In one of the most extraordinary literary developments in recent years, the former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has written a novel about a love affair between an unhappy British princess, who bears a striking resemblance to Princess Diana, and a French President.
La Princesse et le President - wiil be published by Éditions de Fallois-XO (The Princess and the President) in October but already people are speculating whether the story is is fact or fantasy.
Giscard d'Estaing, French President from 1974-1981, gives his fictional President the name of Jacques-Henri Lambertye, and names the heroine Princess Patricia of Cardiff, "a town in Wales."
The pair meet at Buckingham Palace and the princess reveals her sad plight to the French President and embark upon a passionate affair. Is Giscard, who met Princess Diana in 1994, in Versailles, living out the fantasy of a secret liaison?
"A dozen days before my wedding, my future husband came and told me that he had a mistress and that he had to decided to carry on seeing her after our marriage," says Princess Pat, in a confession very similar to the situation that existed between Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
The book contains much wishful thinking but has fuelled rumours that the tale might be true by penning a cryptic inscription in the book: "Promise kept." It also contains the strange phrase in English "I wish that you love me". I say strange because it doesn't make a lot of sense in English and it is hard to believe that an English person would use that exact phrase, except perhaps in response to the question "What do you wish?".
He ends the book by writing "You asked my permission for you to write your story," she told me. "I give you it, but you must make me a promise ..."
Le Figaro expects the book to cause a stir. No doubt both the royal family and Mr Al Fayed will be reading it closely.
Only Giscard d'Estaing holds the key to whether it is fiction or reality says Le Figaro.
Giscard was 55 when he lost power and photographs show that he met Diana publicly in the years after his election defeat.
One Reuters picture her smiling delightedly at Giscard.
As is well-known, Diana died in a car crash under the Pont de l'Alma in Paris in 1997 with her boyfriend, Dodi al Fayed. According to media reports Giscard and his wife were the first to send flowers to the hospital where her body was taken.
The book is bound to cause a stir when it is published on 1st October to say the least perhaps an almighty ruckus so it might be worth grabbing yourself a copy or two of the first edition, signed by Mr Giscard d'Estaing if at all possible (although book signings are not so well-known in France).