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Diana planned end to public life

LONDON, Sept. 1 -- A royalty reporter who enjoyed the confidence of the late Princess of Wales wrote today that Diana had planned to withdraw from public life at the end of the year. Richard Kay, a friend of Diana for five years, wrote in the Daily Mail that he chatted by telephone with Diana six hours before she was killed in a car crash that also took the lives of her companion, Dodi al-Fayed, and their chauffeur.

'She told me she had decided to radically change her life,' Kay wrote of their conversation. 'She was going to complete her obligations to her charities and to the anti-personnel landmines cause and then, around November, would completely withdraw from her formal public life. 'She would then, she said, be able to live as she always wanted to live. Not as an icon -- how she hated to be called one -- but as a private person.' He said her romance with Dodi was a major factor in the decision. 'She was in love with him and, perhaps more important, she believed that he was in love with her and that he believed in her. They were, to use an old but priceless cliche, blissfully happy,' Kay wrote. He said, though, that her 'withdrawal' would not mean an end to her good works and she outlined plans to open hospices for the dying all over the world. Speaking shortly before joining al-Fayed for their last fateful dinner at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, she also talked of her joy at the prospect of being reunited with her children, Princes William and Harry, who were to have joined her Sunday after a holiday with their father, Prince Charles, in Scotland. ---

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Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---

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