Princess Diana died following a car crash in Paris, France, on August 31, 1997. Although she was said to have been alert following the accident, she went into cardiac arrest a short while later and was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was just 36 at the time.
On that fateful night, Princess Diana had been riding in a Mercedes Benz with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and her bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones. The car had been driving at an accelerated speed; its driver, Henri Paul, was trying to avoid the paparazzi, after Diana and Dodi left the Ritz Carlton. The car raced through a tunnel under the Alma bridge and Paul lost control, crashing the car into a pillar.
Both Fayed and Paul were pronounced dead at the scene. Princess Diana was alive and responsive, according to responding Sgt. Xavier Gourmelon, who performed first aid on her.
“I held her hand and told her to be calm and keep still. I said I was there to help and reassured her. She said, ‘My God, what’s happened?’ To be honest, I thought she would live. As far as I knew when she was in the ambulance she was alive and I expected her to live. But I found out later she had died in hospital. It was very upsetting,” Gourmelon told The Sun back in August 2017.
Her bodyguard, Rees-Jones, survived the crash. After an investigation was conducted, authorities concluded that Henri Paul was to blame in the crash that cost not only his own life, but those of two others.
“Investigations carried out by both French and British authorities concluded that Mr Paul was responsible for the crash. He was drunk and on anti-depressants when he lost control of the Mercedes as it sped through the tunnel that lies next to the River Seine,” reports the Telegraph.
For years, conspiracy theories about Princess Diana’s death have run rampant. Perhaps the most prominent theory was that the royal family was behind Princess Diana’s death. Her boyfriend’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, made some bold claims about Lady Di’s death. Not only did Mr. Al-Fayed claim that the royal family orchestrated Diana’s passing, but he also claimed that she was pregnant at the time of her death.
“Diana told me on the telephone she was pregnant. I am the only person they told. They told me they were engaged and would announce their engagement on Monday morning (three days after the crash). … She told me that she knew Prince Philip and Prince Charles were trying to get rid of her,” he said in front of the High Court while on the witness stand during an inquest, according to Fox News.
According to the Independent, Diana’s own words and feelings contribute to the lingering suspicions surrounding her death. As the outlet reported, she felt unsafe and certain that she was going to be killed, according to a letter she gave to Paul Burrell, a former butler, for safe keeping. The letter reportedly expressed fears that someone was “planning ‘an accident’ in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry.”
You can read more about the conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana’s death by clicking the link below: