Footman alleges he was raped by aide of Charles

Andrew Clennell,Jo Dillon,Sophie Goodchild
Sunday 10 November 2002 01:00

A former footman in the royal household accused an aide to the Prince of Wales last night of raping him. George Smith, a one-time valet to Diana, Princess of Wales, also accused the heir to the throne of "covering up" the incident.

In coming forward, Mr Smith revealed himself to be the "victim" whose allegation of rape was recorded on tape by Princess Diana. The tape's existence emerged after the collapse of the trial of Paul Burrell, Diana's former butler, who was accused of theft.

Mr Smith said the Royal family shut the Burrell trial down to prevent his allegations being aired. "The Prince had covered it up when it all happened. He would not have wanted it coming out at the Old Bailey," Mr Smith told the Mail on Sunday.

The allegations will intensify pressure on Prince Charles to give a full account of a cover-up – if any – of the homosexual rape. Mr Smith was subsequently paid £38,000 severance package to leave the Royal household.

Writing in the Independent on Sunday today, Michael Jacob of the the Fabian Society, an influential Labour think-tank, argues that the case "brings the whole British constitution into question".

The former footman, waiving the right to anonymity granted to rape victims, said he had been "brutally" assaulted by the palace servant in 1989.

He admitted Princess Diana taped two interviews with him and said that the tapes contained "a second – and even more damaging – claim".

Mr Smith claims to have witnessed an incident "involving a member of the Royal family and a Palace servant", which he believes was the prime reason for the Palace to halt the Burrell trial.