Jump to navigation Jump to search « Death of Diana » redirects here. For information on the murder of Diana Miller, see Murder of Diana Miller. On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales died in hospital as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Although the media blamed the behaviour of the paparazzi who followed the car, a French paparazzi The early years PDF investigation in 1999 found that the crash was caused by Henri Paul, who lost control of the Mercedes at high speed while he was intoxicated and under the effects of prescription drugs.
As a result, it was confirmed that no criminal charges would be issued against any of the pursuing photographers. Paul was the deputy head of security at the Hôtel Ritz at the time of the crash and had goaded the paparazzi waiting outside the hotel earlier. Diana’s death caused a substantial outpouring of worldwide grief, including numerous floral tributes, and her funeral was watched by an estimated 2 billion people. The Royal Family were criticised in the press for their reaction to Diana’s death.
A car similar to that involved in the accident. On Saturday, 30 August 1997, Diana left Sardinia on a private jet and arrived in Paris with Dodi Fayed, the son of Mohamed Al-Fayed. Paul lost control of the vehicle at the entrance to the Pont de l’Alma tunnel. The car struck the righthand wall and then swerved to the left of the two-lane carriageway before it collided head-on with the 13th pillar that supported the roof.
As the four occupants lay in the wrecked car, the photographers, who had been driving slower and were accordingly some distance behind the Mercedes, reached the scene. Some rushed to help, tried to open the doors and help the victims, while some of them took pictures. Still conscious, Rees-Jones had suffered multiple serious facial injuries and a head contusion. The front occupants’ airbags had functioned normally. The occupants were not wearing seat belts.
Fayed had been sitting in the left rear passenger seat and was shortly afterwards pronounced dead. Paul was declared dead on removal from the wreckage. Despite attempts to save her, Diana’s internal injuries were too extensive: her heart had been displaced to the right side of the chest, which tore the pulmonary vein and the pericardium. Despite lengthy resuscitation attempts, including internal cardiac massage, she died at 4:00 a. It was remarked by Robin Cook, the British Foreign Secretary, that if the accident had been caused in part by being hounded by paparazzi, that it would be « doubly tragic. Members of the public were invited to sign a book of condolence at St.
All 11,000 light bulbs at Harrods were turned off and not switched on again until after the funeral. The people were quiet, queuing patiently to sign the book and leave their gifts. There were a few minor incidents. Early on, it was uncertain if it would be a state funeral since Diana had lost her royal status because of her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.
Diana’s death was met with extraordinary public expressions of grief, and her funeral at Westminster Abbey on 6 September drew an estimated 3 million mourners and onlookers in London, and worldwide television coverage watched by 2. After the end of the ceremony, the coffin was driven to Althorp in a Daimler hearse. In a private ceremony, Diana was buried on an island in the middle of a lake called The Oval, which is part of the Pleasure Garden at Althorp. Some criticised the reaction to Diana’s death at the time as being « hysterical » and « irrational ». As early as 1998, philosopher Anthony O’Hear identified the mourning as a defining point in the « sentimentalisation of Britain », a media-fuelled phenomenon where image and reality become blurred.
The Queen expressed her dismay at Diana’s death when she found out. Prince Charles woke his sons before dawn to share the news. The Royal Family was criticised for a rigid adherence to protocol, and their concern to care for Diana’s grieving sons, was interpreted as a lack of compassion. Prince Harry said in 2017 that the death of his mother caused severe depression and grief.
Prince William was 15 and Harry was 12 when Diana died. British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said that he « felt utterly devastated by the death of the Princess. President Bill Clinton said that he and his wife, Hillary Clinton were « profoundly saddened » when they found out about her death. In London, thousands of people carried bouquets and stood outside of Buckingham Palace after the news of her death. People started bringing flowers within an hour after the news was shared.