Princess Diana Accident: Her Tragic Car Accident And Its Repercussions

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Princess Diana got divorced at the end of August 1997 and was ready to start a new part of her life.

The royal mother of Prince William, 15, and Prince Harry, 12, was in a growing relationship with Dodi Al Fayed, the son of the owner of Harrods department store, Mohamed Al Fayed. She was 36 years old at the time. The new couple took advantage of the summer by taking a trip to France together.

On August 31, 1997, Diana and Al Fayed were being followed by paparazzi as they drove through Paris in a car with a driver and a bodyguard. Their car hit a support column, flipped, and came to a stop in front of oncoming traffic. Al Fayed and the driver died right away, but doctors tried for hours to save Diana’s life before announcing her death at about 5:00 a.m. on August 31.

Here’s what happened when Princess Diana died and what she left behind as a legacy.

How Did Diana The Princess Die?

The princess and Al Fayed were in Paris when the paparazzi followed their car to try to get a picture of the couple.

Henri Paul, who was later found to be drunk, was driving the car. To get away from the photographers, he turned into a tunnel next to the Seine River. But the driver quickly lost control of the car, which was going 121 mph.

When Did Princess Diana Die?

The princess passed away on August 31, 1997. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook immediately confirmed the report and remarked, “I am really surprised by this news. Our initial sympathies must be with her children and family during this time of profound sorrow.”

Prince Charles accompanied Princess Diana’s sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes on a flight to Paris to return Diana’s remains to London after her death. Diana’s body was at the hospital alone with her butler, Paul Burrell, and her driver, Colin Tebbutt when the group arrived. A friend of Burrell’s previously told PEOPLE, “It was his sad responsibility to oversee her being placed in the casket and how she appeared.”

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Where Did Princess Diana Die?

Princess Diana died in Paris after taking a trip to St. Tropez with her sons. Diana and Al Fayed went to the French city in a jet that Al Fayed’s father owned. There, they stayed in a suite at the Ritz that cost $2,000 a night and was also owned by the Al Fayed family.

That night, the couple had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. A worker at the hotel told PEOPLE, “They looked like two teenagers in love.” Then, they heard that about 30 photographers were waiting outside the Ritz. Instead of staying at the hotel, they went to Al Fayed’s apartment near the Champs Elysees. Even though they tried to get away from the photographers by using three fake cars, most of them stayed put until Diana and Al Fayed got into a car with Paul and drove away.

How Old Was She When She Died Unexpectedly?

She was 36 years old when she passed away. On her last birthday, July 1, 1997, she went to a London event to support the Tate Gallery’s 100th anniversary. She stopped to talk to fans and well-wishers who had come to the event to give her cards and flowers for her birthday.

How Did People Feel About The Death Of Princess Diana?

The death of the royal who was known as the “People’s Princess” shocked most people. In honor of Diana’s life, thousands of people lined the streets outside Buckingham Palace and left notes, flowers, and other items.

At first, the royal family kept their distance from the people who came to mourn. The family went into hiding at Balmoral, the Queen’s home, so that Prince William and Prince Harry could get some rest before their mother’s funeral on September 6, 1997.

Princess Diana Accident

What Did Princess Diana Say When She Died?

In an interview with The Independent in 2015, firefighter Xavier Gourmelon told the paper what Princess Diana said right before she died. Gourmelon said that Diana woke up briefly and asked, “Oh my God, what’s going on?”

Gourmelon was also one of the people who gave Diana chest compressions and brought her back to life. He thought at the time that Diana would be fine. He said, “Of course, it was a relief. As a first responder, you want to save lives, and I thought I had done that.” He also said that hearing the next day that she had died was a shock “very scary,” and “I know now that there were serious internal injuries, but I still think about the whole thing a lot. That night will always be a part of my mind.”

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Alex Hoffman-Ellis is a nerd who love technology and computers. He has been building computers for over 5 years now, and have always loved the challenge of learning how to make them faster, better, and more efficient. He's here to share his insights on these as a journalist, a designer and a technologist with love for writing and tech stuff. Words from Alex Hoffman: “Technology is best when it brings people together.”