Today in history 17 years ago. On August 30, Diana and Dodi traveled to Paris for a short stay, as Diana was planning to return to London to spend few days with her sons before they went back to school. After a private dinner at the Ritz Hotel, Diana and Dodi decided to leave the hotel by the back entrance, in hopes of eluding the photographers. At 12:00 pm, they got into a black Mercedes, driven by the hotel chuffer, Henri Paul. Despite these efforts, a group of photographers figured out what was going on and was waiting at the Ritz’s back entrance. As soon as the black Mercedes pulled away, they followed.
When the black Mercedes entered Paris’s Alma Tunnel, the driver lost control of the wheel. At 12:30 pm, the car crashed in the 13th pillar of the tunnel. The driver and Dodi died instantly after the crash, but Diana and the bodyguard were very badly injured.
The princess suffered from internal bleeding. At the resuscitation room at La Pitie Salpetriere Hospital, doctors were massaging Diana’s weak heart and made an immediate operation aiming to save her life. Two hours later, the hospital announced the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, on August 31, 1997, at 4:00 am Paris time. She was 36 year old.
Prince Charles flew to Paris with Diana’s older sisters to bring her body back to England. Diana’s funeral was held at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, September 6, 1997. Her children, William and Harry, walked behind the coffin on the slow journey to the abbey with their father, Prince Charles, their grandfather, Prince Philip, and their uncle, Earl Spencer.
Millions of people lined the streets in London to say goodbye, while 2.5 billion people watched the funeral service and procession on television. It was the largest television event in history. Diana’s coffin was loaded into a hearse and driven tot the Spencer Family’s estate at Althorp. There, in a private service attended only by the Spencer family, Diana was buried on an island in the middle of the lake.