Former royal butler Paul Burrell has described how he was the "hub" in the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Mr Burrell, 49, who served Diana for 10 years until her death in 1997, spoke about their "exceptionally close" working relationship that developed after she separated from the Prince of Wales in 1992.
The former servant-turned-reality TV star is set to face questions over the so-called "Burrell letter" in which the Princess expressed fears for her life.
His claim that the Queen warned him there were "dark forces" at work in Britain is also likely to be at the centre of his testimony.
Mr Burrell began his evidence by giving a brief account of his time working for the Queen from the late 1970s as her personal footman, then describing his employment with Charles and his wife from 1987.
When the couple separated, he told the inquest: "The Prince asked the Princess to compile a list of everything she needed to fulfil her life in London and on that list was my name."
Asked by Ian Burnett QC, representing the inquest, whether he was "exceptionally close" to Diana and was one of her "intimate confidants", Mr Burrell said: "I think that’s fair."
He then added: "I was at the hub of the wheel, everybody was at the spokes, I connected all the Princess’s friends and all her world.
"All the Princess’ friends didn’t know each other. The Princess would confide in certain people with certain issues and not everyone would know everything, people would know certain amounts.
"It became increasingly obvious as the Princess dispensed with her staff, I took on more and more responsibility."
Source : The Guardian