Return to Martin Frost
Home page

Further information on viewing conditions, site index and the site Google search facility
Frost's Meditations Logo

An astonishing sequence of pictures of the final minutes of Princess Diana's life have emerged as the long-awaited inquest into her death finally opened today.

The never-before-seen images, posted on an official website by coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker, includes the last known photograph of Diana alive and graphic scenes of the desperate fight to save her life.

More than ten years after her death in a high speed crash in Paris they bring back with startling clarity the fantastic efforts to keep Diana alive.

Princess Diana's Death - new pictures released
Sequence of pictures at the scene of the Paris car crash which killed Princess Diana, Didi Fayad and Henri Paul

It is just seconds after the couple have left the back entrance of the Ritz Hotel on the fatal journey to Dodi's Paris apartment and provides the last known picture of Diana alive.

Trevor Rees-Jones, Dodi's bodygaurd and the only survivor of the terrible accident, holds a protective hand up as he peers into the lens. Beside him the driver Henri Paul - accused by police of being drunk - stares twistedly, almost mockingly, at the camera.

Taken by one of the paparazzi, the princess is visible in the rear seat peering back at the pursuing French photographers. To her side Dodi Fayed is hunched forward in his seat.

A scene of desolation and horror is captured in the seconds after the crash. Passers-by, who included the off-duty Dr Maillez, are seen with policemen, firemen, and the paparazzi.

A fireman in his high-visibility vest and radio at his waist peers into the front seat where bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones lies horribly maimed, although he was to survive. Beside him Dr Maillez in shirt sleeves points forward

The crashed car from the front. Inside the rear door Sebastian Dorzee, one of the two police officers who were first on the scene, leans over Diana. At the front in the white shirt is Dorzee's partner, Lino Gagliardone

Sources close to Mohamed Al Fayed, who claims his son and Diana were murdered in an Establishment plot, said the existence of the last picture of the couple surrounded in the front and the rear by photographers proved they were pursued to their death by the paparazzi.

After smashing into pillar 13 in the tunnel, the car cannons into the side wall. The lights of cars travelling in the opposite direction are visible. Witnesses say the Mercedes was doing between 60mph and 93mph

First on the scene is agency photographer Serge Arnal. The force of the crash is clear: The nearside of the Mercedes in which Dodi and Henri Paul had died instantly is crushed. The impact has disordered the exhaust system

By now rescue workers are gathering. It is some time after 12.30am. Inside the stricken Mercedes, the physician Dr Maillez is bent over the Princess's body. He has already ascertained that Dodi and Paul are dead

More paparazzi have arrived. Hands in pockets to the side of the tunnel stand Serge Arnal and Fabrice Chassery, and in the foreground Serge Benamou. A shirt-sleeved fireman reaches into the wreckage of the Mercedes

The Mercedes, its roof cut off as rescuers tried to reach the passengers, is just a twisted heap of metal showing the sheer destructive power of the crash: a car barely recognisable, the shattered windscreen, deflated airbags and broken engine

Firemen have cut open the roof to free the Princess and Rees-Jones and remove the bodies of Henri Paul and Dodi Fayed and in one picture Dr Frederic Maillez, the first doctor on the scene, can be clearly seen inside the back of the smashed Mercedes tending to the critically ill princess.

The photos also show the shuddering impact of the black limousine after it collided with pillar 13 - and how the car virtually disintegrated, such was the force of the collision.

According to the website, it will be updated daily throughout the inquest with exhibits - including photographs - that are shown to the jury. It will also contain transcripts, official statements, and details of procedural decisions.

See also:
On Princess Diana's death
Did MI6 kill Princess Diana
Tantalising new questions
The Diana myth
Diana's dead - now get over it

Readers please email comments to: editorial AT including full name

Note: contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.