claiming that as she was growing up, she was always being told that she was ‘a dead ringer’ for Diana. Then, in her late 20s, her parents were both killed in a car accident. After their deaths, she came across a diary which revealed that she was the product of a donated embryo and of in vitro fertilization (IVF), which was still in its infancy in the early 1980s.

Sarah says that she attempted to trace the origin of the donated embryo to find out who she really was. But about two years ago, a menacing message was left on her answer-phone, warning her to stop looking if she valued her life.

Terrified by the thought that her life might be in danger, and haunted by suggestions that Diana’s death in Paris was not an accident but murder, she emigrated to America, where she now lives under a secret identity.

This is the extraordinary account that we are being asked to believe. Far-fetched though it sounds, could there be any truth in it?

As with all conspiracy theories — particularly those relating to Princess Diana’s death — there is always a narrow basis in fact. On her own admission, Diana did undergo a gynecological examination before her engagement to Charles.

‘I had to be checked out before they would let me marry him,’ she told a close friend, Elsa, Lady Bowker, who was also a friend of mine.

The examination was almost certainly carried out by the late Sir George Pinker, the Queen’s highly respected surgeon-gynecologist. Understandably, its purpose was to confirm that there was no malformation of the womb or uterus, or anything that might preclude normal child-bearing.

That such an examination would ever have gone to the extreme of harvesting eggs and in vitro fertilization seems incredible, though one cannot state as a fact that such a procedure did not take place.

Princess Diana's secret daughter?
Princess Diana’s secret daughter?