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In the early hours of 31 August 1997,
Diana, Princess of Wales Diana, Princess of Wales (born Diana Frances Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997) was a member of the British royal family. She was the first wife of King Charles III (then Prince of Wales) and mother of Princes William, Prince of Wales, ...
died from injuries sustained earlier that day in a car crash in the
Pont de l'Alma The Pont de l'Alma ( en, Alma Bridge) is a road bridge in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 re ...
tunnel in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
, France. Dodi Fayed, Diana's partner, and Henri Paul, their chauffeur, were found dead inside the car. Her bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was seriously injured but was the only survivor of the crash. Some media claimed that the erratic behaviour of the paparazzi chasing the car, as reported by the
BBC #REDIRECT BBC
Here i going to introduce about the best teacher of my life b BALAJI sir. He is the precious gift that I got befor 2yrs . How has helped and thought all the concept and made my success in the 10th board exam. ...
, had contributed to the crash. In 1999, a French investigation found that Paul lost control of the vehicle at high speed while intoxicated by alcohol and under the effects of prescription drugs, and concluded that he was solely responsible for the crash. He was the deputy head of security at the
Hôtel Ritz Paris The Ritz Paris is a hotel in central Paris, overlooking the Place Vendôme in the city's 1st arrondissement of Paris, 1st arrondissement. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World marketing group, the Ritz Paris is ranked among the most luxur ...
and had earlier goaded paparazzi waiting for Diana and Fayed outside the hotel. Anti-depressants and traces of an anti-psychotic in his blood might have worsened Paul's inebriation. In 2008, the jury at the British inquest Operation Paget returned a verdict of unlawful killing through grossly negligent driving by Paul and the following paparazzi vehicles. Some media reports claimed that Rees-Jones survived because he was wearing a seat belt, but other investigations revealed that none of the occupants of the car were wearing them. Diana was 36 years old when she died. Her death sparked an outpouring of public grief in the United Kingdom and worldwide, and her televised funeral was watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people. The
royal family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a Boroughs of New York City, borough of New York City, coextensive with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York (state), New York. Located on Long Island, it is the lar ...
were criticised in the press for their reaction to Diana's death. Public interest in Diana has remained high and she has retained regular press coverage in the decades since her death.


Circumstances


Events preceding the crash

On Saturday, 30 August 1997, Princess Diana left the Olbia Airport,
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna, label=Italian language, Italian, Corsican language, Corsican and Tabarchino ; sc, Sardigna , sdc, Sardhigna; french: Sardaigne; sdn, Saldigna; ca, Sardenya, label=Algherese dialect, Algherese and Catalan languag ...
, on a private jet and arrived at Le Bourget Airport in Paris with Egyptian film producer Dodi Fayed, the son of businessman
Mohamed Al-Fayed Mohamed Al-Fayed (; arz, محمد الفايد ; born 27 January 1929) is an Egyptian-born businessman whose residence and chief business interests have been in the United Kingdom since the late 1960s. His business interests include ownership of ...
. They had stopped there en route to London, having spent the preceding nine days together on board Mohamed's yacht ''Jonikal'' on the French and
Italian Riviera The Italian Riviera or Ligurian Riviera ( it, Riviera ligure; lij, Rivêa lìgure) is the narrow coastal strip in Italy which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennine Mountains, Apenni ...
. They had intended to stay there for the night. Mohamed was and remains the owner of the
Hôtel Ritz Paris The Ritz Paris is a hotel in central Paris, overlooking the Place Vendôme in the city's 1st arrondissement of Paris, 1st arrondissement. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World marketing group, the Ritz Paris is ranked among the most luxur ...
and resided in an apartment on Rue Arsène Houssaye, a short distance from the hotel, just off the Avenue des Champs Elysées. Henri Paul, the deputy head of security at the Ritz, had been instructed to drive the hired black 1994 armoured Mercedes-Benz S280 sedan (W140 S-Class) in order to elude the
paparazzi Paparazzi (, ; ; singular: masculine paparazzo or feminine paparazza) are independent photographers who take pictures of high-profile people; such as actors, musicians, athletes, politicians, and other celebrities, typically while subjects ...
; a
decoy A decoy (derived from the Dutch ''de'' ''kooi'', literally "the cage" or possibly ''ende kooi'', " duck cage") is usually a person, device, or event which resembles what an individual or a group might be looking for, but it is only meant to lur ...
vehicle left the Ritz first from the main entrance on Place Vendôme, attracting a throng of photographers. Diana and Fayed then departed from the hotel's rear entrance, Rue Cambon, at around 00:20 on 31 August CEST (22:20 on 30 August UTC), heading for the apartment in Rue Arsène Houssaye. They did this to avoid the nearly thirty photographers waiting in front of the hotel. Diana and Fayed were the rear passengers; Trevor Rees-Jones, a member of the Fayed family's personal protection team, was in the (right) front passenger seat. None of the occupants were wearing
seat belt A seat belt (also known as a safety belt, or spelled seatbelt) is a vehicle safety device designed to secure the driver or a passenger of a vehicle against harmful movement that may result during a collision or a sudden stop. A seat belt reduc ...
s. After leaving the Rue Cambon and crossing the
Place de la Concorde The Place de la Concorde () is one of the major public squares in Paris, France. Measuring in area, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's 8th arrondissement of Paris, eighth arrondissement, at the eastern e ...
, they drove along Cours la Reine and Cours Albert 1er – the embankment road along the right bank of the
River Seine The Seine ( , ) is a river in northern France. Its drainage basin is in the Paris Basin (a geological relative lowland) covering most of northern France. It rises at Source-Seine, northwest of Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, ...
– into the Place de l'Alma underpass.


The crash

At 00:23, Paul lost control of the car at the entrance to the
Pont de l'Alma The Pont de l'Alma ( en, Alma Bridge) is a road bridge in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 re ...
underpass. The car reportedly struck a passing white
Fiat Fiat Automobiles S.p.A. (, , ; originally FIAT, it, Fabbrica Italiana Automobili di Torino, lit=Italian Automobiles Factory of Turin) is an Italian automobile manufacturer, formerly part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and since 2021 a subsidiary ...
, swerved to the left of the two-lane carriageway and collided head-on with the thirteenth pillar that supported the roof. It was travelling at an estimated speed of more than twice the speed limit of the tunnel. It then spun, hit the stone wall of the tunnel backwards and finally came to a stop. The impact caused substantial damage, particularly to the front half of the vehicle, as there was no
guard rail Guard rail, guardrails, or protective guarding, in general, are a boundary feature and may be a means to prevent or deter access to dangerous or off-limits areas while allowing light and visibility in a greater way than a fence. Common shapes ...
to prevent this. Witnesses arriving shortly after the crash reported smoke. Witnesses also reported that photographers on motorcycles "swarmed the Mercedes sedan before it entered the tunnel".


