Princess Diana was a beloved public figure who rose to prominence after her relationship and subsequent children officially brought her into the royal family. On August 31, 1997 around midnight Princess Diana and her fiance Dodi Al Fayed were trying to go out but were ambushed by paparazzi. The pair asked their driver to go back to the Ritz where they were staying instead of braving the cameras. On this drive they were accosted by a motorcycle which edged them to drive through the Pont de l’Ama tunnel where they inevitably crashed, killing three of the passengers in the car.
Mohamed Al-Fayed, the father of Diana’s lover Dodi, has claimed since February 1998 that this crash was a conspiracy orchestrated by the MI6 and ordered by the Royal Family. His claims were dismissed by a French judicial organization and by Operation Paget which concluded in 2006. There are many different conspiracy theories that generally all tie back to MI6 and the Royal Family.
Considering that the Princess of Wales wrote a letter to her butler and lawyer just a year or so before her death claiming that they were planning a car crash to take her life, and the police investigators ignored said letter, it is likely that evidence was suppressing in the initial inquiry.
Either way, there are plenty of details below behind arguably the biggest car crash in history.
15 Spontaneous Route Change
While on their way to Dodi’s flat in Paris the driver took a different route than usual. Instead of opting for the quickest way to the apartment Paul took them a completely different way. The route that the driver chose was along the River Seine, and if they hadn't, they wouldn’t have gone through the tunnel where the crash occurred. The pair was constantly followed by paparazzi, which is one possible reason that they chose a longer route but this is often debated among conspiracy theorists. What’s strange about that seemingly spur of the moment route change is that none of the CCTV cameras along the route were working or on during the time of the journey and eventual crash. That totals at around 20 CCTV cameras that just happened to not be working along that line. This fact is assumed because the French authorities claim that there is absolutely no footage of the mad dash to the tunnel from the Ritz being chased by paparazzi, the crash itself or any cars leaving the tunnel thereafter.
What’s strange about that seemingly spur of the moment route change is that none of the CCTV cameras along the route were working or on during the time of the journey and eventual crash. That totals at around 20 CCTV cameras that just happened to not be working along that line. This fact is assumed because the French authorities claim that there is absolutely no footage of the mad dash to the tunnel from the Ritz being chased by paparazzi, the crash itself or any cars leaving the tunnel thereafter.
14 The Threatening Phone Call
Simone Simmonds was a long time friend of Princess Diana and was spoken to during the initial inquiry directly after her tragic death. She was interviewed in the controversial documentary Unlawful Killing and spoke about a high ranking UK official who threatened the Princess of Wales on the phone because of her ongoing campaign against landmines. Simmonds claims that Diana handed her the phone and she heard a man say, “Don’t meddle in things you know nothing about because you know accidents can happen.”Before this Diana was worried that British Intelligence was listening to her phone calls so the threat was not taken lightly. Years later it was released that the NSA had tons of her phone calls taped but wouldn’t release them for security reasons.
Before this Diana was worried that British Intelligence was listening to her phone calls so the threat was not taken lightly. Years later it was released that the NSA had tons of her phone calls taped but wouldn’t release them for security reasons.
13 Princess Diana’s Prophetic Letter
In the years before her horrific car crash Princess Diana sent out two letters that foretold her ultimate demise. The letters went out to her butler Paul Burrell and her solicitor Lord Mitchum in 1993. The letters very clearly stated that she knew that the royal family was planning her death. She was absolutely convinced that it would be a car accident. Her butler showed the letter to everyone that he could and became a press frenzy for a few weeks. Her solicitor gave his letter to the police chief at the time, Lord Condon, who decided to withhold the letter from the public. The next police chief also decided not to investigate the prophetic letter. It is handwritten and exceptionally incriminating for her then-husband Prince Charles. There are tons of theories regarding why Princess Diana was murdered but this letter should cite her as a victim of a murder and not an accident.
