The death scene photos for Princess Diana showing a mangled car wreck became some of the most iconic and heartbreaking images of 1997, and now those pictures and video are going viral again as the 20th anniversary of her death approaches.
Princess Diana was died on August 31, 1997, hours after a car crash in the city of Paris. Diana and then-boyfriend Dodi al-Fayed were being driven in Paris when their car was pursued by paparazzi. The driver, who was later determined to have a high amount of alcohol in his blood, crashed after attempting to speed away from the photographers.
Princess Diana’s death was one of the most remembered events of that year, leading to weeks of mourning in Britain and across the world an estimated 2.5 million people watched Princess Diana’s funeral and thousands more would come to pay their respects to the late Princess of Wales.
As the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death approaches, there is new attention not only on her life, but the tragic circumstances surrounding her death. The rumors surrounding her death — largely debunked reports that she may have been murdered — have been revived, and there is a renewed interest in the photos of Princess Diana’s fatal car crash.
— First Coast News (@FCN2go) May 7, 2017
As Ellen Grey of Philly.com noted, there is a sudden surge of interest in everything Princess Diana, from her relationships to her death.
“Following close on the heels of Friday’s two-hour NBC News special The Life and Death of Princess Diana: A Dateline Investigation, and HBO’s announcement of a documentary later this year to be built around interviews with Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, The Last 100 Days won’t be television’s last word on the late princess. Or even ABC’s.”
“The Story of Diana, a two-night documentary mini-series from ABC’s entertainment division, is scheduled to air Aug. 9-10. On May 22, CBS News weighs in with Princess Diana: Her Life — Her Death – The Truth, a special produced by the 48 Hours team that will be hosted by CBS This Morning’s Gayle King.”
Some of that programming has revealed new details about Princess Diana’s death, including how she nearly missed the fatal car wreck. The late Princess’s butler and confidant, Paul Burrell, said on The Last 100 Days of Diana that her trip to Paris with Fayed was a late decision. The two had originally planned on returning to Britain so Diana could see her children again, but decided to stay an extra day.
“She rang me and said, Dodi wants to go to Paris, would you tell William and Harry I’ll be back the day after,” Paul Burrell said (via TVNZ).
— History Personified (@HistoryMile) August 31, 2016
Princess Diana: The day the 'people's princess' was flown to RAF Northolt following death in Paris car crash https://t.co/m4ufrmb5sC
— GetWestLondon (@GetWestLondon) February 13, 2017
There has been renewed interest in coverage of Princess Diana’s death. The clip below shows the first report from the BBC, cutting into regularly scheduled programming to announce word of her crash.
Some members of Princess Diana’s family have also spoken about her tragic and the aftermath. Prince Harry, who was 12 at the time his mother died, said as affected for years and ended up getting professional counseling at age 28 to deal with “two years of total chaos.”
“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well,” he told The Telegraph in an interview published in April. “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand. Refusing to ever think about my mum because why would that help? It’s only going to make you sad. It’s not going to bring her back,” he said.
With plenty of more attention coming including the 20th anniversary of her death approaching in August, it’s likely that the pictures and video of Princess Diana’s fatal crash will see more coverage in the months to come.
[Featured Image by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]