Today, August 31, marks the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and 23 years since the People’s Princess died. Following a car accident in Paris, the 36-year-old royal was taken to Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in the French capital but was pronounced dead several hours later on the same day. Alongside Princess Diana was her partner Dodi Fayed, and the car’s driver Henri Paul, who were both pronounced dead at the scene.
What were Princess Diana’s last words?
The firefighter who treated Princess Diana as she lay fatally injured in a Paris tunnel has revealed Diana’s last words.
Sergeant Xavier Gourmelon, who led the response team, said the Princess of Wales’ last words were: “My God, what’s happened?”
Mr Gourmelon also said he was sure Princess Diana would survive and claimed there was no blood on her, but he could see a slight injury to her right shoulder.
Just moments later, she died of a cardiac arrest.
Speaking to the Sun, Mr Gourmelon said the firefighters dealt with it as they would any other crash.
He said: “For me this was simply a banal traffic accident, one of many that emergency services have to deal with and it was the usual causes, speed and a drunk driver.
“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.
“I held her hand and told her to be calm and keep still, I said I was there to help and reassured her.”
Princess Diana’s bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was sitting in the front of the car when the accident happened and managed to survive the crash.
He said the two passengers in the back of the car, Diana and Dodi, were not wearing seat belts.
Family and friends of the Princess have said this was unusual behaviour for her, and she normally always took the safety precaution when driving.
Mr Gourmelon added: “To be honest, I thought she would live.
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“As far as I knew when she was in the ambulance she was alive and I expected her to live.
“But I found out later she had died in hospital. It was very upsetting.
“I know now there were some serious internal injuries, but the whole episode is still very much in my mind.
“And the memory of that night will stay with me forever. I had no idea then that it was Princess Diana.”
At the inquest into the accident in 2008, it was ruled Diana and Dodi were killed as a result of “gross negligence” of the driver Henri Paul who was drunk.
Paparazzi chasing the Princess’ car were also blamed and believed to have contributed to the fatal accident.
Flowers and cards have been left outside Diana’s former home Kensington Palace every year to mark her death.
Diana’s sons Prince William and Prince Harry often visit the tributes and thank the crowds for their efforts in commemorating their mother.