How Close Was Princess Diana to Leaving London Before Her Tragic Car Accident?

With the arrival of Baby Archie, the world has a close eye on the royal family. In a sweet tribute to Prince Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, a private announcement was made to Diana’s siblings — Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and Earl Spencer — of the birth of their nephew before the public were informed.

The news is bittersweet. It has many thinking about Diana and wishing she were here to see her grandson. The tragic part of all this, is that Diana was almost with us here today. It seems that right before her accident, she had plans to leave London. Things may have turned out very different if she was able to act on those plans just a little earlier. Let’s take a look back at Diana’s life, just before her tragic accident.

Was Princess Diana happy in London?

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | Getty Images

Diana was suspicious of Camilla Parker Bowles from the very beginning of her marriage to Prince Charles. Add to that, her uncertainty that Charles ever really loved her, and Diana was probably feeling that her only role was that of an incubator, to provide an “heir and a spare” for the royal crown. After her separation from Charles, who can blame Diana for wanting to be far away from any reminder of her painful marriage?

The media also hounded Diana relentlessly during this time. Her every move was photographed and documented. Who can blame “The People’s Princess” for becoming exhausted of the constant interest in her. With the media watching her every move, and the palace controlling everything she did, Diana must have been completely overwhelmed.

Did Princess Diana plan to leave London?

In 2002, Diana’s Butler, Paul Burrell, told Elizabeth Vargas of 20/20 that Diana had plans to move to California. “Quite possibly she’d be living in America,” Burrell said. “There were actually plans to move here. She was going to live on the West Coast, in Malibu.”

However, it’s unclear if Burrell’s revelation can be trusted. Although he was close to the princess, as far as we can find, he is the only one to know of these plans. Is it possible that Diana did want to move to the United States, at least part-time, but kept her plans a secret from all, but Burrell? It’s doubtful that moving to Malibu would have provided her the escape from paparazzi she was looking for. After all, Americans love Diana almost as much as the British.

Although he didn’t specifically mention a move to the U.S., at Diana’s funeral in 1997, her younger brother, Charles Spencer — the 9th Earl Spencer — delivered strong words for the media. He spoke of how Diana, after her divorce, had “talked endlessly” of leaving Britain. Mainly because of her treatment by the media. So, maybe there is some truth to what Diana’s butler later claimed.

Would Leaving London have saved Princess Diana’s Life?

It’s hard to say whether Diana would still be here if she had acted on her plans to leave London earlier. Any speculation would be highly hypothetical. And after all, Diana wasn’t in London when the fateful car accident happened, she was in Paris. The media probably would have hounded her wherever she went.

If the many conspiracy theories are true, and someone wanted Diana dead, would leaving London have stopped them from fulfilling their plan? That’s also hard to say. Maybe with Diana out of the country, she would have been considered less of a threat. However, with the way modern media coverage travels so quickly around the globe, Londoners would have had no problem gaining access to Diana’s life.

It’s heartbreaking to think that anyone could have wished harm on the sweet, caring mother. What’s even sadder is that her sons had to grow up without her. At least, with the birth of this next royal generation, we have hope for the future. Here’s to hoping that in the years to come, the royal children will always be cared for, protected and not without their mother.