Princess Diana (official title at death was Diana, Princess of Wales) was the first wife of Prince Charles (His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales), who is the next in line for the British crown. The two were married in 1981, but were separated in the early 1990′s and officially divorced in 1996. During her life Princess Diana was widely loved for her sense of style, personality and compassionate charity work. Despite the messy separation and claims of marital affairs by both parties she continued to be widely loved by many people after the divorce. She was commonly pursued by the paparazzi and was once the most photographed woman in the world! Unfortunately, Princess Diana died at 4am on August 31, 1997, at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. Her funeral 6 days later was one of the most watched events in history.
How did Princess Diana die?
On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana left the Ritz Hotel in Paris with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed in a black Mercedes-Benz. They were driven by Henri Paul, who worked in security at the Ritz. A decoy car had been sent to draw paparazzi attention away from their car, but they were pursued nevertheless. At about 12:23am the driver lost control of the car in the Place de l’Alma underpass and the vehicle swerved before crashing head on with a pillar supporting the roof at approximately 65 mph (105 km/h). Diana was still alive after the crash and the first on the scene later reported that she seemed to have escaped any visible injuries. She was removed from the car at 1:00am, but immediately went into cardiac arrest. Her heart started beating again and about 18 minutes later she was moved to the ambulance. She arrived at the hospital at 2:06am, but efforts to resuscitate her failed and she was pronounced dead at 4:00am. It was later found that the forces during the accident had moved her heart to the right side of her chest. This tore the pericardium and pulmonary vein of the heart. Her death was announced at a press conference at 5:30am.
Did you know?
The paparazzi were initially blamed for the accident, but later it was found that the driver was intoxicated and also had traces of an anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medication. A British inquest also listed the paparazzi and lack of seat-belt as contributing factors to the death.
There are a number of conspiracy theories about the death of the princess. Many of these claim that the crash was an elaborate murder plot designed to look like an accident.