Prince Harry is reportedly researching the final hours of his mother Princess Diana’s life for his forthcoming memoir. The Sun reports that “official judicial sources in Paris” have revealed that Harry’s researchers have been in touch, seeking information about the car crash in the Pont d’Alma, Paris, that killed Diana on August 31, 1997.
One source, who was involved in the original crash investigation, told the Sun: “There have been approaches which suggest Prince Harry is intensely focused on getting more information about his mother’s death. There are plenty of people in France who recall the night of the accident. It’s only normal that Diana’s son should want to learn more about it for his book.”
The Sun said it had reached out to Harry for comment. In the run-up to the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death, all eyes are returning to the car crash that killed her—and, inevitably, all the conflicting theories about what caused it, and her death. Was it, as the official 2008 verdict had it, a combination of the paparazzi in pursuit and negligent driving of chauffeur Henri Paul, or is there any merit to the many conspiracy theories that proliferated afterwards?
An ex-bodyguard of Princess Diana, Lee Sansum, tells the Sun that he and other guards had drawn straws to accompany bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones that day. (Rees-Jones, now 54, was the only survivor of the crash.) “When I learned they were not wearing seatbelts in the crash I understood why they didn’t survive,” Sansum, nicknamed ‘Rambo’ by Diana, told the paper. “That shouldn’t have happened. It was standard practice for the family to wear seatbelts. It was an order sent down from the boss, Dodi’s dad Mohamed Al-Fayed. Dodi, in particular, hated wearing seatbelts and I always insisted on it.”
Sansum had acted as a bodyguard for Diana and Dodi in St. Tropez that summer. “She had been happy on that holiday,” Sansum told the Sun. “But I had seen her in tears too, when she learned of the murder of her friend, the fashion designer Gianni Versace. She confided in me her own fears that she might one day be assassinated. She asked if I thought his murder outside his home was a professional killing. I thought it was. Then she said something that always stayed with me —‘Do you think they’ll do that to me?’ She was shaking and it was clear from her tone that she really thought that they might, whoever ‘they’ might be.
“I spent some time reassuring her that no one was going to try to kill her and she was safe with us, but she definitely thought there was a risk that one day she might be assassinated.”
Diana also told Sansum she wanted to live with Dodi in America. “She didn’t want to, but that was the only place she felt people weren’t having a go at her. It was probably her way of keeping sane, to get some respite.”
Her plan had influenced Harry to live with Meghan in California, Sansum believes. “This trauma happened when the building blocks for life were being formulated. His mother saw America as a place of sanctuary. He will be drawing on his experiences from then.” Sansum said one day in the U.K. on a counter-surveillance drive near the Al-Fayed home in Surrey he saw an ex-SAS colleague now working in the Special Reconnaissance Unit. “We were generally followed by MI5 but this was the first time we had seen a Special Forces guy. We thought, ‘They’ve upped their game’.