Aftermath

The photographers had been driving slower and were some distance behind the Mercedes. When they reached the scene, some rushed to help, trying to open the doors and help the victims, while some of them took pictures. Police arrived around ten minutes after the crash at 00:30 and an ambulance was on site five minutes later, according to witnesses. France Info radio reported that one photographer was beaten by witnesses who were horrified by the scene. Five of the photographers were arrested directly. Later, two others were detained and around 20 rolls of film were taken directly from the photographers. Police also impounded their vehicles afterwards. Firefighters also arrived at the scene to help remove the victims. Rees-Jones sustained multiple serious facial injuries and a head contusion, but he was still conscious. The front airbags had functioned normally. Diana was sitting in the right rear passenger seat and was critically injured, but she was still conscious. The crash mostly affected the righthand side of her body, indicating that she was sitting sideways in her seat at the time of impact. Her ribs and arm were fractured and her right collar bone was dislocated, and she suffered from swelling and bruising to the brain. She was reported to murmur repeatedly, "Oh my God", and after the photographers and other helpers were pushed away by police, "Leave me alone." In June 2007, the
Channel 4 Channel 4 is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network operated by the state-owned Channel Four Television Corporation. It began its transmission on 2 November 1982 and was established to provide a fourth television servic ...
documentary ''Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel'' claimed that the first person to touch Diana was off-duty physician Frederic Mailliez, who chanced upon the scene. Mailliez reported that Diana had no visible injuries but was in shock. She was reported to have been extremely disturbed and removed an intravenous drip while shouting incoherently. After being sedated and removed from the car at 01:00, she went into
cardiac arrest Cardiac arrest is when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. It is a medical emergency that, without immediate medical intervention, will result in sudden cardiac death within minutes. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and possib ...
, but her heart started beating again following external
cardiopulmonary resuscitation Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure consisting of chest compressions often combined with artificial ventilation in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore sponta ...
. Diana was moved to the ambulance at 01:18, left the scene at 01:41, and arrived at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital at 02:06. Fayed was in the left rear passenger seat and was pronounced dead at the scene shortly afterwards. Paul was also pronounced dead at the scene on removal from the wreckage. Both were taken directly to the Institut Médico-Légal (IML), the Paris mortuary. Paul was later found to have a blood alcohol level of 1.75 grams per litre of blood, about 3.5 times the legal limit in France. Diana's injuries were extensive, and resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful, including internal cardiac massage. Her heart had been displaced to the right side of the chest, which tore the upper left
pulmonary vein The pulmonary veins are the veins that transfer Blood#Oxygen transport, oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart. The largest pulmonary veins are the four ''main pulmonary veins'', two from each lung that drain into the left atrium of the he ...
and the
pericardium The pericardium, also called pericardial sac, is a double-walled sac containing the heart and the roots of the great vessels. It has two layers, an outer layer made of strong connective tissue (fibrous pericardium), and an inner layer made of ...
. Diana died at the hospital at 03:00. Anaesthetist Bruno Riou announced her death at 06:00 at a news conference held at the hospital. Later that morning, French prime minister Lionel Jospin and Interior Minister Jean-Pierre Chevènement visited the hospital. At around 17:00, Diana's former husband
Charles Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English language, English and French language, French speaking countries. It is from the French form ''Charles'' of the Proto-Germanic, Proto-Germanic name (in runic alphabet) or ''*k ...
and her two older sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes arrived in Paris. The group visited the hospital along with French president
Jacques Chirac Jacques René Chirac (, , ; 29 November 193226 September 2019) was a Politics of France, French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. Chirac was previously Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to ...
and thanked the doctors for trying to save her life. Charles accompanied Diana's body to the UK later the same day. They departed from Vélizy – Villacoublay Air Base and landed at
RAF Northolt RAF Northolt is a Royal Air Force station in South Ruislip, from Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon, western Greater London, England, approximately north of Heathrow Airport. The station handles many private civil flights in addition ...
, and a bearer party from the Queen's Colour Squadron transferred her coffin to the hearse. The coffin was draped with the
royal standard In heraldry and vexillology, a heraldic flag is a flag containing coat of arms, coats of arms, heraldic badges, or other devices used for personal identification. Heraldic flags include banners, standards, pennons and their variants, gonfalons, ...
with an ermine border. Her body was finally taken to the Hammersmith and Fulham mortuary in London for a post-mortem examination later that day. Initial media reports stated that Diana's car had collided with the pillar at , and that the speedometer's needle had jammed at that position. It was later announced that the car's speed upon collision was , about twice as fast as the speed limit of . In 1999, a French investigation concluded that the Mercedes had come into contact with a white
Fiat Uno The Fiat Uno is a supermini manufactured and marketed by Fiat. Launched in 1983, the Uno was produced over a single generation (with an intermediate facelift, 1989) in three and five-door hatchback body styles until 1995 in Europe — and unt ...
) in the tunnel.Martyn Gregor
''Diana: The Last Days''
, Random House, 2010, p.70
The driver of the Fiat was never conclusively traced, although many believed that the driver was Le Van Thanh. The specific vehicle was not identified. British Foreign Secretary
Robin Cook Robert Finlayson "Robin" Cook (28 February 19466 August 2005) was a British Labour Party (UK), Labour politician who served as a Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) from February 1974 United Kingdom general electi ...
remarked that, if the crash had been caused in part by being hounded by paparazzi, it would be "doubly tragic". Diana's younger brother, the Earl Spencer, also blamed tabloid media for her death. An 18-month French judicial investigation concluded in 1999 that the crash was caused by Paul, who lost control at high speed while intoxicated.
"No charges were brought against the paparazzi who had been pursuing the princess' car."


Mourning

Members of the public were invited to sign a book of condolence at
St James's Palace St James's Palace is the most senior royal palace in London, the capital of the United Kingdom. The palace gives its name to the Court of St James's, which is the monarch's royal court, and is located in the City of Westminster in London. Altho ...
. A book of condolence was also set up by the British embassy in the US. All 11,000 light bulbs at
Harrods Harrods Limited is a department store located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, London, England. It is currently owned by the state of Qatar via its sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority. The Harrods brand also applies to other ...
department store, owned by Mohamed Al-Fayed, were turned off and not switched on again until after the funeral. Throughout the night, members of the Women's Royal Voluntary Service and the
Salvation Army Salvation (from Latin: ''salvatio'', from ''salva'', 'safe, saved') is the state of being saved or protected from harm or a dire situation. In religion and theology, ''salvation'' generally refers to the deliverance of the soul from sin and its c ...
provided support for people queuing along the Mall. More than one million bouquets were left at her London residence,
Kensington Palace Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British royal family since the 17th century, and is currently the official Lond ...
, while at her family's estate of
Althorp Althorp (popularly pronounced ) is a Grade I listed stately home and estate in the civil parish of Althorp (lost settlement), Althorp, in West Northamptonshire, England of about . By road it is about northwest of the county town of Northampto ...
the public was asked to stop bringing flowers as the volume of both visitors and flowers in the surrounding roads was said to be causing a threat to public safety. By 10 September, the pile of flowers outside
Kensington Gardens Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, are among the Royal Parks of London. The gardens are shared by the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and sit immediately to the west of Hyde Pa ...
was deep in places and the bottom layer had started to
compost Compost is a mixture of ingredients used as plant fertilizer and to improve soil's physical, chemical and biological properties. It is commonly prepared by Decomposition, decomposing plant, food waste, recycling organic materials and manure. ...
. The people were quiet, queuing patiently to sign the book and leave their gifts. Fresh flowers, teddy bears, and bottles of champagne were later donated and distributed among the sick, the elderly and children. Cards, personal messages and poems were collected and given to Diana's family.


