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Why the Diana Tragedy Spawned So Many Conspiracy Theories


Why the Diana Tragedy Spawned So Many Conspiracy Theories

On August 31, 1997 Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in Paris, leading to an outpouring of emotion in Britain. Sputnik looks at what happened to the stream of crazy conspiracy theories that followed her death.

Almost as soon as the news broke that Diana, the estranged wife of the heir to the British throne, had been killed when a chauffeured Mercedes crashed in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in the French capital, the conspiracy theorists came out of the woodwork.

Killed by MI6

Diana was not the only one who died in the crash.

Her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed and their chauffeur, Henri Paul, were also killed. ​Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the only one to survive.

​A few months later Dodi's father Mohamed al-Fayed, an Egyptian businessman who at the time owned Harrods department store in London, began claiming the crash was not an accident.

He claimed his son and the princess were killed by MI6 on the orders of her father-in-law, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of the Queen.

French police and Scotland Yard said they found no evidence of such a plot but the 88-year-old reportedly still nurses his pet theory.

Rees-Jones was interviewed four times by the French authorities but had only vague memories of the crash.

"I am not part of a conspiracy to suppress the truth at all. All I have ever done is give the truth as I see it," he told the inquest.

She Was Pregnant

Mohamed al-Fayed also alleged the princess was pregnant with his son's child.

​In 2007, the Daily Express, a British newspaper which carried almost daily stories about the princess for years afterwards, published a story claiming to have seen a document by a French surgeon who carried out the post-mortem, which said she was nine weeks pregnant.

The document, which was unearthed by a "top French investigative journalist," was allegedly found in the archives of the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, where the dying princess was taken.

The Express claimed the document was sent to three French government ministers.