Twenty-five years have passed since Princess Diana died in a car accident in Paris. Now, for the first time, a former investigator is revealing his personal view of the events on TV. David Douglas also had to question Prince Charles as part of the police investigation in 2004.
LONDON – Chief Police Officer David Douglas broke his silence about his findings as an investigator. Princess Diana (36, † 1997), her partner Dodi Al-Fayed (42, † 1997), the driver Henri Paul (41, † 1997), her bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones ( 54) survived badly injured. For the first time he made personal statements on British breakfast television on ITV “Good Morning Britain” about the conspiracy theories that still surround the death of the Prince of Wales’s wife (73) on August 31, 1997.
“I have no doubts that this was a horrific, tragic accident in which three people lost their lives and one other person’s life was turned upside down,” Douglas said. Operation Paget, launched by the British Metropolitan Police in 2004, put various conspiracy theories surrounding Diana’s death to the test. In 2006, the results were published online without access restrictions.
Moderator Ranvir Singh (45) probed vehemently in the interview, wanting to know whether the combination of missing seat belts, paparazzi chasing the car and the driver who had been drinking was the cause. But even after 25 years, Douglas was sure of himself: “If they [the occupants] had been buckled up, for example, there was an 80% chance that they would have survived the accident, our experts told us,” he reports.
False alarm: Prince Charles was also briefly targeted by investigators
The investigators were particularly concerned with a note from Diana because it burdened husband Prince Charles (73). Princess Diana wrote a letter to her butler in 1995 and wrote: “My husband is planning an ‘accident’ in my car, brake failure and serious head injuries.” Douglas had to get the testimony of the heir to the throne at the time. He found Prince Charles “very charming” when questioned, he was very polite and friendly. The trail went nowhere, because it turned out that Charles did not know the note: “He didn’t know any more than the investigators,” reported Douglas.
Princess Diana’s note was written around the same time as she was giving her famous BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, 59, in 1995. An investigation by former Supreme Court Justice John Dyson, 79, found that Bashir used “fraudulent methods” to secure the interview, commissioning fake bank statements to manipulate the mother-of-two in his favor. Diana’s sons Prince William, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, had reacted with anger and horror when this much larger scandal, which had been covered up for decades, was uncovered in May 2021. Sources used: people.com, express.co.uk, Twitter @GMB