Diana outflanks enemy in PR battle

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The Independent Online
The Prime Minister and the Queen will discuss the future role of the Princess of Wales tomorrow, in the wake of a new survey which reveals that 70 per cent of people believe she should be given a goodwill, ambassadorial role.

The Princess has already met with what she calls "the enemy" - senior palace officials - to outline an ambitious vision of a formal role as royal ambassador. Officials sat in silence as she laid down her demands in last Wednesday's unprecedented palace summit, the first of a series in which the Princess expects to give vent to her frustrations. Insiders say the Princess was dominant and demanding, confirming reports of her new-found sense of power. One source said: "There was no doubt who was in charge."

At their weekly meeting tomorrow, John Major and the Queen will examine the Princess's proposals. They detail a more serious role than her current "walk-on" celebrity part, and outline a modern image of a royal family.

The speed with which the proposals are being addressed, following her Panorama interview a fortnight ago, confirms reports of anxiety about her role in both the palace and Westminster.

The Princess's position will have been bolstered over the weekend by an NOP/Sunday Times survey which showed that only 25 per cent believed she should play a less active role in public life. Seven out of 10 want to see her given a formal ambassadorial role, and public sympathy has risen from 27 per cent, before her interview, to 39 per cent. Sympathy for Prince Charles has dropped from 10 to 8 per cent.

The Princess gave another extraordinary interview at the weekend, this time to reveal to the News of the World that she makes late-night undercover visits to a hospital to comfort the sick and dying.