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11th Sep 2022

Princess Diana ‘feared for her life’ in the years before fatal car crash

Tobi Akingbade

Operation Paget investigated the conspiracy theories surrounding Diana’s death

Princess Diana – who died in a fatal motor vehicle accident in 1997 – feared dying in a car crash. However, a note detailing her concerns was not immediately passed on to French authorities investigating her death.

Diana is said to have told her lawyer Lord Mishcon that she believed she would be a target of “some accident in her car, such as a pre-prepared brake failure” in October 1995 – two years before she died in a Paris car crash along with boyfriend Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul.

Lord Mishcon handed his contemporaneous typed account of the meeting to Metropolitan Police officers but it was six years before the note was handed over by Scotland Yard chiefs.

The note was mentioned again in the Channel 4 documentary Investigating Diana: Death In Paris, which aired last month to mark 25 years since the tragedy.

Recently, a former bodyguard to and Mr Al-Fayed has revealed how King Charles’ ex-wife was fearful for her life in the year of her death.

When asked by the host of Anything Goes With James English  if the Diana was in fear for her life during the time he spent with her, Lee Sansum said: “Yeah, she was.

“Her friend Gianni Versace was killed, and everybody thought it was a planned hit – looking at what happened in the security industry – that was what everyone thought had happened.

The Daily Mail reports her sons Princes William and Harry were also unaware of the note for years, while her siblings only learned of the note’s existence a decade after her death.

The note itself was brought to the attention of police chiefs in September 1997 – a month after her death – with Lord Mishcon telling officers Diana had said that “efforts would be made if not to get rid of her by some accident in her car, such as a pre-prepared brake failure… at least to see that she was so injured or damaged as to be declared unbalanced [in her mind]”.

Lawyer Michael Mansfield, who represented Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed, said during Saturday’s programme: “The note is important because it’s equivalent to somebody’s premonition.

“If you were a police officer investigating it, you want to hand the account over to the French. They didn’t do that. They stick it in the safe and they don’t reveal it.”

An investigation into conspiracy theories surrounding Diana’s death called Operation Paget was led by former Met commissioner Lord Stevens in 2006.

Lord Stevens says that until that point, Prince William and Harry had “limited knowledge” of the events surrounding their mother’s sudden death.

He said: “I was in possession of the facts of what had taken place, from the beginning of the problem outside the Ritz with the car, to the death and bringing back the body.

“They wanted to know the circumstances of the death, what had happened to their mother, in every aspect.

“Some questions were in detail – which I answered, because they hadn’t been told of the circumstances.”

The operation found “no evidence” of a murder conspiracy instead it blame the tragedy on a drunken driver Henri Paul – who also died in the crash.

An initial investigation deduced that Paul was intoxicated at the time of the crash, citing his reckless driving and the effects of prescription drugs in his system.

However, Dodi’s father Mohamed Al-Fayed openly said that the crash was orchestrated, citing MI6 and the Duke of Edinburgh.

King Charles officially become King this week following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, his mother, who died peacefully on Thursday in Balmoral with her family by her side.

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