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Diana Spencer, who would go on to become the Princess of Wales after marrying Prince Charles, is one of the most beloved members of the British Royal Family in recent memory. Diana died in a tragic car accident on August 31, 1997, while visiting Paris with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. Her tragic and sudden passing struck the world, and her funeral became the most-watched non-sporting event in TV history.

In the immediate aftermath of her death, conspiracy theories about what “really” happened to the Princess swirled endlessly. So, was Diana’s death truly a terrible accident, or did dark forces conspire against her? Let’s take a closer look.

What Happened

On August 27, 1997, the recently-divorced Princess Diana was visiting Paris with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. When leaving their hotel, accompanied by their driver, Henri Paul, and Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, the group was suddenly pursued by an onslaught of paparazzi. According to later investigations, it appears as though none of the occupants of the car were wearing their seatbelts. This was reportedly so that they could duck down out of sight of the cameras.

Henri Paul is said to have been extremely drunk at the time of the crash when he lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a concrete pillar in the middle of the highway. Dodi Fayed and Paul were both pronounced dead at the scene, while Rees-Jones and Diana were treated for their injuries on the scene and then taken to a nearby hospital. While Rees-Jones would eventually recover, Diana’s injuries proved fatal.

Conspiracy Theories

The most prevalent conspiracy theory surrounding Diana’s death is that the car was somehow sabotaged, or Henri Paul was paid off or blackmailed in some way, by people who wanted her dead. Some versions of the theory hold that the royal family wanted Diana gone since she was dating an Egyptian Muslim. Others hold that her ex-husband, Prince Charles, may have wanted her dead so he could more easily marry his paramour, Camilla Parker Bowles.

However, these theories don’t seem to hold any truth. While Diana was reportedly paranoid about the possibility of her vehicle being sabotaged, such as someone having her brake lines cut, there is no evidence of foul play in the accident that took her life. Henri Paul seems to have been extremely drunk at the time of the accident, according to his autopsy report, and their vehicle was not tampered with.

The takeaway from Diana’s tragic passing is that sometimes bad things happen in this chaotic world. Remember to never drink and drive, and to always wear a seatbelt on the road.