The fire chief who was one of the first people to help the late Princess Diana after her deadly 1997 car crash in Paris opened up about that traumatic night in a new interview. Sgt. Xavier Gourmelon spoke to the Daily Mail about Diana’s last words before her untimely death.
“She spoke in English and said, ‘Oh my God, what’s happened?’ I could understand that, so I tried to calm her. I held her hand,” he said.
The fire chief had spoken to the police at the time to give his statements, but has never conversed with the press. He added that Diana was still “moving and talking” and she seemed physically fine apart from her damaged shoulder.
Gourmelon also admitted he didn’t know it was Lady Di who was in the crash. It wasn’t until the captain at the scene of the crash told him she was the Princess of Wales. “He tells me who she is and then, yes, I recognize her, but in the moment I didn’t,” he said.
The crash occurred on August 31 when Diana was 36 years old. The event resulted in the deaths of her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul. Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, survived.
Diana’s legacy has lived on through her sons Prince William and Prince Harry since her death. She will continue to be memorialized when a new statue of herself will be unveiled at Kensington Palace on July 1 — which would have been her 60th birthday.
However, “tension has been brewing” between William, 39, and Harry, 36, ahead of the event. A source previously told In Touch that the estranged brothers have “agreed to put their issues [aside] in public.”
‘Behind closed doors, everyone is bracing for a showdown,” the insider continued. “[Harry and William’s] relationship has been strained for months. They’re due for a long talk to hash out their issues.”
The two commissioned the statue of Diana in 2017. The siblings also put their differences aside to attend Prince Philip’s funeral in April.
The Duke of Cambridge and his younger brother have had some issues in the past but the feud seemed to intensify after Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepped down as senior royals, took their son, Archie, and relocated to Los Angeles in 2020.
Things became more strained between Harry, William and the rest of royal family when the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, 39, sat down for a CBS tell-all interview in March and revealed their experiences within the royal family — which included claims of alleged racism and mental health struggles. The interview echoed Diana’s bombshell 1995 BBC interview with Martin Bashir where she talked about her issues with the Firm.
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