Funeral and burial

Early on, it was uncertain if Diana would receive a ceremonial funeral, since she had lost the status of Her Royal Highness following her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996. Diana's death was met with extraordinary public expressions of grief, and her funeral at
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is an historic, mainly Gothic architecture, Gothic Church (building), church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of ...
on 6 September drew an estimated 3 million mourners and onlookers in London. Outside the Abbey and in Hyde Park crowds watched and listened to proceedings on large outdoor screens and speakers as guests filed in, including representatives of the many charities of which Diana was patron. Attendees included US First Lady
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, and former lawyer who served as the 67th United States secretary of state, United States Secretary of State for President Barack Obama from 2009 ...
and French First Lady
Bernadette Chirac Bernadette Thérèse Marie Chirac ( Chodron de Courcel; born 18 May 1933) is a French politician and the widow of the former president Jacques Chirac. She and Chirac met as students at Sciences Po, and were married on 16 March 1956. They had thr ...
, as well as celebrities including Italian tenor
Luciano Pavarotti Luciano Pavarotti (, , ; 12 October 19356 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor who during the late part of his career crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most acclaimed tenors of all time. He made numerou ...
and two friends of Diana,
George Michael George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou; 25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016) was an English singer and songwriter. He is considered one of the most significant cultural icons of the MTV Generation, MTV generation and is one of the List ...
and
Elton John Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947) is a British singer, pianist and composer. Commonly nicknamed the "Rocket Man" after Rocket Man (song), his 1972 hit single of the same name, John has led a commercially s ...
. John performed a rewritten version of his song " Candle in the Wind" that was dedicated to her, known as "Goodbye England's Rose" or " Candle in the Wind 1997"; the single became the best-selling single since UK and US singles charts began in the 1950s, with total sales exceeding 33 million units.
Protocol Protocol may refer to: Sociology and politics * Protocol (politics), a formal agreement between nation states * Protocol (diplomacy), the etiquette of diplomacy and affairs of state * Etiquette Etiquette () is the set of norms of personal b ...
was disregarded when the guests applauded the speech by Earl Spencer, who strongly criticised the press and indirectly criticised the Royal Family for their treatment of her. The funeral is estimated to have been watched by 31.5 million viewers in Britain. Precise calculation of the worldwide audience is not possible, but it was estimated to be around 2.5 billion. The ceremony was broadcast to 200 countries and in 44 languages. After the end of the ceremony, Diana's coffin was driven to Althorp in a Daimler
hearse A hearse is a large vehicle, originally a horse carriage but later with the introduction of motor vehicles, a car, used to carry the body of a deceased person in a coffin at a funeral, wake, or memorial service. They range from deliberately ano ...
. Mourners cast flowers at the funeral procession for almost the entire length of its journey and vehicles even stopped on the opposite carriageway of the
M1 motorway The M1 motorway connects London to Leeds, where it joins the A1 road (Great Britain), A1(M) near Aberford, to connect to Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle. It was the first inter-urban motorway to be completed in the UK; the first motorway in ...
as the cars passed. 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. The coffin bared a weight of a quarter of a tonne (250 kg / approx 550 lb) as it was lined with lead, as is tradition with British royalty. In her coffin, she wears a black Catherine Walker dress and black tights, and is holding a
rosary The Rosary (; la, , in the sense of "crown of roses" or "garland of roses"), also known as the Dominican Rosary, or simply the Rosary, refers to a set of prayers used primarily in the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also kno ...
in her hands. The rosary had been a gift from
Mother Teresa Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, MC (; 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), better known as Mother Teresa ( sq, Nënë Tereza), was an Indian-Albanian Catholic Church, Catholic nun who, in 1950, founded the Missionaries of Charity. Anjezë Gonxhe B ...
of Calcutta, a confidante of Diana, who had died the day before her funeral. A visitors' centre is open during summer months, with an exhibition about Diana and a walk around the lake. All profits were donated to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.


