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Mohamed Al-Fayed’s ‘Obsession’ with Diana and Dodi’s Tragedy

Mohamed Al-Fayed and Diana (Image: Getty)
Mohamed Al-Fayed and Diana (Image: Getty)

Mohamed Al-Fayed commissioned a five-year investigation into the car crash that killed his son and Diana, the Princess of Wales.

Mohamed Al-Fayed and Diana (Image: Getty)
Mohamed Al-Fayed and Diana (Image: Getty)

Mohamed Al-Fayed ran a five-year investigation into the car crash that killed his son and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as he developed an “obsession” with believing the Royal Family were to blame.

Diana and Dodi Fayad were travelling in a Mercedes-Benz W140 in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31, 1997 when they were involved in a fatal crash. Al-Fayed insisted at the time the Royal Family had some connection to the incident.

It led him to commissioning a former Scotland Yard detective chief superintendent, John Macnamara, who was also the ex-director of security at his Harrod’s department store, to lead a five-year investigation to examine the events of the crash.

Al-Fayed told an inquest into the pair’s death that he believed the car crash was no accident, Diana was pregnant, the papparazi caused the crash, and that his son was about to propose. However, his claims all came crashing down during the public hearings.

Diana and Mohammed Al Fayed (Image: Getty)
Diana and Mohammed Al Fayed (Image: Getty)

Macnamara told the inquest there was no evidence that Diana was pregnant at the time of the crash, in fact her close friends said she taking the contraceptive pill and no hospital records indicated she was carrying a child. The former police officer also found nothing to indicate Diana and Dodi Fayed were due to get married.

He told the inquest that US security forces – who Al-Fayed also believed were involved in the deaths – told him they had no material relating to the deaths, nor had they kept Diana under surveillance. McNamara also told the hearing he had no evidence the-then British ambassador to Paris, the Duke of Edinburgh, or the-then Prince Charles were also linked to the death.

All allegations made by Al-Fayed during the inquest. And while Macnamara told the inquest he intially believed the crash to be an accident, he said his former employer told him “they’ve done it at last, they have killed her” when they met at Fulham mortuary.

The ex-cop however said Al-Fayed did not alude to who he meant by “they”.

Mohamed Al-Fayed and Diana (Image: Getty)
Mohamed Al-Fayed and Diana (Image: Getty)

Other conspiracies suggested the press were responsible for the crash. Although an official investigation concluded “papparazi” could not be considered a meaningful group, as photographers reportedly present at the time would have been working in competition, for different publications, or even doing different jobs.

Al-Fayed also alleged driver Henri Paul caused the crash, suggesting he could have been paid by the security services in the UK, France, or even both. Conspiracists believe claims he had been drinking at the time of the crash were false, and his body was swapped with another to provide the toxicology results the authorities wanted.

Numerous tests showed his blood had alcohol in it – although there were mistakes with the tests – and suggests are that he had been drinking on the night of the crash. A bar receipt discussed at the inquest included alcoholic drinks.

However, when Al-Fayed took to the witness box himself during the inquest, he seemingly stood by the conspiracy theories and blamed everyone from bodyguards to Downing Street.

After he gave evidence, coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker asked him: “Do you think there is any possibility, however remote, that your beliefs about conspiracies may be wrong and that the deaths of Dodi and Diana were in truth no more than a tragic accident?”

To which Al-Fayed responded: “No way. I am 100% certain.”

A coroner’s jury eventually concluded Diana and Dodi were unlawfully killed due to reckless speed and drinking by their driver, and by the reckless pursuit of vehicles chasing them. Photographers were reportedly pursuing them in cars and on bikes at the time of the crash.

A spokesman for Al-Fayed at the time said: “It is possible that MI6 were involved. We are saying that it’s possible. But whether as far as you are concerned and the general public are concerned we can do anything about that remains to be seen.”

The coroner however told him there was no evidence MI6 was involved in the crash. Princes William and Harry welcomed the jury’s verdict.

At the conclusion in April 2008, they said: “We agree with their verdicts, and are both hugely grateful to each and every one of them for the forbearance they have shown in accepting such significant disruption to their lives over the past six months.”


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