Who Was Driving The Car When Princess Diana Died?

Princess Diana's death is depicted in the sixth and final season of The Crown

Princess Diana in The Crown

by Nikki Peach |
Updated on

Princess Diana died after sustaining life-threatening injuries in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. Her boyfriend Dodi Fayed was killed on impact, as was driver of the car, Henri Paul.

The only person to survive the crash was their bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones. The accident made headlines around the world and the UK entered a period of national mourning. On 6 September, Princess Diana's funeral was attended by hundreds of thousands of people and 2.5 billion people watched from around the world.

Since the Princess' contentious and untimely death features in the final series of The Crown on Netflix, fans are wondering what happened in real life.

Following her death, the initial French judicial investigation concluded that the crash was caused by the driver Henri Paul's intoxication, reckless driving, speeding, and effects of prescription drugs. However, in February the following year, Dodi Fayed's father, Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed, publicly said he thought the crash had been planned – accusing MI6 and Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Another inquest was then held between 2004 and 2008 in London, and concluded that the crash was caused by negligent driving in an attempt to escape the paparazzi. On 7 April 2008, the jury decided it had been an 'unlawful killing'.

Around the same time, Mohamed Al-Fayed ended his ten-year campaign for his son and Princess Diana's death to be deemed as murder. Apparently he did so for the sake of Diana's children, Prince William and Prince Harry, who were 15 and 12 respectively.

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