Month Before Diana's Death: 'Do You Think They're Going to Kill Me?'

Memory from a bodyguard, plus other tributes for late princess, who died in car crash 25 years ago
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2022 9:30 AM CDT
Quarter Century After Crash, Remembering the 'People's Princess'
Mourners file past the tributes left in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, at Kensington Palace in London on Sept. 5, 1997.   (AP Photo/David Brauchli, File)

Mourners are flocking to sites in Paris and London on Wednesday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, who died at the age of 36 in a car crash in Paris' Pont de l'Alma tunnel, along with her romantic partner, Dodi Fayed, and limo driver Henri Paul. "Deja 25 ans (25 years already)," read one of the many cards placed at the Flame of Liberty memorial at the north end of the tunnel, where Diana's chauffeur had tried to speed away from photographers on motorbikes, per Reuters. Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, marked the solemn occasion with a poignant post on Twitter, reports Newsweek: a captionless photo showing the flag at half-staff above Althorp Estate, Diana's childhood home. More on how Diana is being remembered this week:

  • Timeline of a princess: The Wall Street Journal lays out a pictorial journey down memory lane, from Diana's early years as a Spencer in Norfolk, England, all the way through her sudden death on Aug. 31, 1997. Town and Country offers a peek at rarely seen photos of Diana as a child, teen, and young adult.
  • Words to remember: Good Morning America takes a look back at some of Diana's most memorable humanitarian speeches, on topics including HIV and AIDS, mental health issues, and her signature work in highlighting the scourge of land-mines.
  • The 'People's Princess': Today examines how Diana, a "royal with a common touch," changed the UK's first family forever, especially regarding how her two sons, William and Harry, were raised, taking them everywhere from theme parks and shops to homeless shelters so they could see what life was like outside of their bubble. "Away from the pomp and pageantry, Diana yearned for a normal life," the outlet notes.

  • A style icon: Despite her reported disdain for the spectacle involved with being a royal, Diana knew how to dress the part. From her unforgettable wedding gown to her just-as-memorable "revenge dress," Diana's most glamorous looks are highlighted by People.
  • Fashion legacy: CNN Style looks at how Diana's influence on the fashion world continues to this day, while Hello! magazine profiles all the ways Kate Middleton, now Prince William's wife and the Duchess of Cambridge, has paid tribute to her mother-in-law through her attire.
  • Distress over Versace's murder: In Protecting Diana: A Bodyguard's Story, a new book penned by former bodyguard Lee Sansum, he writes that, a little more than a month before her own death, he found Diana crying after she'd heard about the killing of Gianni Versace. "Do you think they're going to kill me?'" Sansum claims she asked him. "She was very, very concerned about the potential risks to her life at that time. I said, 'You’re safe here. ... We're not going to let anything happen to you.'"

  • Never-fulfilled move to America? That's another claim made by Sansum, per Us Weekly and Yahoo Life. "She was quite adamant that in America, the press liked her," he writes in his book, noting she expressed her desire to head to the States after the paparazzi took photos of her vacationing in St-Tropez. "The people liked her, and she liked the place."
  • Crickets from the family: Speaking of the royals, as of Wednesday morning in the States, there'd been no official word out of any of the UK palaces or royal estates on the anniversary, reports the Daily Beast.
  • Sole crash survivor: One person made it out of the Paris accident alive—bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, who was badly injured and doesn't remember details of the crash. Fox News reports on where Rees-Jones, who now goes by the name Trevor Rees, is today.
(The doctor who first came upon the scene of the accident that killed Diana is now describing what he witnessed.)

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