Princess Diana's death and the many conspiracy theories that live on, as Charles readies for coronation

Adhya Moona
Adhya MoonaMay 01, 2023 | 15:39

Princess Diana's death and the many conspiracy theories that live on, as Charles readies for coronation

There are several conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana's death on August 31, 1997. Photo: Getty Images

It's been more than 25 years since the world lost Diana, Princess of Wales, in a tragic car crash on August 31, 1997 in Paris. However, the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of one of the world's most photographed personalities still live on.

Photo: Getty Images

With King Charles III's coronation just few days away, we cannot help but remember Princess Diana and the legacy she left behind. And in doing so, the conspiracy theories around her death start to surface.

  • In August 1996, the divorce between Prince Charles and Princess Diana was finalised.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles. Photo: Getty Images
  • After that, the 36-year-old Royal personality was in a relationship with Dodi Al-Fayed, 42, the son of Harrods department store owner Mohamed Al-Fayed.
Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed. Photo: Getty Images
  • The new couple had been vacationing in France in August 1997.

How did Princess Diana die?

  • On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed were travelling in car in Paris, along with the driver and their bodyguard.
  • They were being pursued by paparazzis, who were following the car she was travelling in, hoping to get a photo of the couple.
  • It was then, the driver, Henri Paul (who was later found out to be intoxicated), in an attempt to evade the paparazzis, turned into the tunnel that ran next to the Seine River.
  • The vehicle spun out of control and slammed into a support column.
  • Al Fayed and the driver died instantly.
  • Medical workers attempted to keep Diana alive for hours before her death was announced at around 5 am on August 31, 1997. 
Mourners make their way to Buckingham Palace to pay their respects to Princess Diana. Photo: Getty Images

Conspiracy theories surrounding Diana's death

 Here are some of the popular conspiracy theories surrounding Diana's death:

1. MI6 killed Diana?

  • According to Mohamed al-Fayed, MI6 had Diana and Dodi murdered on the order of the 'Establishment' as she was pregnant with Dodi's child.
  • Also, the duo were apparently about to announce their engagement
  • Mohamed al-Fayed claimed, "that the royal family “could not accept that an Egyptian Muslim could eventually be the stepfather of the future King of England”. And so they orchestrated her murder.

2. Diana believed she was going to be killed by the establishment

  • Diana herself believed that she was going to be killed and had concerns about her safety. 
  • In a letter she wrote, that she had given to her butler, Paul Burrell, for safekeeping, she believed that she was going to be killed. The letter said, "I am sitting here at my desk today in October, longing for someone to hug me and encourage me to keep strong and hold my head high. This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous. [...] is planning 'an accident' in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry.”
  • The letter seems pretty clairvoyant doesn't it? It was written by Diana at the time when she was experiencing troubles with her car, and her bodyguard had died in an accident that she thought was a conspiracy.

3. Driver Henri Paul intentionally caused the crash?

  • There were allegations that Henri Paul was a spy and was being paid by the MI6 to be an informant.
  • A testimony from Richard Tomlinson - a former MI6 officer – further bolstered these allegations. 
  • There were suspicious funds in Henri's bank account. 
  • The claim that Henri Paul was drunk at the time he was driving, is also contested by many. There are those who suggest that this was a lie and spread in the media to cover up the 'murder'. 

4. Bright flashes and strange vehicles were on the road

  • Several witnesses reported seeing flashes as Diana's car was heading into the tunnel, the flahses were blamed for the car crash.
  • A white Fiat Uno was seen mysteriously following the car into the tunnel.
  • Conspiracy theorists suggest that the Fiat was driven by MI6 agents who purposely blinded Henri with a bright flash, causing him to lose control of the car.

5. Were the Paparazzis involved?

  • Diana was being hounded by paparazzis. Conspiracy theorists believe that the paparazzis following her that night might have led to the accident.
  • The flashing cameras of the photographers did make Henri increase the speed of the car. Could the flashes have distracted the driver and causes the car to crash?

6. The medics were involved?

  • Conspiracy theorists cliam that Diana's doctors deliberately allowed her to die and did not give her the proper treatment on time.
  • They believe that if the medics had taken Diana to the nearest hospital on time, she may have survived.
  • Diana was being extensively treated at the scene of the accident instead of being taken to the hospital.
  • The conspiracy theorists believe that the doctors were working with the security services that night to ensure Diana died.

Do you believe in any of these conspiracy theories? Do you think there was something bigger at play, or was it just an unfortunate accident?

Last updated: May 01, 2023 | 15:39
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