Britain’s most experienced woman judge, Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, has been lined up to preside over the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, which is scheduled to be held next year.
The Times reports that Dame Elizabeth, 73, who retired last year as President of the High Court’s Family Division, has been approached to take the highly sensitive case, which will attract worldwide attention. Her conclusions will be among the most scrutinised in legal history.
Last month Michael Burgess, the Coroner of the Royal Household, unexpectedly withdrew from the case, citing his heavy workload in his other role as the Surrey Coroner.
Dame Elizabeth’s appointment has not been officially confirmed but a senior government official told The Times that only a few formalities remained to be completed.
There will be separate inquests into the deaths of Diana and Dodi Fayed nine years ago this week. The inquests will examine the conspiracy theories championed by Mohamed Al Fayed, the chairman of Harrods, who has alleged that the Princess was murdered on the orders of the Royal Family because she was expecting his son’s child.