Human Interest

Diana’s death continues to fuel conspiracy theories 25 years on

By Javier Aja

Dublin, Aug 29 (EFE).- A quarter of a century after the death of Diana of Wales, conspiracy theories continue to fuel myths such as that the princess was murdered or that the British royal family was involved, despite official investigations confirming she died in a car accident in Paris.

This was confirmed in 2008 by the British judicial investigation into the death of Lady Di, 36, and her boyfriend Dodi al Fayed, 42, concluding that the tragedy was due to reckless homicide.

The fault fell, according to the evidence collected by the police, on Henri Paul, the driver of the Mercedes that crashed on the Pont du Alma in Paris on the night of Aug. 30, 1997, when the vehicle was being chased by a group of photographers on the hunt for the valuable snapshot of the then most famous woman in the world.

Only the couple’s bodyguard survived, Trevor Rees Jones, who, however, was never able to provide an enlightening testimony about this event because he suffered amnesia, a circumstance that charged conspiracy theorists with suspicion.

The jury of that investigation also found the “paparazzi” who followed the vehicle guilty of reckless homicide, causing a wave of indignation directed toward sensationalist media.

The first members of the Paris Criminal Brigade who arrived at the scene of the accident worked on these same hypotheses, but in the following days all kinds of theories began to spread.

Just 24 hours after the event, Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi’s father and then owner of the Harrods department store, requested the opening of a judicial investigation for involuntary manslaughter, while the Parisian Prosecutor’s Office announced that Paul had consumed triple the blood alcohol level allowed.

Several days later, the funeral in memory of Lady Di was held in Westminster Abbey, in which the princess’s brother, Charles, chided the press. The princess’s private burial followed at the Spencer family home, Althorp House, in Northamptonshire, north-central England.

The foundations were being laid for the most unlikely suspicions to take root, as evidenced by some graffiti that appeared near the Alma bridge: “Murderer paparazzi” or “The Queen did it.”

There begins a journey into the rabbit hole where conspiracy theorists recommend going in search of answers, to dismantle the pandemic, climate change or Diana’s death.

A hole from which it is difficult to get out, because it is tempting to think some photographer did not really work for the media, but for the secret services in charge of executing it, one of the theories British channel Channel 4 is now exploring in a four-part documentary.

The program, made in the purest style of the “true crime” genre, deals, for example, with the possibility that the attacks against the sensationalist press served to divert attention from real authors, according to Al Fayed himself.

The Egyptian tycoon repeated the theory that he has maintained for the last 25 years, in which he said the death of his son and the princess was due to “a plot” because they both had wedding plans. EFE


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