Reactions


Royal family

Queen
Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until Death and state funeral of Elizabeth II, her death in 2022. She was queen ...
expressed her dismay at Diana's death. Then-Prince Charles woke his sons before dawn to share the news. Upon announcement of the death, the website of the Royal Family temporarily removed all its content and replaced it with a black background, displaying a picture of Diana accompanied by her name and dates of birth and death. An online book of condolence was also made available on the website for the public to post their personal tributes. On Sunday morning after Diana's death, the Queen, Princes Charles,
William William is a male Male (Mars symbol, symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexu ...
and Harry all wore black to church services at Crathie Kirk near
Balmoral Castle Balmoral Castle () is a large estate house in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and a List of British royal residences, residence of the British royal family. It is near the village of Crathie, Aberdeenshire, Crathie, west of Ballater and west of Aber ...
. The royal family later issued a statement, saying Charles, William and Harry were "taking strength from" and "deeply touched" by and "enormously grateful" for the public support. Princes Andrew and
Edward Edward is an English language, English given name. It is derived from the Old English, Anglo-Saxon name ''Ēadweard'', composed of the elements ''wikt:ead#Old English, ēad'' "wealth, fortune; prosperous" and ''wikt:weard#Old English, weard'' "gua ...
met the mourners outside Kensington Palace as a precautionary measure to test the public mood, and Edward visited St James's Palace to sign the book of condolences. On their way from Crathie Kirk to Balmoral, the Queen,
Prince Philip Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, later Philip Mountbatten; 10 June 1921 – 9 April 2021) was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. As such, he served as the consort of the British monarch from El ...
, Charles, William and Harry viewed the floral tributes and messages left by the public. Charles and his sons returned to London on Friday, 5 September. They made an unannounced visit to see the floral tributes left outside Kensington Palace. The Queen, who returned to London from Balmoral accompanied by Prince Philip, the
Queen Mother A queen mother is a former queen, often a queen dowager, who is the mother of the monarch, reigning monarch. The term has been used in English since the early 1560s. It arises in hereditary monarchy, hereditary monarchies in Europe and is also u ...
, and
Princess Margaret Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, (Margaret Rose; 21 August 1930 – 9 February 2002) was the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and the younger sister and only sibling of Queen Elizabeth  ...
, agreed to a television broadcast to the nation. She viewed the floral tributes in front of Buckingham Palace and visited the
Chapel Royal The Chapel Royal is an establishment in the Royal Household serving the spiritual needs of the sovereign and the British Royal Family. Historically it was a body of priests and singers that travelled with the monarch. The term is now also applie ...
at St James's Palace, where Diana's body was remaining, and met crowds that were in line to sign the books of condolence. Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, and her former sister-in-law,
Sarah, Duchess of York Sarah, Duchess of York (born Sarah Margaret Ferguson; 15 October 1959), also known by the nickname Fergie, is a member of the British royal family. She is the former wife of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, the younger brother of King Charles III. ...
also visited St James's Palace. The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family was criticised for a rigid adherence to protocol, and their efforts to protect the privacy of Diana's grieving sons were interpreted as a lack of compassion. In particular, the refusal of Buckingham Palace to fly the
Royal Standard In heraldry and vexillology, a heraldic flag is a flag containing coat of arms, coats of arms, heraldic badges, or other devices used for personal identification. Heraldic flags include banners, standards, pennons and their variants, gonfalons, ...
at
half-mast Half-mast or half-staff (American English) refers to a flag flying below the summit of a ship mast, a pole on land, or a pole on a building. In many countries this is seen as a symbol of respect, mourning, distress signal, distress, or, in som ...
provoked angry headlines in newspapers. The Palace's stance was one of royal protocol: no flag could fly over Buckingham Palace, as the Royal Standard is only flown when the monarch is in residence, and the Queen was then in Scotland. The Royal Standard never flies at half-mast as it is the Sovereign's flag and there is never an
interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next (coming from Latin '' ...
or vacancy in the monarchy, as the new monarch immediately succeeds his or her predecessor. Finally, as a compromise, the
Union Flag The Union Jack, or Union Flag, is the ''de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, whether or not they are officially recognized by laws or other formal norms. It is commonly used to refer to what ha ...
was flown at half-mast as the Queen left for Westminster Abbey on the day of the funeral. This set a precedent, and Buckingham Palace has subsequently flown the Union Flag when the monarch is not in residence. A rift between Prince Charles and the Queen's private secretary, Sir Robert Fellowes (Diana's brother-in-law), was reported in the media over the nature of the funeral, with Charles demanding a public funeral and Fellowes supporting the Queen's idea of a private one. The Palace later issued a statement denying such rumours. Discussions were also held with the Spencer family and the British royal family as to whether Diana's HRH style needed to be restored posthumously, but Diana's family decided that it would be against Diana's wishes and no formal offer was made. The funeral committee at Buckingham Palace wanted William and Harry to have a bigger role in their mother's funeral and
Downing Street Downing Street is a street in City of Westminster, Westminster in London that houses the official residences and offices of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Situated off Whitehall, it is long, and ...
officials suggested that they could walk in the funeral cortège, but faced opposition from Prince Philip, who reportedly stated "They've just lost their mother. You're talking about them as if they are commodities." Prince Harry said in 2017 that the death of his mother caused severe depression and grief. William was 15 and Harry was 12 when Diana died. Years later, William and Harry defended their father and grandmother's actions in the aftermath of their mother's death. Describing his father's role, Harry said: " ur dadwas there for us — he was the one out of two left, and he tried to do his best and to make sure that we were protected and looked after." Speaking about his grandmother, William stated: "At the time, my grandmother wanted to protect her two grandsons and my father as well. Our grandmother deliberately removed the newspapers and things like that so there was nothing in the house to read." Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, also spoke in defence of the Queen's decision: "She did absolutely the right thing. If I'd been her, I'd have done that."


Politicians

British Prime Minister The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The prime minister Advice (constitutional law), advises the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, sovereign on the exercise of much of the Royal prerogative ...
Tony Blair Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British former politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party (UK), Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He pr ...
said that he was "utterly devastated by the death of the Princess".
US President The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the Federal government of the United States#Executive branch, executive branch of the Federal gove ...
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton (Birth name, né Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. He previously served as governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 ...
said that he and his wife,
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, and former lawyer who served as the 67th United States secretary of state, United States Secretary of State for President Barack Obama from 2009 ...
, were "profoundly saddened" when they found out about her death.
Kofi Annan Kofi Atta Annan (; 8 April 193818 August 2018) was a Ghanaian people, Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh secretary-general of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. H ...
, the
United Nations Secretary-General The secretary-general of the United Nations (UNSG or SG) is the chief administrative officer of the United Nations and head of the United Nations Secretariat, one of the United Nations System#Six principal organs, six principal organs of the Un ...
said that her death "has robbed the world of a consistent and committed voice for the improvement of the lives of suffering children worldwide". In a telegram of condolences,
German Chancellor The chancellor of Germany, officially the federal chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany,; often shortened to ''Bundeskanzler''/''Bundeskanzlerin'', / is the head of the federal government of Germany and the commander in chief of the Ger ...
Helmut Kohl Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (; 3 April 1930 – 16 June 2017) was a German politician who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and Leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 1973 to 1998. Kohl's 16-year tenure is the longes ...
expressed the view that Diana had also become the victim of an "increasingly brutal and unscrupulous competition on the part of some of the media." In Australia, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, condemned the paparazzi for their overzealous coverage of Diana.
Russian President The president of the Russian Federation ( rus, Президент Российской Федерации, Prezident Rossiyskoy Federatsii) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially ...
Boris Yeltsin Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin ( rus, Борис Николаевич Ельцин, p=bɐˈrʲis nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ ˈjelʲtsɨn, a=Ru-Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin.ogg; 1 February 1931 – 23 April 2007) was a Soviet and Russian politician wh ...
praised Diana's charity work in a statement saying, "All know of Princess Diana's big contribution to charitable work, and not only in Great Britain". Among other politicians who sent messages of condolences were Australian Prime Minister
John Howard John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian former politician who served as the 25th prime minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007, holding office as leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, Liberal Party. His eleven-year tenur ...
, South African President
Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (; ; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African Internal resistance to apartheid, anti-apartheid activist who served as the President of South Africa, first president of South Africa from 1994 to 1 ...
, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, New Zealand Prime Minister
Jim Bolger James Brendan Bolger ( ; born 31 May 1935) is a New Zealand retired politician of the New Zealand National Party, National Party who was the 35th prime minister of New Zealand, serving from 1990 to 1997. Bolger was born to an Irish diaspora, ...
, and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu (; ; born 21 October 1949) is an Israeli politician who served as the ninth prime minister of Israel from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2009 to 2021. He is currently serving as Leader of the Opposition (Israel), Leader ...
. The
Australian House of Representatives The House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameralism, bicameral Parliament of Australia, the upper house being the Australian Senate, Senate. Its composition and powers are established in Chapter I of the Constitution of Austra ...
and the
New Zealand House of Representatives The House of Representatives is the sole chamber of the New Zealand Parliament. The House passes Law of New Zealand, laws, provides Ministers of the New Zealand Government, ministers to form Cabinet of New Zealand, Cabinet, and supervises the ...
also passed parliamentary motions of condolence. The
Government of Canada The government of Canada (french: gouvernement du Canada) is the body responsible for the federation, federal administration of Canada. A constitutional monarchy, the Crown is the Corporation sole#The Crown, corporation sole, assuming distinct ro ...
, as well as individual provinces in the country, set up online and in-person books of condolences in their parliament buildings and memorial services were held across the country. Following her death, delegates at an international conference in
Oslo Oslo ( , , or ; sma, Oslove) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a Counties of Norway, county and a Municipalities of Norway, municipality. The municipality o ...
to ban landmines paid their tributes to Diana, who was an avid campaigner for banning the explosive devices. The
Ottawa Treaty The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction of 1997, known informally as the Ottawa Treaty, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or often simply the Mine ...
, which created an international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines, was adopted in Oslo, in September 1997 and signed by 122 States in
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian French: ) is the capital city A capital city or capital is the municipality holding primary status in a country, state, province, Department (country subdivision), department, or other subnational entity, usually as i ...
on 3 December 1997. Diana's work on the landmines issue has been described as influential in the signing of the treaty.


