Princess Diana: Her Final Words Revealed
It’s been 20 years since Princess Diana was killed in a car accident after being chased through the streets of Paris by a pack of aggressive paparazzi.
Two decades later, Diana’s children are grown, and her legacy continues to flourish.
Just this week, Di’s youngest son, Prince Harry, proposed to Meghan Markle using a ring made with diamonds from Diana’s collection.
But while most discussions and remembrances of Diana focus on the challenges and remarkable accomplishments of her tragically short life, there are still lingering questions regarding the princess’ shocking death.
Most of the answers, of course, are lost to history, but a surprising report from London tabloid The Sun is shedding new light on Diana’s final moments.
Xavier Gourmelon is a retired Paris firefighter who was one of the first to arrive at the scene of Diana’s deadly crash inside the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in August of 1997.
Gourmelon says he felt it would not have been appropriate to discuss his memories of the accident while he was still employed by as a firefighter.
Following his recent retirement, however, Gourmelon has decided to go public with previously-unknown details about Diana’s death, including what he claims were the final words ever uttered by the People’s Princess.
“We were very close to there and it took less than three minutes to reach it,” he says of the crash.
“My ten-man team was in two trucks and we were first to arrive.”
Gourmelon says that he and his team were not aware that among the victims they struggled to free from the wreck was one of the world’s most famous women.
“The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident. We got straight to work to see who needed help and who was alive,” he adds.
“The woman, who I later found out was Princess Diana, was on the floor in the back. She was moving very slightly and I could see she was alive.”
It was then, Gourmelon says, that Diana uttered what he believes to have been her last words:
“I held her hand and told her to be calm and keep still, I said I was there to help and reassured her,” he tells The Sun.
“She said, ‘My God, what’s happened?’”
Gourmelon says that he initially believed Diana had suffered only a “slight injury to her right shoulder.”
Just seconds after she spoke, however, the princess abruptly lost consciousness and stopped breathing.
Having been trained in CPR, Gourmelon acted quickly:
“I massaged her heart and a few seconds later she started breathing again. It was a relief of course because, as a first responder, you want to save lives — and that’s what I thought I had done,” he says.
“To be honest I thought she would live. As far as I knew when she was in the ambulance she was alive and I expected her to live. But I found out later she had died in hospital.”
Gourmelon says he was stunned by the news of Diana’s death, as he and the rest of his team believed she would recover.
As with so many millions of others, thoughts of Diana remain with Gourmelon to this day.
“I know now that there were serious internal injuries, but the whole episode is still very much in my mind,” he says.
“And the memory of that night will stay with me forever.”