The official British inquest into the death of Diana, princess of Wales, opened this week with an unorthodox ruling. The judge, Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, ruled that the jury should consist of ordinary people, rather than members of the Royal Household, as is customary in royal deaths. Queen Elizabeth was opposed to a royal jury, fearing that her subjects might not trust the palace to be objective. Polls show that nearly one-third of Britons believe that the car crash that killed Diana and Dodi al-Fayed in Paris in 1997 was not an accident. The inquest has been delayed so long because of a two-year French investigation, three-year British police investigation, and a string of legal actions by al-Fayeds father, Egyptian business magnate Mohammed al-Fayed.