12 Ambulance Drove Quite Slowly
After the ambulance finally left the scene, 81 minutes after the crash, many believe that the drivers purposefully went slow so that she would pass away. It has also been pointed out that they drove right past capable hospital Hotel-Dieu and carted off to Pitie-Salpetriere hospital where she eventually died. They went about 40 to 50 km/hr guided by police which doesn’t top 35 mph. Though this could have led to her demise, ambulance driver Michael Massebeuf claims that driving slowly is a main component of driving an ambulance. The ambulance also came to a complete stop shortly before reaching the hospital, this, Massebeuf claims is because they were worried that her heart was going to stop. Conspiracy theorists believe that there is more to it than what Massebeuf claimed in court. It was also claimed that the treatment being provided to the Princess needed a complete absence of movement. Both drivers are on record, however, claiming that they did everything possible to save the princess.
11 The White Flash
A lot of witnesses of the crash saw a bright white light at the end of the tunnel just before the fatal accident. The car in front of Princess Diana’s Mercedes was driven by Francois Levistre who reported a couple of strange incidences like a motorcycle overtaking the Mercedes. He also described a bright white flash at the end of the tunnel reminiscent of that of a police radar. The witness claims that the scratch was directly aimed at the car carrying the princess and her lover. A couple of other witnesses also report the flash. Conspiracies surrounding where this light came from and why are often chatted about. This is because people believe that a light was part of the accident and was shone to distract Henri Paul from driving safely.
10 The Not-So-Royal Engagement
The princess was said to have become engaged to her lover Dodi Al Fayed and the royal family wasn’t pleased about the possibility of having a Muslim in the Christian family. This was hidden for many years, mostly because the princess’ long-time butler Paul Burrell later admitted that he took the bloodied ring off of her corpse when she was in the morgue. The butler is said to have stashed the ring at a neighbor’s house along with some other jewelry he had stolen from his boss. The reason that this information has finally come out is that Burrell broke down and confessed everything to his bodyguard turned agent Michael Faux. Faux was forced into silence because of a legal deal while employed by Burrell but as soon as he was out of the obligation he confessed to a London court about all that he knew.
9 Princess Diana and Landmines
Most of her work revolved around banning landmines which take the limbs and lives of so many innocent human beings. Someone who worked with Diana as part of the landmines campaign claims that she was making the shadowy figures in the arms industry angry. This could have cited an attack on her life. Just before her death Princess Diana travelled to Bosnia to highlight the pain that landmines had caused there. She had told retired soldier Rory Allen that she wanted to expand her efforts to the Middle East. The pair had even planned out a mine clearance exercise to remove any weapons that had been forgotten.
She also hoped to speak in Egypt and other locations on the immense dangers of landmines. Her real goal was an international ban on the production and deployment of these items, a big issue for those who dealt in the sale and manufacturing of landmines at the time.
8 MI6 and SAS
Sixteen years after the car crash that took the lives of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed Alan Powers claimed that the Princess of Wales was murdered by MI6 and SAS. The writer claimed that a former SAS soldier who worked on an assassination team called The Increment was associated with Princess Diana’s assassination and his main source for his new book. Police launched an investigation into the matter after another former SAS soldier unbeknownst to Powers had come forth to his in-laws about having been involved in Princess Diana’s death.
Former MI6 agent Richard Tomlinson was questioned after the accident and admitted that he was aware a former SAS assassination plan that involved an immense flash of light at the end of a tunnel. Despite this evidence, Sir Richard Dearlove denies any MI6 involvement in Princess Diana’s tragic death.
7 The Baby
Some believe that Princess Diana was pregnant with Dodi Al Fayed’s baby when she was in the fated accident. This rumor was started by a West End play that came out in 2015 entitled Truth, Lies, Diana. The playwright, who also starred in the show, wrote the play based on transcripts and inquests released from the accident. He also used interviews with Diana’s former lover James Hewitt and her beloved butler Paul Burrell. Inquest still denies that the princess was pregnant at the time of her death but the play persists.
The storyline in the play follows as a doctor is told to never speak of the fetus because the King of England’s mother couldn’t bear a Muslim baby. The play also depicts a young Princess of Wales finding out about her husband’s affair just days before her wedding and wanting to back out of the whole thing but being forced to go on.
6 Gross Negligence on the Scene
Princess Diana wasn’t removed from the mangled Mercedes for 37 minutes after the crash but her side of the car wasn’t affected at all. She was eventually placed in the ambulance but it took 81 minutes for the ambulance that she was put into actually left the tunnel. Dr. Jean-Marc Martino was the emergency specialist who dealt with Diana directly after the crash. Though almost everyone on the planet that was alive at the time of Diana’s death has at least one question they’d ask this man, he was not made to appear in the official inquiry of his death. Experts that were questioned in court later claim that she would have probably lived if she was removed from the scene more quickly.
