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Princess Diana’s Driver Recalls Heartbreaking Moment He Thought She Was Alive After Paris Car Crash: “I Lost Myself”

This is heartbreaking. In a candid new interview marking the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana‘s tragic death, the royal’s former driver recalled the emotional moment he thought Diana was alive in the hospital after her fatal Paris car crash.

MORE: Princess Diana Calls Wedding to Prince Charles the “Worst Day” of Her Life in Newly Released Interviews

When Colin Tebbutt heard the People’s Princess had passed away in a terrible car accident on the evening of Aug. 31, 1997, he and Diana’s longtime butler, Paul Burrell, immediately rushed to France. When they arrived at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital and found the room Diana’s body was being kept in, Tebbutt asked that several fans be brought into the space to help combat the summer’s intense heat.

“I plugged the fans into the room to get some air circulating. I look round, and the eyelids and the front of the hair of the Princess were moving. I thought, ‘God, she’s alive.’ Within a second, I realized what was happening, turned around, [took] a couple seconds to myself [and] I managed to get it together again. But that was the one bit when I felt I lost myself,” Tebbutt recently told People of the heartwrenching moment.

princess diana getty images

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

A few days later, a public funeral was held for Diana in London on Sept. 6. She was then laid to rest on a private island located on her family’s Althorp Park estate. In a recent interview, Diana’s only brother, Earl Charles Spencer, sadly revealed the Princess’ grave has suffered four attempted break-ins since her untimely passing. “I’m very glad we’ve seen all of [the tresspassers] off. There are some odd people out there and keeping her [on our family’s property] is the safest place,” he said.

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Check out the gallery to see Diana’s sweetest moments with her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.