Could the Paparazzi Really Have Contributed to Princess Diana’s Tragic Death?

Princess Diana’s death shocked the entire world and shook the very foundations from under the British monarchy. Things have never been the same and there’s been blame placed on many different people and scenarios. Was the paparazzi at all to blame? They were constantly following her since the day she was engaged to Prince Charles as the future Princess of Wales. Things didn’t let up when they divorced, and in fact it could be argued things actually got worse for her. They even followed her to Paris with Dodi Fayed.

Princess Diana died in a car accident

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | David Levenson/Getty Images

Princess Diana died on August 31, 1997, in a tragic car accident in Paris that claimed the life of her partner, Dodi Fayed and the driver, Henri Paul. Diana died a few hours later at the hospital from her injuries. The only survivor of the car crash was Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones.

Princess Diana was followed by the paparazzi to Paris

From the minute Princess Diana did something, the media was on her photographing her every step. When she landed in Paris with Dodi, things weren’t much different. They followed her to Paris and were ready to capture anything and everything they did next.

Colin McLaren, a former homicide detective, takes listeners on a journey through Diana’s life and death in the podcast Fatal Voyage Diana: Case Solved. McLaren travels to Paris to retrace the Princess’ last known steps before her life was tragically taken too soon. Princess Diana and Dodi went to the Ritz in the afternoon and stayed there for a while.

Diana and Dodi used a decoy car and drove off to their deaths

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

The paparazzi was of course there and waiting for the couple’s next move. A good picture sells in the news industry, so they were ready to hop in their vehicles and follow them if needed. Members of the media were staking out the hotel and it was after midnight when Diana and Dodi decided to leave possibly to escape the publicity. Dodi had the idea to use a decoy car so they could leave through the back in another vehicle without being noticed.

A hasty plan was put into action so the duo could depart in secret out the back. Henri Paul, who was intoxicated, drove the vehicle instead of letting a car service drive them somewhere safely. The couple planned to check out Dodi’s flat, but it would be their last drive together. Some of the photographers actually followed them to see where they were heading. The entire thing was rushed because Diana wasn’t even wearing her seat belt, which could have saved her life.

Henri Paul tried to outrun the paparazzi

Paul, driving at unsafe speeds while inebriated, tried to outrun the paparazzi in an unsafe manner. Another vehicle, a white Fiat Uno, is known to have been involved in the accident from paint residue left on Diana’s Mercedes. The vehicles collided in some way and Diana’s car crashed. The media was on hand almost right away to take advantage of the wreckage and snap pictures of the carnage.

Could the paparazzi have contributed to Princess Diana’s death?

Princess Diana and Dodi should never have been driving that night. Everything seems to have been really rushed in order to escape the ever-present media attention. Seat belts weren’t worn, the driver was intoxicated and driving at high and unsafe speeds, and they tried to outrun the camera flashes. It all could have contributed to their untimely deaths, but we’ll never really know. Princess Diana’s death is surrounded by mystery and being the most photographed woman in the world really didn’t help matters.