Paul Burrell prised a bloodstained ring off the dead body of Diana, Princess of Wales, and kept it, the former butler's bodyguard claimed yesterday.
Mark Faux, who worked for Mr Burrell for a year in 2003, said he was "disgusted" upon hearing the revelation, which followed the Princess's death in a Paris car crash in August 1997.
Speaking in London at the inquest into Diana's death, Mr Faux said: "He [Mr Burrell] said that he took it from the body in Paris." Nicholas Hilliard, representing the coroner, asked: "Did he have any way of demonstrating this was hers?" Mr Faux replied: "Yes, there was still blood on the ring and he could prove it was hers by the DNA."
There is confusion about the nature of the ring, but the jury heard that it was a gold Bulgari "friendship ring" given by Dodi Fayed, who was also killed.
Mr Faux said his employer had taken various documents, including Buckingham Palace-headed papers, and kept them hidden at a neighbour's home in Farndon, Cheshire. Mr Faux claimed he saw Mr Burrell "frantically" burn them in his back garden in November or December 2002. Mr Burrell denies the claims.
The inquest continues.