Moving on from my rather sad post about Prince Harry I find this leads naturally to the story of the tragic death of his mother now amazingly over two decades ago.
Obviously, Prince Harry was deeply affected by the death of his mother and perhaps more so when you start to look into the details of that tragic night.
I have steered clear of voicing my thoughts on this matter for some time as it seems so easy nowadays to offend people and end up being trolled for the rest of your life, this I hasten to add is definitely not my intention.
The deaths of both Diana and Dodi would have been so easy to avoid and their actions that night makes them complicit in their deaths. There I’ve said it, controversial as it may be, you can see why I avoided the subject for so long.
I had no idea that the paparazzi were so intrusive until I saw news footage from that night, rather foolishly I had assumed they would form a massive pack outside any building where a celebrity was either leaving or entering and blast away with their flash cameras and leave it at that.
How naive can you be, I was astounded to see the press chase after the car of Diana and Dodi on motorcycles and subject the poor driver to a barrage of flash bulbs as they left and whilst driving down the road which in itself seems a rather foolish action leaving the poor chauffeur temporally blinded.
However, I’m getting ahead of myself and we need to go back to the first mistake made that night, the decision not to exit via the front door of the Ritz in Paris and take the official car which was waiting at the front for them, but to leave by the back door to try and evade the press.
Their attempted escape was thwarted when members of the paparazzi spotted Dodi and Diane entering the back of a black Mercedes whilst the bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones sat in the front passenger seat and the allegedly drunken manager of the hotel Henri Paul took the drivers seat.
I imagine that a properly trained driver who would have undergone a very strict training programme which might have included evasion tactics in the event of an attack might have driven somewhat differently that night than Henri Paul for even a well trained driver in a saloon car cannot out run paparazzi on high powered motorcycles through the narrow streets of Paris.
Unfortunately, Henri Paul made the fatal mistake of trying to out run them which as we know ended with fatal results.
Much was made at the time of a white Fiat pulling out if front of them causing the crash as they tried to avoid it which when you view images of the trajectory of the car and the damage received seems to me to make perfect sense, unfortunately the end result is the same whether you believe the story of the white Fiat or not.
Sadly both Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed died together with the driver Henri Paul leaving the only survivor the bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones.
All of which leads me to my conclusion of the events of that night, a conclusion I might add which adds a slightly different twist to the view taken by many that the press were to blame, although it cannot be argued that they are blame free by any means.
Now the slightly controversial part of the story; It was the decision of Dodi and Diane not to use the official car, also their decision to let Henri Paul drive. When they left and attempted to out run the press, one assumes it was within the power of Diane and Dodi to ask the driver to slow down. Lastly and perhaps more damming than anything they both took the decision not to wear seat belts which would have undoubtedly saved their lives.
These are the sad facts of the matter and as to apportioning blame I merely present the facts and leave the rest up to you.
I was living in Madrid, Spain at that time. In September 1997, only a few weeks after Diana’s death, I rode in a car from Madrid to Sevilla to with a couple of members of a music group I played with to play a concert in Sevilla. These two stopped at every gas station and bar on the way to Sevilla, and ordered beer and shots of whiskey. I told them I could drive, but the driver said he could handle it, and that his insurance wouldn’t cover me driving. These two were smashed by the time we got to Sevilla, and during that drive I was thinking I was going to end up like Princess Diana. Fortunately, I survived, but I have never seen two people consume so much alcohol and live.
It just shows it’s always best to wear a seat belt, you never know!
I always wear a seat belt. And helmets on bicycles and motorcycles. But I don’t ride either anymore because it’s too dangerous with all the distracted drivers messing with their phones.
I’m sure your comments will inflame a few readers, but I applaud you for airing your thoughts on this controversial subject. Accidents can happen to anyone, so one needs to use common sense: seatbelts, helmets, don’t get in the car with an obviously intoxicated driver, etc.
Sadly with this case the safest option was not to get in the car in the first place.
Following our previous conversation I am so pleased you went ahead and published this post, and just so you know, I agree with you completely. Excellent, Joe.
As I said I have another about Harry Dunn which will also be a tad controversial.
I shall look forward to it.
Your post is rational and well thought-out and I agree with your argument. I wish other writers would take this kind of balanced approach to their writing, but sadly many seem more interested in attention-grabbing headlines.
There’s no doubt seat belts safe lives (it’s the law here too, subject to a hefty fine and demerit points), especially in a country like France known for wine with every meal. Definitely poor judgement, but then hindsight is always 20/20. I’ve often wondered about George and Amal Clooney, who now seem so out of the spotlight these days, but perhaps not in the UK? Maybe it is possible to escape scrutiny if you retire from public life.
The press are too intrusive but unfortunately this seems to be the modern way of doing things, I’m not keen on the way they behave myself.
Princess Diana was such a beautiful lady.
It has been many years ago, my work took me on several trips from Thomaston, Georgia USA to Hoogstraten, Belgium. I know you must be familiar with the area?