Pathologist: No Sign Princess Diana Was Pregnant When She Died

Princess Diana showed no signs of pregnancy when she died, a pathologist who examined her body said Monday.

Dr. Robert Chapman, testifying at an inquest into the death of the princess and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, said he detected no physical signs of pregnancy, adding that signs aren't always visible in the early stages.

Fayed's father, Mohamed al Fayed, claims the couple were the targets of a conspiracy directed by Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip. He alleges that Diana was pregnant with Dodi's child and that the pregnancy was one motive for the murder plot.

Diana and Dodi Fayed died in a Paris car crash in August 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi. Their driver, Henri Paul, also was killed. French and British police concluded that Paul was drunk at the time.

Chapman, who performed post mortems after the couple's bodies were returned to Britain, said he inspected Diana's womb and ovaries as he would for any woman of childbearing age.

He said signs of a pregnancy can be detected as early as seven days. But "certainly from Day 1 to 7 there could not or would not be anything to see," he said.

"From Day 7 to 14, you might see something; thereafter, there is an increasing likelihood of being able to see things which would indicate pregnancy," he said.

He said fluids used by embalmers in Paris made it impossible to carry out blood tests, but said that would not have affected physical evidence in the womb or ovaries.

"An established pregnancy will show one a change in the size of the uterus: a change in the thickness of the lining and presence of a gestation sac, an embryo with membranes, attached to the wall of the uterus, and there will be changes also in the appearance of the ovaries," he said.

"Were any of these indications present here?" attorney Nicholas Hilliard asked.

"No," Chapman said.

Chapman's findings had been disclosed last December in a report by London's Metropolitan Police.

Meanwhile, the coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, lost his appeal of a court ruling barring admission of previous statements by photographers who pursued the couple.

Lawyers representing Paul and the Ritz Hotel, which employed him, had objected to Baker's decision to allow the jury to hear previous written statements by the paparazzi, who have refused to cooperate with the British inquest.

The lawyers argued that the jury should not hear evidence that could not be challenged in court.

Baker issued a statement saying the decision would prolong the inquest but did not indicate an intention to appeal further.