There were reports that the various paparazzi made it harder to seal off the scene for police, but that doesn’t explain the amount of time that it took them to open the car. Making this all even more suspicious are reports from the first two firemen on the scene that claimed that her breathing was fine and she was moving her arms and legs when they arrived.
5 The New Mercedes
It was 2005 that the world got news of the newest Princess of Wales conspiracy theory, her usual car was switched out at the last minute for a new Mercedes. This information came to light after being released by the Cabinet Office by the Freedom of Information Act. Documents that were released due to this act included official correspondence after the deadly car accident. Another document released was that signed by Ritz witness “Jay” who claims to have seen her get into the usual car that didn’t start so they jumped into a different car from the Ritz. It has since been revealed that the driver of that car, Henri Paul, was three times over the legal alcohol limit to drive and was on antidepressants. These details were only discovered after the father of Princess Diana’s lover Dodi, Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, pushed for toxicity results on the driver of the vehicle.
It has since been revealed that the driver of that car, Henri Paul, was three times over the legal alcohol limit to drive and was on antidepressants. These details were only discovered after the father of Princess Diana’s lover Dodi, Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, pushed for toxicity results on the driver of the vehicle. But as you'll read next, the results may not be what they seem.
4 Henri Paul’s Post-Mortem Blood Tests
After the tragic accident killed Princess Diana, her lover, and Henri Paul the majority of the blame was put onto Paul, the driver. The evidence against him were blood tests done post-mortem revealing that he was not only on antidepressants, he was three times more drunk than the legal limit to drive in France. Later it was said that these tests were not only unreliable, but they were flawed.
This new light on an old case came out around 2007 when a new coroner took over. Lord Justice Scott Baker mentioned at a hearing that same year that he felt bad for Paul’s family and believed that more research needed to be done. The belief is that the blood revealing Paul to be drunk and on prescribed drugs wasn’t actually his. If this was the case then there is for sure a much larger conspiracy afoot, but neither of the analysts involved wanted to speak on the matter.
3 The White Fiat Uno
At first, just after the accident, the very existence of the white Fiat Uno was denied by many. But there were a lot of signs that the car had been there, starting with the scratches that left white paint on Princess Diana’s Mercedes. At the entrance of the tunnel there were also pieces of a tail light that matched that of a Fiat Uno. The reason that this car was of such interest is that it was speculated that the Fiat Uno caused the crash that took the lives of Henri Paul, Princess Diana, and her lover Dodi.
The car was never located, there was even a nationwide search but to no avail. That is why there is a theory that the car was purposefully sent to that location to cause an accident that would kill the Princess of Wales.
2 Evidence was Removed Within Hours
It did take over an hour for the ambulance to leave the site of the crash with the princess on board, but the cleaning crew moved in much faster. Within only hours of the crash the tunnel had been cleaned off, sprayed down, and re-opened as if nothing had happened. The police crew swears that they did their due diligence in removing all forensic evidence that they needed to assess the crash. However, most crash sites are analyzed, catalogued, and even photographed for hours before the crash is cleared and cleaned.
It is odd that a crash involving such high profile victims would be swept aside so quickly unless there was something to hide. This fact combined with all of the other sordid evidence surely begs the question, who was working so hard to orchestrate this accident? How could a nearly $10 million search for the white Fiat Uno leave French police with absolutely nothing? This is why the conspiracies live on.
1 The Motorcyclist
A witness reports that a motorcycle overtook the car in the book Princess Diana: The Evidence and blocked Henri Paul from leaving the Riverside highway which forced him to drive straight through the tunnel. The motorcycle and/or motorcyclist have never been found but Anthony Scrivener, QC believes that whoever was on that motorbike deserves to be charged with manslaughter. It is also said that this motorcycle swerved to avoid the crash and then fled the scene immediately, apparently never to be seen again. This combined with the police flashgun that is rumored to be set off by MI6 at the end of the tunnel would certainly make Henri Paul crash, drunk or not.
A tourist named Sarah Culpepper claims to have seen a man in his early 40’s with a receding hairline emerging from the tunnel on a motorcycle right after the crash.