On the 31st of August, 1997, the world was rocked by the devastating news that Princess Diana of Wales had been killed in a car crash in Paris. Princess Diana was a beloved figure who brought joy to millions of people around the world with her charitable work, compassion and dazzling personality. Almost 20 years after the fatal crash, questions still remain about the actual cause of her death and the events leading up to it. In this article, we take a look at how did Princess Diana die, examining the events of the night, the investigation, and speculating on possible causes of death.

The Events of the Night

On the night of August 30th, 1997, Princess Diana had departed from the Ritz hotel in Paris after visiting her companion, Emad Mohamed “Dodi” Fayed. Diana and Dodi were scheduled to leave for London the following day. Since there had been several attempts on Diana’s life in the past, it was decided that her bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, would be the only person with them for the night.

At around 12:23 a.m., the trio left the Ritz, in a black Mercedes sedan, and began to travel through Paris. Although reports of the exact route are unspecified, Diana, Dodi and Rees-Jones were eventually headed east across the Alma tunnel bridge and onto the A1 freeway.

At approximately 12:25 a.m., around two minutes after they had left the Ritz, the Mercedes had reached the Alma tunnel bridge and crashed into a concrete pillar. The impact of the crash was great enough to throw Rees-Jones out of the car and cause a great amount of damage to the vehicle.

The Investigation Findings

In the weeks and months following the devastating event, an investigation was held by French and British officials in order to uncover the cause of the crash and answer questions about the events leading up to it.

At the time of the investigation, it was speculated that the crash was caused by a combination of factors, including over-speeding, intoxication, and the fact that the driver was unfamiliar with the city. The official coroner report, released on January 6th, 2008, however, dismissed these speculations, determining that the accident was caused solely by the negligence of the driver, Henri Paul, who was under the influence of alcohol and had been driving at an excessive speed. The report also noted that Diana and Dodi should have been wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident, although it was impossible to determine whether the accident would have been fatal if they had.

The autopsy, conducted on the 3rd of September, 1997, revealed that both Princess Diana and Dodi had died on impact due to their injuries. Although the exact cause of death is still uncertain, Diana likely died from severe traumatic injuries, while Dodi likely died from a head wound.

Speculation on Other Causes

Despite the findings of the investigation, speculations have continued to arise about the actual cause of the crash. What began as small whispers from public figures have grown over the years into full blown conspiracy theories, with the most popular one being that the crash was orchestrated by the British Secret Service in order to silence Diana.

These rumors were later dismissed by the British Coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, in his summing up of the investigation in 2008. He stated that there was no evidence to suggest that Diana’s death was anything other than a tragic accident.

Almost two decades later, the world still mourns the loss of the beloved Princess Diana. Although much of the mystery surrounding the crash and its causes have been cleared up by the investigation, questions still linger and conspiracy theories still abound. In the end, it appears that Diana and Dodi’s death was a tragic accident, and that the only ones to blame for it are the driver and his negligent actions.

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