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The Blood of Avalon

 
The story of King Arthur and the Holy Grail does not end with his death: detailed research reveals that Prince William is descended from the legendary king and therefore qualifies for the role of ‘Once and future king’.
 
This is a extract from The Blood of Avalon which unveils the secret history of the grail dynasty from King Arthur to Prince William.
 

CHAPTER 1 – Two Royal Weddings

 
It was a sunny day at the end of April and, following an exceptionally long winter, Regent’s Park was once more in full bloom. At ten-yard intervals along The Mall, the avenue leading from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace, members of the Brigade of Guards stood at attention; their understated purpose, as always, was to protect the monarch from would-be assassins. The mood of the crowd, though, was anything but hostile. Mobile phone cameras at the ready, its members were desperate to take pictures of Britain’s Queen and send them back instantly to Berlin, Cape Town, Peking, Los Angeles or wherever else they had family and friends to impress. Indeed, some people had camped out all night just for the opportunity to be part of this royal occasion: the wedding of Prince William of Wales to his long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton. When, flanked by the Household Cavalry, the Royal procession eventually came into view, a great roar erupted.
 
The Queen, dutiful as ever, gave away no hint of the deep anxiety that, for months now, had been eating away at her. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and waving to her admirers as she trundled past in her horse-drawn carriage, she hid her concerns behind a fixed smile. Soon they arrived at Westminster Abbey, the nation’s primary shrine to the cult of royalty. As they entered the venerable church, the Duke two steps behind her, the Queen’s thoughts could not help but stray back to memories of a very different and sadder occasion. Nearly 14 years had passed since then, but the memory was still raw: the funeral of her former daughter-in-law – Diana, Princess of Wales.
 
It was not the last time that Queen Elizabeth had been in the Abbey, but it felt like yesterday. Walking through the Great West Door brought it all back: the pain, the embarrassment, but above all the sense of betrayal by those who should have known better. The Queen knew only too well that, over and above her civic duties such as Trooping the Colour and opening Parliament, she was also a religious leader. She was the head of the Church of England, and therefore of the wider Anglican Communion. It was both who she was as a person, and the oath of service she had taken at her Coronation. That Diana had not come up to the mark both shocked and saddened her. It had also meant that, for a time, the monarchy itself had been in danger, a potential calamity that few people understood outside a tight circle of ‘initiates’.
 
The one point of light to illumine such dark thoughts was that, so far, Diana’s oldest son, William, seemed not to have inherited the wilder aspects of his mother’s character. The stars evidently predicted that he had great potential, but this would come to naught if he behaved like a fool. The Queen could only hope that his bride would not break under the strain like Diana, even though she lacked a royal or even aristocratic upbringing. The monarchy had many enemies – some of them practitioners of the black arts who would stop at nothing if they felt it would advance their cause. For the world’s sake, as well as her own family’s, it was important that Kate should keep William anchored so that he could manifest what should be a truly great destiny. Above all, it was important that she should bear him an heir, someone who would preserve William’s very special genetic inheritance.
 
Diana died quite unexpectedly in bizarre – and rather sordid – circumstances. Recently divorced from her husband, Prince Charles, she was visiting Paris on her way home to London after a protracted holiday in the Mediterranean. It was the night of 31 August 1997, and she was sitting in the back of a Jaguar saloon. Sitting next to her was her current lover, Dodi Fayed, who many regarded as a playboy. Exactly how the accident came about – if it was an accident – is uncertain. At any rate, travelling at great speed through the road tunnel at Place de l’Alma, the car swerved and crashed into a concrete pillar. Dodi and the driver died instantly at the scene of the accident, while Diana survived for a short time, passing away over an hour or so later in hospital. The only survivor of the crash was their bodyguard who had had the common sense to put on his safety belt.
 
The poignancy of the moment was further increased when the pathologists discovered that Dodi was carrying a diamond engagement ring in his pocket. Although Diana had only been going out with him for a few weeks and it did not seem to outside observers that she took the relationship all that seriously, he evidently thought differently: the ring implied that he had intended to propose to her over dinner that very night. It was almost as if the crash was God’s way of preventing such an eventuality. For although Diana was wild at times and behaved quite inappropriately for the mother of a future king, it was as if she had been protected in some mystical way – until that fateful moment. Could it be that she had indeed agreed to marry Dodi and this had in some strange way sealed her fate?
 
When the revelation of Dodi’s marriage proposal came out, it was a great embarrassment to the Queen and all the royal family. Dodi’s father, Mohammed al-Fayed, was a sworn enemy of theirs, especially of the Duke of Edinburgh. Had the couple married, it would have made Dodi stepfather to the Queen and Duke’s two grandsons: Princes William and Harry.
 
In the event, although the circumstances of the accident raised awkward questions, the Queen and Duke were spared the embarrassment of having Mohammed al-Fayed as an in-law member of their extended family. Nevertheless, there was speculation at the time (and this was later repeated in court by Mohammed al-Fayed) that Dodi and Diana were murdered by agents of MI6, the British secret intelligence service. It was – and presumably still is – al-Fayed’s belief that the Duke of Edinburgh had personally given the orders. The Duke, of course, strenuously denied such allegations, and it is hard to believe that, even if he had wanted to, he would have had the power. However, it cannot be denied that, although on a personal level, the Queen and Duke were sorry for Dodi’s untimely death, they were undoubtedly relieved that any future ties with the al-Fayed family were severed.
 
Yet, as I have looked further into this matter, I have found something else: a secret at the very heart of Britain’s establishment so deeply veiled that very few outside of a tight cabal of initiates even suspect it exists. This secret unites a group of interlinked, elite families that form, as it were, an aristocracy within the aristocracy. Knowingly, or more likely unknowingly, Diana’s destiny had been to enact a plan going back centuries. What this plan was, and what it means for the rest of us today, is the focus of this book. However, one thing is certain: Diana was indeed special, as she carried the ‘Blood of Avalon’ in her veins.
 

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Vicky Hartley is the Marketing Director and Head of Digital for Watkins Publishing Limited (including Duncan Baird Publishers)