It’s been over 20 years since her death, yet many are still curious to know what Princess Diana‘s last words were.
The Princess of Wales died on August 31, 1997 after sustaining fatal injuries in a car crash. According to reports at the time, Diana uttered her final words right after she was pulled from the wreckage of the crash, which occurred when Diana and her then-boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, were being pursued by paparazzi in their vehicle in Paris, France. Diana’s driver, Henri Paul, was reportedly speeding and lost control of the car, which caused the vehicle to collide with a column in the middle of the Pont de l’Alma tunnel. Both Paul and Fayed were killed instantly on impact. Diana, however, was still alive for a few hours following the accident.
A firefighter who led the response team was reportedly the last person to speak to Diana before she was rushed to the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, where she tragically died from her injuries the following morning. She was only 36.
What were Princess Diana’s last words before her death?
What were Princess Diana’s last words? The firefighter on the scene of Princess Diana’s accident revealed the last words she spoke before her death in an interview with The Independent. According to the firefighter, Xavier Gourmelon, the Princess of Wales asked: “My God, what has happened?”
Gourmelon revealed that he was able to get Princess Diana to breathe again after delivering chest compressions. “It was a relief, of course, because as a first responder you want to save lives—and that’s what I thought I had done.” However, when Gourmelon learned she passed away from her injuries the next day, it was “very upsetting.” He said, “I know now that there were serious internal injuries, but the whole episode is still very much in my mind. The memory of that night will stay with me forever.”
In Tina Brown’s book, The Diana Chronicles, Dr. Frederic Mailliez, an EMT who had been driving through the tunnel at the ime of the crash, told her that Diana woke up in pain from the crash. “She kept saying how much she hurt,” Mailliez told Brown. Brown also reported on Diana’s last moments awake after the crash: “She turned her head and saw the lifeless Dodi just in front of her, then turned her head again toward the front where the bodyguard was writhing and where Henri Paul lay dead. She became agitated, then lowered her head and closed her eyes.”
Prince Harry and Prince William spoke to their mother just hours before her fatal crash in 1997. Their last conversation, however, was brief. According to the ITV documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, the brothers were at Balmoral Castle in Scotland when Princess Diana called them for the very last time.
“I can’t necessarily remember what I said, but all I do remember is regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was,” Prince Harry said in the documentary. “If I’d known that that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother, the things I would have said to her.”
He continued, “Looking back at it now, it’s incredibly hard. I have to deal with that for the rest of my life: not knowing that it was the last time I’d speak to my mum, how differently that conversation would have panned out if I’d had even the slightest inkling that her life was going to be taken that night.”
Prince William, for his part, remembered that he and his brother were “running around, minding our own business, playing with our cousins and having a very good time” when they received their mother’s call, noting that they were in a rush to say “goodbye, see you later, can I go off?” The Duke of Cambridge added, “If I’d known what was going to happen I wouldn’t have been quite so blasé about it. That phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily.”
For more about Princess Diana, read Andrew Morton’s biography, Diana: Her True Story — In Her Words. The New York Times bestseller, which was first published in 1992, is the only authorized biography about Princess Diana. The book, which Diana collaborated on, includes raw and unfiltered quotes from the Princess of Wales about her unhappy marriage to Prince Charles, her relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, her life in the House of Windsor, and her hopes, dreams and fears for her children, Prince William and Prince Harry, before her death in 1997. The biography, which has been described as the “closest we will ever come” to a Princess Diana autobiography, was republished with new material in 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the People’s Princess’ death.