William and Kate have yet to announce when and where they'll take their official royal honeymoon, but they might want to stay away from the South of France in mid-May.
That's when an inflammatory, potentially explosive new documentary will show up at Cannes, where it will screen in the marketplace, not the film festival, and make the following charges:
>> Diana Spencer, the former Princess of Wales, and her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed were deliberately killed in an auto accident in Paris in 1997, most likely at the behest of the British royal family.
>> The deaths were ordered because the royals were worried that she and Al-Fayed would marry and have children, giving Prince William, her oldest son and the future King of England, a Muslim stepfather and half-sibling.
>> Or maybe they were ordered by the British (and French, and American) secret services, because of her attention-getting crusade against land mines.
>> Diana knew her life was in danger, but her warnings to that effect were concealed by British officials in the aftermath of her death.
>> In fact, the official inquiry into the deaths was a wholesale cover-up on the part of the British government, with the acquiescence of the British press.
>> Prince Philip was a Nazi sympathizer and a rampant philanderer, and is a psychopath to boot.
>> And the British monarchy ought to be abolished, anyway.
TheWrap got a sneak peek at the film, which was made under the title "There Are Dark Forces" but is now titled "Unlawful Killing." Made by actor/director Keith Allen (the father of singer Lily Allen), the film can likely never be shown in Great Britain, according to its director, who has said that British lawyers determined 87 changes that would need to be made before it could screen in the U.K.
When Allen first started talking about it at Cannes three years ago, where he screened a 20-minute excerpt, he was calling it the antidote to "The Queen." Now he says it's the antidote to "The King's Speech" in the way it casts a net of suspicion on the royal family, and on all aspects of the official British inquiry into the deaths. This even though it endorses the jury's conclusion that the death was an "unlawful killing" caused by vehicles following the car in which Diana and Al-Fayed rode.
(The film points out that British press immediately wrote that the "following vehicles" were driven by the paparazzi, when the jury did not say who was in control of those cars and motorcycles.)
"The British establishment," Allen insists in a voiceover, "think that they have gotten away with murder."
The film's persuasiveness likely depends on a viewer's willingness to embrace that all-enveloping air of suspicion. It's a time-honored approach: if you persuade viewers that the official inquiries are part of a massive cover-up, then you don't need to worry if many of the other charges you make have been debunked by those inquiries (which in this case includes the British Operation Paget).
Some of the film's points are dubious, to be sure. Repeated statements linking Prince Philip to the Nazis are illustrated with a photo of the prince in a line of uniformed Germans in 1937 – never pointing out that the photo (right) was taken when the prince was 16, and attending the funeral of his older sister, who married a German royal. (Philip later fought for the Allies in World War II.)
And one of the most damning pieces of evidence is a letter written by Diana in 1993, in which she tells a confidant of her suspicions that the royal family is planning to engineer her death in a car crash.
Allen consistently highlights the letter's most dramatic passages — but he ignores the rest of Diana's conspiracy theory in that letter: The letter said that the Queen would soon abdicate to put Prince Charles on the throne, and that Charles would marry his former assistant (and Prince William and Harry's nanny) Alexandra "Tiggy" Legge-Bourke. Her husband's longtime girlfriend Camilla Parker-Bowles (whom he later did marry), Diana wrote in a passage that might undercut her prescience if Allen were to admit it, was nothing but "a decoy."
But Allen has actor Tony Curtis and CNN interviewer Piers Morgan and comedian Kathleen Madigan and writer Kitty Kelley and array of authors and royals-watchers and ordinary people to say they don't trust the official story, and he could well get viewers to do the same.
And at a time when the eyes of the world are on a beautiful young woman marrying into the British royal family, and a time when one of the Republican party's top would-be presidential candidates can hang his candidacy on a conspiracy theory, the right kind of tabloid-ready innuendo and suspicion can prove irresistible.
So while "Unlawful Killing" is screening (and, its makers hope, selling) on the French Riviera, William and Kate should probably look the other way.