When Princess Diana and her partner Dodi Fayed were killed in a Paris car crash in 1997, a desperate search for answers followed. Though an 18-month French investigation concluded third victim chauffeur Henri Paul was driving at high speed under the influence of alcohol and drugs, the public also turned the finger of blame upon the paparazzi chasing them, and the tabloid press for their insatiable hunger for images.
No convictions were made over the deaths. And many say justice was never done.
But beyond the driver’s actions, beyond the institutional factors that saw the Princess being tailed through the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel, the leading forensic pathologist who investigated her death said a relatively simple thing could have avoided a tragedy.
“I wish I could say she would have died whatever happened, but the fact is, if she had worn her seatbelt she would have been here for Prince William and Harry’s weddings,” Dr Richard Shepherd told The Daily Mail.
“She would have walked away with a black eye or maybe a broken arm, but nothing more.”
Dr Shepherd, who performed the second autopsy on the 36-year-old for the official British investigation, said had she been buckled-in ahead of the crash “she would have walked away with a black eye or maybe a broken arm, but nothing more”.