Princess Diana (Shown with Scientologist John Travolta) was obsessed with clairvoyants - including one she dubbed "Fergie's witchwoman", the inquest into her death heard yesterday.
The princess's former private secretary said the Duchess of York's medium told Diana that Prince Charles would die in a crash. [Emphasis TMR's]
Patrick Jephson said the princess told him in 1990: "Fergie's witch-woman says my husband is going to be killed! She sees mountains and a helicopter!"
He said he tried to treat such predictions as a joke and added: "A little later on, I give my response to the princess as being, 'Yes, ma'am, any tips for the 3.30 at Kempton?'"
Mr Jephson said the "paranoid" princess fell for more and more outlandish claims toward the end of her life.
Questioning him, Jonathan Hough, the Diana inquest counsel, said: "She continued to heed her astrologer's predictions, the more dire the better, particularly where the prince was concerned.
"She was rewarded with regular forecasts of helicopter crashes, skiing accidents and other calamities that obstinately refused to befall him."
The identity of the "witch-woman" was not revealed in court. But it is likely to be either psychic Rita Rogers, who met Diana through the duchess and told her the brake cables of her car would be cut, or Madame Vasso, a Greek mystic who encouraged her clients to sit under a Perspex pyramid.
Mr Jephson, a former lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy, worked for Diana between 1990 and 1996.
He said he was worried that she put so much faith in astrologers and soothsayers because this "fed the paranoia that never lurked far beneath the surface".
By the time of her Panorama interview in 1995, he said, Diana "saw plots everywhere", even claiming that someone had taken a "pot-shot" at her with a gun in Hyde Park.
"Needless to say, I had all the accusations checked out, but the threats were, as I had known all along, all in her imagination."
Mr Jephson said he agreed with Diana's description of herself in a 1992 Andrew Morton book that when it came to the Royal Family she was "like a lamb to the slaughter".
But he warned: "By attaching such importance to these allegations, she was playing into the hands of her critics in what she would call the royal establishment who . . . I knew were prepared to suggest that she was mentally fragile and in some way a liability."
Under cross-examination, Mr Jephson admitted that the princess's claims of being bugged "probably" had an element of truth.
From his experiences in the Royal Navy, he said he assumed the security services regularly monitored phone lines and, as a result, he warned Diana to be cautious.
Mr Jephson said Diana consulted a "bewildering cocktail" of alternative therapists, including astrologers, reflexologists, psychoanalysts and soothsayers as well as having treatments such as colonic irrigation and massage.
He said she was unrestrained in her appetite for such therapies, but that they "robbed her of her equilibrium at times of stress and dissipated her powers of concentration".