Diana Spencer and Dodi Al Fayed apparently died on Sunday, August 31st 1997 when their car crashed in a road tunnel in the French capital, Paris.
Princess Diana's death - what really happened?
The authorities announced yesterday that there will be an official inquiry to establish the cause of these two untimely deaths. After six years of campaigning by private individuals as well as groups like ours, will we finally learn the truth?
Today is the eve of the sixth anniversary of the death of Princess Di, and Tomorrow's date reverberates more than any previous anniversary of her passing, because 31 August has not fallen on a Sunday since the day on which she was killed.
Lady Diana was the Princess of Wales, and her lover Dodi was the wealthy son of Mohamed Al Fayed the multi-millionaire owner of the exclusive Harrods shopping mall in London. When a celebrity dies unexpectedly it is common for people to question and speculate about the version of events presented by the media. It is easy to dismiss these as conspiracy theories, but being theoretical does not automatically make it fictional.
In this case, there are a number of legitimate questions concerning the official version of events. The most prominent voice of concern has been Dodi's father, who took the controversial step of expressing in public his own suspicion, as somebody closely connected with the whole affair, about a "conspiracy" involving the British security service MI5. The events leading to Diana's death remain shrouded in secrecy and mystery, and inevitably people want answers.
The inquests to investigate the circumstances surrounding both deaths will be conducted by Surrey Coroner Michael Burgess, who was conveniently appointed Coroner of the Royal Household in June last year. The authorities, according to the BBC, expect us regard this as a coincidence: "A council spokesman said Mr Burgess was conducting the inquest because Mr Fayed was a Surrey resident, not because he is responsible for inquests for the Royal Household."
We always knew that there would be an inquest, the only question was when. According to British law there must be an inquest when a body is returned to Britain following a death abroad. We expected the inquest to be held in 2003 since last year when the Press Association received clear hints to this effect. So why delay the inquiry for more than half a decade? The official excuse presented throughout the mass media today is that we had to wait for the investigation by a French Judge, but in fact that finished three years ago in September 1999 and instead of being published the report was kept secret with no explanation! In reality there was no reason to wait so long for this inquiry and it could have been performed at any time.
Unfortunately, with the investigation of any incident, the later it is after the fact the less effective it can be. The trail inevitably goes colder as time goes by, and after six years there is little chance of finding any meaningful new information. It is certainly too late for a useful post-mortem.
Diana was perhaps most famous for her campaign for a ban on the sale and use of landmines. Was she unaware that the arms trade is the single most important industry in the UK economy? A princess is supposed to act as an ambassador for her country, but Diana's popularity and agenda became an increasing threat to British national interests. Now Diana presents no risk at all because she is dead.
Is there more to this tragic story than meets the eye? Was Princess Diana assassinated? It would be nice to believe, as some do, that Dodi and Di struck a deal with the Royal Family to disappear with the help of British intelligence and start a new life in secret.
Don't just take somebody else's word for what really happened. Consider the evidence and decide for yourself.
BBC News, "Diana and Dodi inquests announced", 29 July 2003.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3190301.stm ]
Inquests are to be held into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and her lover Dodi Al Fayed in Paris six years ago, it has been announced.
"The Insider" mailing list article, 30 August 2003.
Tags: Diana, Princess of Wales, Lady Diana, Dodi, Al, Fayed, assassinated, MI5, killed, murdered, assassination, official, investigation, inquiry, inquest, car, crash, Diana, conspiracies, Di, evidence, , conspiracy theories.