|Death of Diana, Princess of Wales|
|Pont de l'Alma tunnel, Paris, France|
|Location||Pont de l'Alma tunnel, Paris, France|
|Date||31 August 1997|
|Outcome|| 3 deaths|
1 injury (Trevor Rees-Jones)
|Deaths|| Diana, Princess of Wales|
On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales died as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the Mercedes-Benz S280, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene; the bodyguard of Diana and Dodi, Trevor Rees-Jones, was the only survivor. Although the media blamed the paparazzi following the car, an 18-month French judicial investigation found that the crash was caused by Paul, who lost control of the car at high speed while drunk. Paul was the deputy head of security at the Hôtel Ritz and had earlier goaded the paparazzi waiting outside the hotel. His inebriation may have been exacerbated by anti-depressants and traces of a tranquilising anti-psychotic in his body. The investigation concluded that the photographers were not near the Mercedes when it crashed.
Since February 1998, Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed (the owner of the Hôtel Ritz, where Henri Paul worked) has claimed that the crash was a result of a conspiracy, and later contended that the crash was orchestrated by MI6 on the instructions of the Royal Family. His claims were dismissed by a French judicial investigation and by Operation Paget, a Metropolitan Police Service inquiry that concluded in 2006. An inquest headed by Lord Justice Scott Baker into the deaths of Diana and Dodi began at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, on 2 October 2007, a continuation of the inquest that began in 2004. On 7 April 2008, the jury concluded that Diana and Dodi were the victims of an "unlawful killing" by the "grossly negligent" chauffeur Henri Paul and the drivers of the following vehicles. Additional factors were "the impairment of the judgment of the driver of the Mercedes through alcohol" and "the death of the deceased was caused or contributed to by the fact that the deceased was not wearing a seat belt, the fact that the Mercedes struck the pillar in the Alma Tunnel rather than colliding with something else".
- Operation Paget full report
- Princess Diana dies in Paris crash – BBC On This Day archive
- Princess Diana driver was 'drunk and speeding' – BBC On This Day archive
- The life and poignant death of Diana's driver The Times online article
- Official Website of the Inquests into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed
- BBC funeral details