Even two decades after Princess Diana‘s untimely August 1997 death, royal fans are still asking emotional questions about the People’s Princess’ passing. Due to countless conspiracy theories over the years, many people around the world have wondered, for example, if the mother-of-two was murdered or if she was pregnant at the time of her death.
The new TLC special Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason — which aired on Monday, July 31 — explored several of the most popular conspiracy theories surrounding the Princess’ passing. Scroll down to read more info about Diana’s life and death.
Was Princess Diana murdered?
The car crash that tragically killed Diana on Aug. 31, 1997, in Paris also killed her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and the couple’s driver, Henri Paul. The fourth person in the car, Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, miraculously survived the fatal accident. At the time, the crash was ruled a drunk-driving accident. Blood alcohol concentration tests later revealed Diana’s driver, Henri, had consumed the equivalent of 10 glasses of wine before getting behind the wheel that night. The vehicle Henri was driving reportedly reached 120 mph while he was trying to escape the hoards of paparazzi following the car.
After the death of his son, Dodi, Harrods business magnate Mohamed Al-Fayed launched his own private investigation into the crash. “I can’t stop until I find the truth. I will pursue it everywhere, every place, in France and [in England]. And, this is the right of a father who lost his child,” Mohamed said in a previous interview, featured in the new TV special Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason.
Mohamed believed there was a massive effort by French authorities to quickly cover up crime scene evidence that proved Diana and Dodi were murdered by the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. A man named Richard Tomlinson — who was a former MI6 agent — additionally told Mohamed at the time that British intelligence had recently perfected their techniques for vehicular assassination, leading Al-Fayed’s accusations of murder to reach an all-time high.
In addition, rumors swirled following Diana’s death that her driver, Henri, was possibly working with MI6 to carry out the Princess’ assassination. In Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason, experts explained that Henri was missing for several hours prior to getting behind the wheel, was found with a substantial amount of cash in his pockets after his passing, and had nearly $300,000 — much more than his $35,000 per year royal salary — in the bank. Furthermore, experts alleged that Henri’s toxicology reports could have been tampered with after his death to make it seem that he was drunk at the time of the crash when he actually may have been sober.
Diana with her sons, William and Harry, in May 1995. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
So, what did Dodi’s father, Mohamed, believe was the motivation behind Diana and Dodi’s alleged murders? He suggested the couple was killed because their romance was getting increasingly serious. Dodi had reportedly recently purchased a diamond ring for Diana and was thought to be planning to propose. Mohamed additionally thought the royal family did not want Diana to date Dodi because he was Egyptian and a Muslim.
Was Diana pregnant when she died?
In the months following Diana’s death, a French investigative journalist named Chris Laffaille claimed the People’s Princess was pregnant with her third child at the time of her passing. Laffaille alleged that official archives from the Paris hospital where Diana passed away showed evidence that the royal was expecting. He additionally reported that since Diana was nine to ten weeks pregnant in August 1997, the unborn child’s father could not have been Dodi, but possibly her ex-boyfriend, British heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.
However, the royal coroner present at Diana’s post-mortem examination quickly refuted Laffaille’s claim that she was expecting. “She wasn’t pregnant. I have seen into her womb,” he said at the time. A spokesperson for Paris Public Hospitals also later dismissed Laffaille’s documents as forged. “Examination of this document has established with absolute certainty that it is a fake,” the representative said. “It is ridiculous. Many of the medics who treated Diana remain at the hospital and all deny the claims contained in this forged letter.”
Dodi’s father, Mohamed, in 2008. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
When was the last photo taken of Princess Diana?
The final photos of Diana are thought to have been taken inside Paris’ Pont de l’Alma tunnel by the paparazzi who were dangerously pursuing the Princess when she was killed. Though Diana’s face is not visible in the pictures, she can be seen crouching down behind the vehicle’s back seats alongside boyfriend Dodi while driver Henri and Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor, were seated in the front of the car. Prior to the accident, Diana was famously photographed on vacation with boyfriend Dodi in St. Tropez, France on July 17, 1997, 45 days before her untimtely death.
Did Diana attempt suicide during her marriage to Prince Charles?
Sadly, yes. In the years following her July 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, Diana allegedly battled a deep depression and once tragically attempted suicide while pregnant with her first child, Prince William. “I threw myself down the stairs. Charles said I was crying wolf and I said I felt so desperate and was crying my eyes out and he said, ‘I’m not going to listen. You’re always doing this to me. I’m going riding now,'” Diana reportedly once said of the incident, according to the TLC special Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason.
One of the last photos taken of Diana in July 1997. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
How old was Diana when she died?
Diana was just 36 years old when she passed away on Aug. 31, 1997. She had recently celebrated her 36th birthday on July 1. At the time of Diana’s death, her two children, Prince William and Prince Harry, were aged 15 and 12, respectively.
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