THE DEATH OF DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
(August 31, 1997 — Paris, France)
(Chaired the Inquests into the deaths of Princess Diana & Dodi Fayed)
The Official Story
(Deputy Coroner of the Queen’s Household)
Ann Elizabeth Oldfield Butler-Sloss, Baroness Butler-Sloss, GBE, PC (born 10 August 1933), is a retired English judge. She was the first female Lord Justice of Appeal and was the highest-ranking female judge in the United Kingdom until 2004, when Baroness Hale was appointed to the House of Lords. Until June 2007, she chaired the inquests into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed. She stood down from that task with effect from that date, and the inquest was conducted by Lord Justice Scott Baker.
On 7 September 2006, she was appointed as Deputy Coroner of the Queen’s Household and Assistant Deputy Coroner for Surrey for the purpose of hearing the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
On 2 March 2007, she was appointed as Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner West London for the purpose of transferring the jurisdiction of the inquest to Inner West London so that the proceedings may sit in the Royal Courts of Justice. On 24 April 2007, she announced she was stepping down in June 2007, saying she lacked the experience required to deal with an inquest with a jury. The role of coroner for the inquests was transferred to Lord Justice Scott Baker. This had been preceded by the overturning by the High Court of her earlier decision to hold the inquest without a jury.