Diana's death a warning for Middleton - coroner

Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton is being hounded by the paparazzi in the same way his mother was in her final days, the coroner who investigated the death of the people's princess says.

Assistant deputy coroner of inner West London, Lord Justice Scott Baker, heard from 240 witnesses during his six-month investigation into the deaths of the Princess of Wales and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed.

The pair died in a car crash in a Paris tunnel in 1997 as they tried to flee the paparazzi.

More recently, the paparazzi's relentless attention was blamed for a temporary break in Prince William's relationship with Ms Middleton.

And spokespeople for Prince William have publicly accused the paparazzi of "aggressively" pursuing the couple, and Middleton separately.

The prince and Ms Middleton have since reconciled, and media attention is as fierce as ever amid speculation of a royal engagement.

Lord Baker told the Asia-Pacific Coroners' Society conference in Adelaide on Wednesday that the role of the paparazzi was one of the many aspects he had to take into account during his inquiry.

He said issues surrounding the paparazzi remained serious for the royal family.

"You only have to look at the papers today to see the paparazzi are hounding Kate Middleton in the same way Diana was previously being hounded," he said.

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