Public

In London, thousands of people carried bouquets and stood outside Buckingham Palace after the news of her death. People started bringing flowers within an hour after the news was shared. The
BBC #REDIRECT BBC
Here i going to introduce about the best teacher of my life b BALAJI sir. He is the precious gift that I got befor 2yrs . How has helped and thought all the concept and made my success in the 10th board exam. ...
flew its flags at
half-mast Half-mast or half-staff (American English) refers to a flag flying below the summit of a ship mast, a pole on land, or a pole on a building. In many countries this is seen as a symbol of respect, mourning, distress signal, distress, or, in som ...
. Both radio and television aired the British national anthem, "
God Save the Queen "God Save the King" is the national and/or royal anthem of the United Kingdom, most of the Commonwealth realms, their territories, and the British Crown Dependencies. The author of the tune is unknown and it may originate in plainchant, b ...
", in response to Diana's death, as is precedent for the death of a member of the Royal Family. An
elegy An elegy is a poem of serious reflection, and in English literature usually a lament for the dead. However, according to ''The Oxford Handbook of the Elegy'', "for all of its pervasiveness ... the 'elegy' remains remarkably ill defined: sometime ...
was published by
Ted Hughes Edward James "Ted" Hughes (17 August 1930 – 28 October 1998) was an English poet, translator, and children's writer. Critics frequently rank him as one of the best poets of his generation and one of the twentieth century's greatest wri ...
to mark her death. Sporting events in the UK were rearranged, with demands for Scotland's Football Association chief executive to resign due to their delayed response to reschedule Scotland's World Cup qualifier. People in the US were shocked at her death. In
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of Northern California. The city proper is the List of Ca ...
, around 14,000 people marched through the city in a procession on 5 September to pay tribute to Diana, honouring her for her work on behalf of AIDS patients. In
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; es, Los Ángeles, link=no , ), often referred to by its initials L.A., is the largest city in the state of California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located along the West Coast of ...
, more than 2,500 people transformed a baseball field into a candle-lit altar in a memorial service prepared by an AIDS organisation. In Paris, thousands of people visited the site of the crash and the hospital where Diana died, leaving bouquets, candles and messages. People brought flowers and also attempted to visit the Hotel Ritz. On the eve of the funeral, 300 members of the British community in Paris took part in a service of commemoration. Landmine victims in Angola and Bosnia also honoured Diana with separate services, pointing out how her efforts had helped raise awareness about the damage caused by landmines. In Bosnia, a
landmine A land mine is an explosive device concealed under or on the ground and designed to destroy or disable enemy targets, ranging from combatants to vehicles and tanks, as they pass over or near it. Such a device is typically detonated automati ...
survivor, Jasminko Bjelic, who had met Diana only three weeks earlier, said, "She was our friend." In Egypt, the homeland of Dodi Fayed, people visited the British embassy in Cairo to pay their tributes and sign a book of condolences. Following her death many celebrities including actors and singers blamed the paparazzi and condemned their reckless behavior.
Mother Teresa Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, MC (; 26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), better known as Mother Teresa ( sq, Nënë Tereza), was an Indian-Albanian Catholic Church, Catholic nun who, in 1950, founded the Missionaries of Charity. Anjezë Gonxhe B ...
, who met Diana a few months before her death, expressed her sorrow and prayers were held at the
Missionaries of Charity The Missionaries of Charity ( la, Congregatio Missionariarum a Caritate) is a Catholic centralized religious institute of consecrated life of Pontifical Right for women established in 1950 by Mother Teresa, now known in the Catholic Church a ...
for Diana. The Bishop of Bradford David Smith and the Bradford Council of Mosques held prayers by the Christian and Muslim communities.
Jonathan Sacks Jonathan Henry Sacks, Baron Sacks ( he, יונתן הנרי זקס, translit=Yona'tan Henry Zaks; 8 March 19487 November 2020) was an English Orthodox rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes ...
led prayers by the Jewish community at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue, and Cardinal
Basil Hume George Basil Hume Order of Saint Benedict, OSB Order of Merit, OM (2 March 1923 – 17 June 1999) was an English Catholic bishop. He was a monk and priest of the English English Benedictine Congregation, Benedictine monastery of Ampleforth Abb ...
presided over the Roman Catholic requiem mass held at
Westminster Cathedral Westminster Cathedral is the mother church of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. It is the largest Catholic Church, Catholic church in the UK and the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster. The site on which the cathedral stands ...
. Mother Teresa died on 5 September 1997, the day before Diana's funeral.


Social and economic impact

During the four weeks following her funeral, the
suicide rate The following are lists of countries by suicide rate as published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other sources. About one person in 5,000–15,000 dies by suicide every year, with an estimated global rate of 10.5 per 100,000 popula ...
in England and Wales rose by 17% and cases of deliberate self-harm by 44.3% compared with the average for that period in the four previous years. Researchers suggest that this was caused by the "
identification Identification or identify may refer to: *Identity document, any document used to verify a person's identity Arts, entertainment and media *Identify (album), ''Identify'' (album) by Got7, 2014 *Identify (song), "Identify" (song), by Natalie I ...
" effect, as the greatest increase in suicides was by people most similar to Diana: women aged 25 to 44, whose suicide rate increased by over 45%. Another research showed that 50% of Britons and 27% of Americans were deeply affected by her death as if someone they knew had died. It also concluded that in general women were more affected than men in both of the countries. The same research showed that Diana's "charitable endeavors" and "ability to identify with ordinary people" were among the main factors that caused her to be admired and respected by the people. In the weeks after her death counselling services reported an increase in the number of phone calls by the people who were seeking help due to grief or distress. Diana's death mostly affected people who were already vulnerable and could identify with her as "a public figure perceived as psychologically troubled but who seemed to have made a constructive adjustment". Another research described Diana's death and funeral as traumatic stressors with psychological impacts that could "be equated with traditional stressors identified in the trauma research literature". In the days after her funeral, an increase in the number of inappropriate hospital admissions was observed, whereas the number of admissions for traumatic injuries decreased for at least three months, showing a possible change in people's driving habits. Her death was also associated with "30% reduction in calls to the police and a 28% drop in public order offences", yet despite its effect on increasing depression and traumatic stress, no significant increase was observed in the number of psychiatric emergencies in Edinburgh. The national grieving for Diana had economic effects. In the short term, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) estimated that retail sales dropped 1% that week. Traffic congestion in central London as crowds went to the palaces to pay homage likewise adversely affected
productivity Productivity is the efficiency of production of goods or services expressed by some measure. Measurements of productivity are often expressed as a ratio of an aggregate output to a single input or an aggregate input used in a production proc ...
, and the CEBR estimated that would cost businesses £200 million, or a total loss of 0.1% of
gross domestic product Gross domestic product (GDP) is a money, monetary Measurement in economics, measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjec ...
for the third quarter of 1997. However, in the long run the CEBR expected that to be offset by increased tourism and memorabilia sales.


