LONDON – A bodyguard for Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed said Tuesday that he and a colleague requested extra help days before the couple died in a Paris car crash but were turned down.
Kieran Wingfield told an inquest investigating Diana and Fayed's deaths that only he and colleague Trevor Rees guarded the couple during a Mediterranean cruise on Mohamed al Fayed's yacht after the Harrods owner refused his requests for more manpower.
"I suggested to Mr. Fayed that was not enough to provide adequate cover," Wingfield said. "His words to me were: 'I want this to be low-key. It's only going to be for two or three days."'
Wingfield, a former Royal Marine, said his duties were made more difficult because Dodi Fayed would only tell him at the last minute when he and Diana were leaving the ship, the Jonikal.
An eight-man team was needed to properly assess and cover the places that the couple planned to visit when they were off the boat, he said.
Last week, Rees said he also tried persuade Dodi Fayed that he was not taking adequate security precautions on the night of the crash when he planned to leave Paris' Ritz Hotel without a bodyguard or a backup car. Rees said he accepted a compromise in which he went with the couple in their car.
He survived the crash with severe injuries.