It's been a little more than 20 years since Princess Diana passed away, but the incident was such a significant one that more details continue to come to light. Very recently, around the 20th anniversary of her passing, the firefighter who treated her after the crash, revealed the princess' last words and his own experience on the scene.
Sergeant Xavier Gourmelon, who was the leader of the rescue team, said he witnessed the Princess of Wales as she lay injured in a Paris tunnel. One thing that seemed clear to him at the time was that she would survive the crash. However, it did not turn out to be so.
Speaking to The Sun, Gourmelon said:
I could see she had a slight injury to her right shoulder but, other than that, there was nothing significant. There was no blood on her at all. To be honest, I thought she would live. As far as I knew when she was in the ambulance she was alive and I expected her to live.
He also said he heard Princess Diana say, “my God, what’s happened?” after the accident, and these words eventually became her last.
The 36-year-old royal passed away in the early hours of August 31, 1997. Her boyfriend, Dodi Fayad, and driver, Henri Paul, also lost their lives in the crash. The only survivor was Diana's bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones.
The crash occurred after Paul lost control of the Mercedes while reportedly trying to outrun the paparazzi chasing them. The vehicle eventually crashed into a pillar in the Alma underpass, near the Seine.
Princess Diana reportedly went into cardiac arrest at 2:10 am and was officially pronounced dead at 4:00 am.
While this was the official information that was given to the public, there have, however, been a lot of conspiracy theories all revolving around the fact that the 'accident' may have actually been a murder plot.
One reason why people leaned that way was due to the fact the princess herself suspected there was a plan to have her killed. In a letter disclosed by Diana's one-time butler, Paul Burrel, the royal revealed her fears. Burrel said she had given him the letter for safekeeping before she died. The letter, reportedly written by Diana, partly read:
I am sitting here at my desk today in October, longing for someone to hug me and encourage me to keep strong and hold my head high. This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous. [...] is planning 'an accident' in my car, brake failure, and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry.
This and a few other situations, like the rumors that she was pregnant for her boyfriend (although post-mortem examination found this to be untrue), the fact that no CCTV caught the accident, and reports that it took them hours to get to the hospital, have led people to suspect foul play.
Regardless of all the controversies that surround her life and death, one thing that can be agreed on is the fact that Princess Diana was very much loved while alive, and people continue to remember her many years after she passed.