Reception

Some criticised the reaction to Diana's death at the time as being "hysterical" and "irrational". As early as 1998, philosopher
Anthony O'Hear Anthony O'Hear (born 1942 in Cleethorpes Cleethorpes () is a seaside town on the estuary of the Humber in North East Lincolnshire, England with a population of 38,372 in 2020. It has been permanently occupied since the 6th century, with fi ...
identified the mourning as a defining point in the "sentimentalisation of Britain", a media-fuelled phenomenon where image and reality become blurred.
Oasis In ecology, an oasis (; ) is a fertile area of a desert or semi-desert environment'ksar''with its surrounding feeding source, the palm grove, within a relational and circulatory nomadic system.” The location of oases has been of critical im ...
bandleader
Noel Gallagher Noel Thomas David Gallagher (born 29 May 1967) is an English singer, songwriter, and musician. He was the chief songwriter, lead guitarist, and co-lead vocalist of the rock band Oasis (band), Oasis until their split in 2009. After leaving Oasi ...
responded to the reaction with, "The woman's dead. Shut up. Get over it". These criticisms were repeated on the tenth anniversary of the crash, when journalist
Jonathan Freedland Jonathan Saul Freedland (born 25 February 1967) is a British journalist who writes a weekly column for ''The Guardian''. He presents BBC Radio 4's contemporary history series ''The Long View''. Freedland also writes thrillers, mainly under the ...
of ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
'' expressed the opinion that, "It has become an embarrassing memory, like a mawkish, self-pitying teenage entry in a diary ... we cringe to think about it." In 2010, Theodore Dalrymple suggested "sentimentality, both spontaneous and generated by the exaggerated attention of the media, that was necessary to turn the death of the princess into an event of such magnitude thus served a political purpose, one that was inherently dishonest in a way that parallels the dishonesty that lies behind much sentimentality itself". The reactions following Diana's death were subject to criticism by
Christopher Hitchens Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was a British-American author and journalist who wrote or edited over 30 books (including five essay collections) on culture, politics, and literature. Born and educated in England, ...
. His 1998 documentary ''Princess Diana: The Mourning After'' accused the British media of playing an essential role in creating a national, unchallengeable, and at times hysterical
cult of personality A cult of personality, or a cult of the leader,Cas Mudde, Mudde, Cas and Kaltwasser, Cristóbal Rovira (2017) ''Populism: A Very Short Introduction''. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 63. is the result of an effort which is made to cr ...
surrounding Diana, whereas previously they had been extremely critical of her and the monarchy after she had separated and divorced from Charles, and was having an affair with Dodi Fayed. Hitchens claimed the public were behaving irrationally and that many appeared to not even know why they were mourning. He also scrutinised the level of censorship against criticism of Diana and the monarchy but was accused, in a review by ''
The Independent ''The Independent'' is a British online newspaper. It was established in 1986 as a national morning printed paper. Nicknamed the ''Indy'', it began as a broadsheet and changed to Tabloid (newspaper format), tabloid format in 2003. The last p ...
'', of exaggerating on this point. ''
Private Eye ''Private Eye'' is a British fortnightly satire, satirical and current affairs (news format), current affairs news magazine, founded in 1961. It is published in London and has been edited by Ian Hislop since 1986. The publication is widely r ...
''s sales dropped by one third after it ran a cover titled "Media to Blame", which attempted to criticise the instant switch in the media and the public's opinion of Diana after her death from critical to complimentary. Hitchens's views were later supported by Jonathan Freedland of ''The Guardian'', who also questioned the reason behind the "outburst of mass hysteria" following Diana's death and described it as "an episode when the British public lost its characteristic cool and engaged in seven days of bogus sentimentality, whipped up by the media, and whose flimsiness was demonstrated when it vanished as quickly as it had appeared". Comparing Diana's funeral to that of Winston Churchill,
Peter Hitchens Peter Jonathan Hitchens (born 28 October 1951) is an English author, broadcaster, journalist, and commentator. He writes for ''The Mail on Sunday'' and was a Foreign correspondent (journalism), foreign correspondent reporting from both Moscow a ...
observed the "difference in the self-discipline of the people and their attitudes" at the two historical events, with them being more restrained at Churchill's funeral but "un-English" at Diana's. Some cultural analysts disagreed. Sociologist Deborah Steinberg pointed out that many Britons associated Diana not with the Royal Family but with social change and a more liberal society: "I don't think it was hysteria, the loss of a public figure can be a touchstone for other issues." Carol Wallace of ''
People A person (plural, : people) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of pr ...
'' magazine said that the fascination with Diana's death had to do with "the fairy tale failing to end happily – twice, first when she got divorced and now that she died". Reflecting back on the event in the 2021
Apple TV+ Apple TV+ is an American subscription streaming television, streaming service owned and operated by Apple Inc. Launched on November 1, 2019, it offers a selection of original production film and television series called List of Apple TV+ origin ...
docuseries '' The Me You Can't See'', Diana's son Prince Harry said that he was surprised by the extent to which the public reacted to his mother's death. Referring to the day of her funeral, he said: "I'm just walking along and doing what was expected of me, showing the one-tenth of the emotion that everybody else was showing. This was my mum, you never even met her."


Memorials

In the years after her death, many memorials were commissioned and dedicated to her. As a temporary memorial, the public co-opted the ''Flamme de la Liberté'' (''
Flame of Liberty The ''Flame of Liberty'' (''Flamme de la Liberté'') in Paris is a full-sized, gold-leaf-covered replica of the flame of the torch from the Statue of Liberty (''Liberty Enlightening the World''). The monument, which measures approximately 3.5 me ...
''), a monument near the Pont de l'Alma tunnel related to the French donation of the
Statue of Liberty The Statue of Liberty (''Liberty Enlightening the World''; French: ''La Liberté éclairant le monde'') is a List of colossal sculpture in situ, colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City, in the U ...
to the US. The messages of condolence have since been removed and its use as a Diana memorial has discontinued, though visitors still leave messages in her memory. A permanent memorial, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, was opened by the Queen in Hyde Park in London on 6 July 2004, followed by a statue in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, which was unveiled by her sons on 1 July 2021. Following her death, a member of the
Millennium Dome The Millennium Dome was the original name of the large dome-shaped building on the Greenwich Peninsula in South East (London sub region), South East London, England, which housed a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millenn ...
's board suggested the project be refashioned and extended "to accommodate, for example, a hospital, businesses, charities, private residences, and the whole thing named 'the Princess Diana Centre. The idea was later scrapped.


