Princess Diana

Princess Diana ‘feared for her life’ in the lead up to her fatal car crash in 1997

Two and a half decades after her death, people are still talking about Princess Diana. One of the most heavily discussed topics is her death itself, and whether or not there was actual foul-play involved. A former bodyguard to the princess revealed in an interview that she actually did fear for her life ahead of her death in 1997. This has led to more speculation as to whether her death truly was the tragic accident that it appears to have been.

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Princess Diana “Feared For Her Life” Prior To Her Death

Lee Sansum, former bodyguard to Princess Diana and her filmmaker boyfriend Dodi Al-fayed, recently went on the podcast Anything Goes with James English. He was on the podcast to promote his new book, The Bodyguard. Though Sansum was never a bodyguard for the Royal Family, he worked for the Al-Fayed family for many years. That meant that at some point in his service for the wealthy British-Egyptian family, he was assigned to Dodi and his current girlfriend, Princess Diana.

Specifically, he was part of the large security team assigned to the couple while they were vacationing in the South of France in 1997. He was assigned to the upper deck of the boat they were on, where he found the Princess crying. Her friend, Gianni Versace, had just been assassinated.

Read: When Diana Was Stripped of Her Royal Titles, 15YO William Promised Her “I Will Give It Back to You One Day When I Am King”

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“I bumped into her [Diana] on the top deck of the boat, we had an allocated security cabin on the boat, and I was on this big open deck, and I walked in there and was almost as close as I am to you to the princess,” he recalled. “She turned around and she’d obviously been crying a lot, and she said, ‘have you heard about my friend?’ I said ‘yes, we have and it’s awful what has happened, I know you knew him and I’m sorry’. She was crying and she said, ‘do you think they’re going to do that to me?’.” (1)

Sansum said in the podcast that he did his best to assure her that that wouldn’t happen to her. He reminded her of the large and incredible security team that she had and that everything would be okay. This was just months before Princess Diana died in the tragic car crash in Paris.

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Sansum Not The Only One To Know This

Princess Diana didn’t open up about her fears of being assassinated to only her security detail. In 2003, her brother Earl Spencer revealed that the princess had expressed fears to him about both her safety and privacy. 

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“I think part of what happened after she left the Royal Family is that she began to feel quite exposed because, of course, for years, she was used to having this protective presence around her. She did feel that her phones were being tapped, things like that. She was being spied on.” (2)

While there have been many conspiracies thrown around, her brother has maintained that her death was not so. He remains that it was a tragic accident caused by several unfortunate factors and, at least in 2003, had no reason to believe otherwise. 

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Diana: The Ultimate Truth

Despite her brother’s feelings that Princess Diana’s death was not a conspiracy, there are still plenty of people who believe that it is. Former detective and award-winning investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas recently released a documentary called Diana: The Ultimate Truth where he dives into the last years of the princess’s life. He examines the various theories surrounding her death, as well, and attempts to uncover as many truths as possible. (3)

One of the first things he delves into is the tell-all interview that Diana gave on the BBC’s Panorama in 1995. At the time that she gave the interview, Princess Diana and Prince Charles had been separated for nearly three years but were not yet divorced. It was after this interview, where Diana had exposed both hers and Charles’ extramarital affairs, that the Queen urged the couple to finally divorce. Following the divorce Princess Di lost her royal title and the security detail that comes along with it.

Read: Harry Says Diana Was ‘Chased To Her Death While She Was In A Relationship With Someone That Wasn’t White’ And Feared ‘History Was Repeating Itself’ With Meghan

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Trust No One

At the time, the interviewer Martin Bashir was not a well-known journalist by any means. Williams-Thomas wanted to find out how Bashir was able to score an interview with the most talked-about woman in the media at the time where other highly famous journalists were not. A BBC graphic designer revealed that Bashir requested that they forge some fake bank statements for him. These statements were made to show that a former employer of Diana’s brother had sold stories to a UK national newspaper. Bashir used these falsified statements to gain Earl Spencer’s trust, who then introduced him to Diana. He then gained Diana’s trust, who agreed to do the interview with him.

Before the interview aired, another BBC employee caught wind of the deception. A friend of his who also worked on Panorama had told him that Bashir had requested the forged statements from one of their graphic designers. He informed the BBC about the statements and that Bashir used them to get the interview with Diana, but they ignored him. Five months later the truth came out, but by then the damage was already done.

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Not only did Diana later admit to a friend how even she didn’t realize how many enemies she had surrounding her, she also spoke of concerns over her death. Close friends admitted that Diana was highly fearful of her death in her last years, saying that she knew that she was meant to die young. One of her close friends, Roberto Devorik, revealed to Williams-Thomas that Diana spoke to him more than once about how she thought she was going to die. This turned out to be an eerily accurate premonition.

“She had the premonition she would be killed or die … not in a natural way,” Devorik said in the documentary. “She would say, ‘I think they are going to kill me. I am going to finish in an accident — helicopter, plane or car crash.'”

There are many other conspiracies and theories surrounding Lady Diana’s death. They all touch on the “real” cause of her death, how it could have been prevented, and even how she could have been saved but wasn’t. Regardless of what they are and whether or not they are true, none will bring the People’s Princess back to life. Perhaps one day we will know the truth behind her death, or perhaps we already do. Either way, we are sure journalists such as Williams-Thomas won’t stop trying to figure it out.

Keep Reading: King Charles Stood by the Palace Window and Wept Over His Broken Dreams the Night Before Marrying Diana, Says Author

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Sources

  1. The Truth About Princess Diana – Bodyguard Lee Sansum Tells All.” Youtube. Anything Goes with James English. September 11, 2022.
  2. Brother says Diana feared for her life.” The Globe and Mail. Leah Mclaren. October 23, 2003.
  3. Expert investigation reveals the truth about Princess Diana’s death 25 years ago.” CBC. August 31, 2022.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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