The Duke of Sussex once believed his mother faked her own death to escape the press and has told how he wanted the inquiry into her fatal car crash to be reopened. Harry also says, in his controversial memoir Spare, that both he and his brother the Prince of Wales “were talked out” of calling for a reinvestigation of her death “by the powers that be”.
He adds that he and William felt the final written report on the princess’s death was a “joke” and an “insult” and “riddled with basic factual errors and gaping logical holes”, according to the US website Page Six. “It raised more questions than it answered,” Harry wrote.
Harry, who learned of his mother’s death in 1997 while staying at Balmoral in Scotland , described how with nothing to do but roam the castle, a suspicion took hold that it was all “a trick” played by Diana.
“Her life’s been miserable, she’s been hounded, harassed, lied about, lied to. So she’s staged an accident as a diversion and run away,” Harry wrote.
Nearly a decade later, the three-year Operation Paget police inquiry, led by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens, concluded in 2006 that Diana died in a “tragic accident” and was not murdered, ruling out the conspiracy theories. A lengthy inquest that followed, which looked at the evidence of 278 witness over six months, found in 2008 that the princess and her lover Dodi Fayed were unlawfully killed because of gross negligence by both driver Henri Paul, who was drunk, and the pursuing paparazzi photographers. It also rejected claims Diana was murdered, dismissing claims she was killed by the state.
Spanish versions of Harry’s autobiography went on sale ahead of its publication on January 10 and there have been multiple leaks of the book. At the end of the inquest in 2008 the brothers released a joint statement saying they agreed with the jury’s verdicts. They praised the thorough way they considered the evidence.
Harry also recounts his book how he asked a driver to replicate the fatal journey his mother took through the Pont de l’Alma tunnel where she was killed. While in the French capital for the 2007 Rugby World Cup semi-final, Harry, who was 23, demanded to be was driven through the crash site at 65mph – the same speed and twice the limit for the road as the Mercedes carrying Diana and Dodi Fayed was travelling before it hit a pillar in August 1997.
Harry said there was “no reason anyone should ever die inside” the tunnel, adding the drive was “a very bad idea”. Page Six described how William was also in Paris the same day and they drove through the tunnel together and discussed their criticism of final report and plans to call for a reopening of the inquiry.