Inquests

Under
English law English law is the common law list of national legal systems, legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly English criminal law, criminal law and Civil law (common law), civil law, each branch having its own Courts of England and Wales, ...
, an
inquest An inquest is a judicial inquiry in common law jurisdictions, particularly one held to determine the cause of death, cause of a person's death. Conducted by a judge, jury, or government official, an inquest may or may not require an autopsy carrie ...
is required in cases of sudden or unexplained death. A French judicial investigation had already been carried out but the 6,000-page report was never published. On 6 January 2004, six years after Diana's death, an inquest into the crash opened in London held by Michael Burgess, the coroner of the Queen's Household. The coroner asked the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Sir John Stevens, to make inquiries in response to speculation that the deaths were not an accident. Forensic scientist Angela Gallop was commissioned to examine the forensic evidence. The police investigation reported its findings in Operation Paget in December 2006. In January 2006, Lord Stevens explained in an interview on ''
GMTV GMTV (an acronym for Good Morning Television), now legally known as ITV Breakfast, ITV Breakfast Broadcasting Limited, was the name of the national ITV (TV network), Channel 3 breakfast television contractor/licensee, broadcasting in the Unit ...
'' that the case is substantially more complex than once thought. ''
The Sunday Times ''The Sunday Times'' is a British newspaper whose circulation makes it the largest in Britain's quality press market category. It was founded in 1821 as ''The New Observer''. It is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News UK, whi ...
'' wrote on 29 January 2006 that agents of the British secret service were cross-examined because they were in Paris at the time of the crash. It was suggested in many journals that these agents might have exchanged the blood test from Henri Paul with another blood sample (although no evidence for this has been forthcoming). The inquests into the deaths of Diana and Fayed opened on 8 January 2007, with Dame
Elizabeth Butler-Sloss Ann Elizabeth Oldfield Butler-Sloss, Baroness Butler-Sloss, Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, GBE, Privy Counsellor (United Kingdom), PC (''née'' Havers; born 10 August 1933), is a retired England and Wales, En ...
acting as Deputy Coroner of the Queen's Household for the Diana inquest and Assistant Deputy Coroner for Surrey in relation to the Fayed inquest. Butler-Sloss originally intended to sit without a jury; this decision was later overturned by the
High Court of Justice The High Court of Justice in London, known properly as His Majesty's High Court of Justice in England, together with the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, are the Courts of England and Wales, Senior Cou ...
, as well as the jurisdiction of the coroner of the Queen's Household. On 24 April 2007, Butler-Sloss stepped down, saying she lacked the experience required to deal with an inquest with a jury. The role of coroner for the inquests was transferred to Lord Justice Scott Baker, who formally took up the role on 13 June as Coroner for Inner West London. On 27 July 2007, Baker, following representations for the lawyers of the interested parties, issued a list of issues likely to be raised at the inquest, many of which had been dealt with in great detail by Operation Paget: The inquests officially began on 2 October 2007 with the swearing of a jury of six women and five men. Lord Justice Baker delivered a lengthy opening statement giving general instructions to the jury and introducing the evidence. The BBC reported that Mohamed Al-Fayed, having earlier reiterated his claim that his son and Diana were murdered by the Royal Family, immediately criticised the opening statement as biased. The inquest heard evidence from people connected with Diana and the events leading to her death, including Rees-Jones, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Paul Burrell, Diana's stepmother, and the former head of
MI6 The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6 ( Military Intelligence, Section 6), is the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as ...
. Lord Justice Baker began his summing up to the jury on 31 March 2008. He opened by telling the jury "no-one except you and I and, I think, the gentleman in the public gallery with Diana and Fayed painted on his forehead sat through every word of evidence" and concluded that there was "not a shred of evidence" that Diana's death had been ordered by
Prince Philip Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, later Philip Mountbatten; 10 June 1921 – 9 April 2021) was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. As such, he served as the consort of the British monarch from El ...
or organised by the security services. He concluded his summing up on Wednesday, 2 April 2008. After summing up, the jury retired to consider five verdicts, namely
unlawful killing In English law, unlawful killing is a verdict that can be returned by an inquest (England and Wales), inquest in England and Wales when someone has been killed by one or more unknown persons. The verdict means that the killing was done without l ...
by the negligence of either or both the following vehicles or Paul; accidental death or an
open verdict The open verdict is an option open to a coroner's jury at an Inquests in England and Wales, inquest in the English law, legal system of England and Wales. The verdict means the jury confirms the death is suspicious, but is unable to reach any other ...
. The jury decided on 7 April 2008 that Diana had been unlawfully killed by the "grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles he paparazziand of the Mercedes driver Henri Paul". Princes William and Harry released a statement in which they said that they "agree with their verdicts and are both hugely grateful". Mohamed Al-Fayed also said that he would accept the verdict and "abandon his 10-year campaign to prove that Diana and Dodi were murdered in a conspiracy". The cost of the inquiry exceeded £12.5 million, the coroner's inquest cost £4.5 million; a further £8 million was spent on the Metropolitan Police investigation. It lasted 6 months and heard 250 witnesses, with the cost heavily criticised in the media.


Related lawsuits

Nine photographers, who had been following Diana and Dodi in 1997, were charged with
manslaughter Manslaughter is a common law legal term for homicide considered by law as less Culpability, culpable than murder. The distinction between murder and manslaughter is sometimes said to have first been made by the ancient Athenian lawmaker Draco ( ...
in France. France's "highest court" dropped the charges in 2002. Three photographers who took pictures of the aftermath of the crash on 31 August 1997 had their photographs confiscated and were tried for invasion of privacy for taking pictures through the open door of the crashed car. The photographers, who were part of the "paparazzi", were acquitted in 2003.


Conspiracy theories

Although the initial French investigation found that Diana had died as a result of an accident, several
conspiracy theories A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.Additional sources: * * * * The term has a nega ...
have been raised. Since February 1998, Fayed's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, has claimed that the crash was a result of a conspiracy, and later contended that the crash was orchestrated by
MI6 The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6 ( Military Intelligence, Section 6), is the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as ...
on the instructions of the Royal Family. His claims were dismissed by a French judicial investigation and by Operation Paget. On 7 April 2008, Lord Justice Baker's inquest into the deaths of Diana and Fayed ended with the jury concluding that they were the victims of an "unlawful killing" by Henri Paul and the drivers of the following vehicles. Additional factors were "the impairment of the judgment of the driver of the Mercedes through alcohol" and "the death of the deceased was caused or contributed to by the fact that the deceased was not wearing a seat belt, the fact that the Mercedes struck the pillar in the Alma Tunnel rather than colliding with something else". On 17 August 2013,
Scotland Yard Scotland Yard (officially New Scotland Yard) is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, the territorial police force responsible for policing Greater London, Greater London's London boroughs, 32 boroughs, but not the City of London, the s ...
revealed that they were examining the credibility of information from a source that alleged that Diana was murdered by a member of the British military.


