The Untimely Death of Princess Diana
The Unprecedented Accident
August 31, 1997 – Princess Diana and Al-Fayed’s relationship was already being picked apart in the media. They had been harshly followed by paparazzi wherever they went. The couple was planning on having a private dinner date at the Imperial Suite Ritz Hotel in Paris, which was owned by Al-Fayed’s father. Not too long after their dinner, they decided to leave with Al-Fayed’s driver, Henri Paul, and Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, as the press were imposing upon their evening.
Paul drove Ress-Jones, Princess Diana, and Al-Fayed through the boulevards and narrow streets of central Paris in a Mercedes S-280 limousine. Investigators later found out that the car was traveling at a speed between 60-and 70 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the limousine carrying Paul and Rees-Jones collided with the 13th pillar of the Pont d’Alma Bridge at 12:19 a.m. The place of the accident was just a few miles away from the Ritz Hotel.
Both Paul and Al-Fayed were pronounced dead on the spot. Princess Diana was taken to Paris’ La Pitie Salpetriere Hospital but after a 2-hour operation, she died from internal bleeding and suffered from a concussion, a broken arm, a cut thigh, and massive chest injuries. She died at 4 a.m. at the young age of 36. Despite having significant injuries, Diana’s bodyguard, Rees-Jones survived. After over a month in the hospital, he was able to return to England and write a book about his time with the People’s princess.
Following Princess Diana’s death, the world experienced a wave of massive grief. Five days after her death, she was laid to rest in London. A million people lined the route from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey, where her funeral was held. Diana rests on a small island surrounded by water at Althorp, her family’s ancestral estate in Northamptonshire, England.
It was concluded that the fault in the accident was due to the high speeds Diana’s French chauffeur, Henri Paul, was driving at to escape the papparazi. It was found that Paul’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit at the time of the accident and that his condition may have been exacerbated by prescription anti-depressants he was taking at the time.
The Heartwarming Legacy of Princess Diana
“The People’s Princess” has left a golden legacy behind. She was known for her advocacy for HIV/AIDS and several organizations are named after her to honor her commitment. She was also praised for her style, her support on banning landmines, and her dedication to numerous causes such as leprosy, domestic violence, and mental health.