She has been gone for 25 years, but the world’s fascination with Diana, Princess of Wales – and the circumstances of her death – remains as strong as ever.
A new documentary to mark the anniversary of the Paris car crash which killed her in August 1997 reveals that Diana appears to have predicted her own death two years before it happened.
The Diana Investigations, the four-part documentary which starts on Channel 4 on Sunday 21 August, delves into the ‘Mischcon note’ written by her lawyer about her fears of being killed in a pre-arranged car crash.
In October 1995, she allegedly requested a private meeting with her personal legal advisor, Victor Mischcon, to ‘tell him about something that was on her mind’, according to the new programme.
Mischon took notes of their conversation, during which Diana allegedly claimed ‘reliable sources’, whom she refused to name, had informed her ‘that a car accident might be staged.’ She apparently predicted she would ‘either end up dead or be seriously injured.’
Those who believe Diana was murdered have long believed the note is evidence that she knew her death was being plotted. Diana was seen as an embarrassment to the Royal Family following her separation from Prince Charles in 1992.
The note seems eerily prescient of the events on August 31, 1997, when Diana’s driver Henri Paul crashed inside Paris’ Pont de l’Alma tunnel, killing the 36-year-old, along with her then-boyfriend, Dodi Fayed.
Paul was found to have high levels of alcohol and prescription drugs in his system, and was speeding at 65mph in an attempt to outrun the paparazzi. Diana was not wearing a seatbelt.
At the time of their conversation, Mischcon, who died in 2005, said he thought Diana was ‘paranoid’. Following her death, he gave the note to Sir Paul Condon, the Metropolitan Police commissioner at the time.
When the formal enquiry into her death began in 2004, the note was unearthed. Lawyer Michael Mansfield, who represented Mohammed Al-Fayed, Dodi’s father (who believed strongly that the pair had been murdered), called the note ‘the most important thing’ in the enquiry’s report. He said it was a ‘wait a minute moment, light shining through the darkness suddenly,’ according to the new documentary.
The Mischcon note wasn’t the only instance of Diana allegedly voicing her fears about what might happen to her. In 2003, another letter, allegedly written by her and later published by her butler Paul Burrell, called her life ‘dangerous’ and said, ‘My husband is planning “an accident” in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for him to marry Tiggy’ – a reference to an affair she mistakenly believed Prince Charles was having with her sons’ nanny.
The official enquiry into Diana’s death concluded with ‘100 percent certainty’ that there was no plan to murder her and ruled the crash was an accident.
The new documentary promises to investigate the crash in forensic detail, along with the two police investigations – the first, by the French Brigade Criminelle in 1997, and the second by the Metropolitan Police in 2004.
It aims to explain how it became the subject of so many conspiracy theories which still swirl today, a quarter of a century on.