In the media

Actor
George Clooney George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an American actor and filmmaker. He is the recipient of List of awards and nominations received by George Clooney, numerous accolades, including a British Academy Film Awards, British Academy Film A ...
was critical of several tabloids and paparazzi agencies following Diana's death. A few of the tabloids
boycott A boycott is an act of nonviolent resistance, nonviolent, voluntary abstention from a product, person, organization, or country as an expression of protest. It is usually for moral, society, social, politics, political, or Environmentalism, envir ...
ed Clooney following the outburst, stating that he "owed a fair portion of his celebrity" to the tabloids and photo agencies in question. In September 1997, a number of supermarket chains in the US removed the September 9 issue of the ''
National Enquirer The ''National Enquirer'' is an American tabloid newspaper. Founded in 1926, the newspaper has undergone a number of changes over the years. The ''National Enquirer'' openly acknowledges that it pays sources for tips, a common practice in t ...
'', which bore the title "Di Goes Sex Mad". The paper's editor described the incident as "an unfortunate circumstance", which was not meant to coincide with her death. Another American tabloid, ''
Globe A globe is a spherical Earth, spherical Model#Physical model, model of Earth, of some other astronomical object, celestial body, or of the celestial sphere. Globes serve purposes similar to maps, but unlike maps, they do not distort the surface ...
'', issued an apology for its headline "To Di For". Diana was ranked third in the 2002 '' Great Britons'' poll sponsored by the BBC and voted for by the British public, after
Sir Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman, soldier, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of govern ...
(1st) (a distant cousin), and
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Isambard Kingdom Brunel (; 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859) was a British civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history," "one of the 19th-century engineering giants," and "one ...
(2nd), just above
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin ( ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist, widely known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. His proposition that all species of life have descended ...
(4th),
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare ( 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's nation ...
(5th), and
Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, Theology, theologian, and author (described in his time as a "natural philosophy, natural philosopher"), widely ...
(6th). That same year, another British poll named Diana's death as the most important event in the country's last 100 years. Historian Nick Barrett criticised this outcome as being "a pretty shocking result". Later in 2004, the
CBS CBS Broadcasting Inc., commonly shortened to CBS, the abbreviation of its former legal name Columbia Broadcasting System, is an American commercial broadcast television Television, sometimes shortened to TV, is a telecommunication m ...
programme '' 48 Hours'' broadcast photos from the crash scene which were "part of a 4,000-page French government report". They showed an intact rear side and centre section of the Mercedes, including one of an unbloodied Diana with no outward injuries crouched on the rear floor with her back to the right passenger seatthe right rear door is fully open. The release of these pictures was poorly received in the UK, where it was felt that the privacy of Diana was being infringed. Buckingham Palace, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Diana's brother condemned the action, while CBS defended its decision saying that the pictures "are placed in journalistic context – an examination of the medical treatment given to Princess Diana just after the crash". On 13 July 2006, Italian magazine '' Chi'' published photographs that showed Diana amid the wreckage of the car crash; the photos were released despite an unofficial blackout on such photographs being published. The editor of ''Chi'' defended his decision by saying he published the photographs simply because they had not been previously seen, and he felt the images were not disrespectful to the memory of Diana. The British newspaper, the ''
Daily Express The ''Daily Express'' is a national daily United Kingdom middle-market newspaper printed in tabloid (newspaper format), tabloid format. Published in London, it is the flagship of Express Newspapers, owned by publisher Reach plc. It was first ...
'', was criticised for continued and sustained coverage of Diana following her death. A 2006 report in ''The Guardian'' showed that the newspaper had mentioned her in numerous recent news stories, with headlines including, "Perhaps Diana should have worn seatbelt", "Diana inquiry chief's laptop secrets stolen", "£250,000 a year bill to run Diana fountain" and "Diana seatbelt sabotage probe". The events from Diana's death to her funeral became the subject of a 2006 film, '' The Queen'', with
Helen Mirren Dame Helen Mirren (born Helen Lydia Mironoff; born 26 July 1945) is an English actor. The recipient of List of awards and nominations received by Helen Mirren, numerous accolades, she is the only performer to have achieved the Triple Crown of ...
in the title role.


Internet coverage

Diana's death occurred at a time when
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, p ...
use in the developed world was booming, and several national newspapers and at least one British regional newspaper had already launched online news services.
BBC News BBC News is an operational Division (business), business division of the BBC, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs in the UK and around the world. The department is t ...
had set up online coverage of the
general election A general election is a political voting election where generally all or most members of a given political body are chosen. These are usually held for a nation, state, or territory's primary legislative body, and are different from by-election ...
earlier in 1997 and as a result of the widespread public and media attention surrounding Diana's death, BBC News swiftly created a website featuring news coverage of Diana's death and the events that followed it. Diana's death helped BBC News officials realise how important online news services were becoming, and a full online news service was launched on 4 November that year, alongside the launch of the BBC's rolling news channel
BBC News 24 BBC News (also known as the BBC News Channel) is a British free-to-air public broadcast television news channel for BBC News. It was launched as BBC News 24 on 9 November 1997 at 5:30 pm as part of the BBC's foray into digital domestic telev ...
on 9 November.


See also

* Concert for Diana, a 2007 rock concert to commemorate Diana * '' Diana: Last Days of a Princess'', a 2007 television docudrama * List of people who died in traffic collisions * '' The Little White Car'', a 2004 novel based around the mystery Fiat Uno * '' The Murder of Princess Diana'', a 2007 book disputing the official version of events * '' The Murder of Princess Diana'', a 2007 Lifetime Movies film, a fictionalised adaptation of the book of the same name * '' Princess Diana's Revenge'', a 2006 novel that engages with conspiracy theories relating to Diana's death * '' The Queen'', a 2006 film about the Royal Family's reaction to Diana's death * ''
Unlawful Killing In English law, unlawful killing is a verdict that can be returned by an inquest (England and Wales), inquest in England and Wales when someone has been killed by one or more unknown persons. The verdict means that the killing was done without l ...
'', a 2011 documentary film


References


Notes


Citations


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * Duncan Fallowell, ''How To Disappear'', ch.5, reportage account of Princess Diana's funeral (London, 2011)


External links


BBC's full coverage

Diana: One year on – BBC



Operation Paget full report


(Archived) * ttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,10654-2507339,00.html The life and poignant death of Diana's driver''The Times'' online article
Princess Diana Car Crash
— ''Knott Laboratory''
Diana's final moments
Today (American TV program) ''Today'' (also called ''The Today Show'' or informally, ''NBC News Today'') is an American news and Talk show, talk breakfast television, morning television show that airs weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on NBC. The program de ...

The Paparazzi Photos
CBS News CBS News is the news division of the American television and radio service CBS. CBS News television programs include the ''CBS Evening News'', ''CBS Mornings'', news magazine programs ''CBS News Sunday Morning'', ''60 Minutes'', and ''48 Hour ...
{{DEFAULTSORT:Diana, Princess of Wales, Death of
Death Death is the Irreversible process, irreversible cessation of all biological process, biological functions that sustain an organism. For organisms with a brain, death can also be defined as the irreversible cessation of functioning of the whol ...
1997 in international relations 1997 in Paris 1997 in the United Kingdom 1997 road incidents 1990s crimes in Paris 1990s road incidents in Europe Articles containing video clips August 1997 crimes August 1997 events in Europe Women deaths Diana France–United Kingdom relations Media coverage and representation Photojournalism controversies Diana August 1997 events in the United Kingdom