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06th Jan 2023

Prince Harry reveals he asked a driver to replicate the route Diana took before her death

Ellen Fitzpatrick

So tough.

Prince Harry has revealed that he once asked a driver to bring him on the exact route his late mum Princess Diana took the night she died.

While he was in Paris in 2007 for the Rugby World Cup semi-final, the then 23 year old Harry asked to be driven through the Pont de l’Alma tunnel at the same speed as the car that Diana and Dodi Fayed were travelling in before its fatal crash in August 1997.

After travelling the route with a private driver, Harry wrote in his new memoir Spare that there was “no reason anyone should ever die inside” the tunnel, but noted that the drive was “a very bad idea”.

According to People magazine, he writes: “Off we went, weaving through traffic, cruising past the Ritz, where Mummy had her last meal, with her boyfriend, that August night. Then we came to the mouth of the tunnel. We zipped ahead, went over the lip at the tunnel’s entrance, the bump that supposedly sent Mummy’s Mercedes veering off course.

“But the lip was nothing. We barely felt it.

princess diana

“As the car entered the tunnel I leaned forward, watched the light change to a kind of water orange, watched the concrete pillars flicker past. I counted them, counted my heartbeats, and in a few seconds we emerged from the other side.

“I sat back. Quietly I said: Is that all of it? It’s… nothing. Just a straight tunnel.

“I’d always imagined the tunnel as some treacherous passageway, inherently dangerous, but it was just a short, simple, no-frills tunnel. No reason anyone should ever die inside it.”

After an inquest into the Princess of Wales’ death, it was found that the car was travelling at between 60mph and 65mph, twice the speed limit on the road, and struck the 13th pillar of the westbound carriageway in the underpass.

Harry admitted in his book that he believed the drive would “bring an end, or brief cessation” to a “decade of unrelenting pain”.

He adds: “It had been a very bad idea. I’d had plenty of bad ideas in my 23 years, but this one was uniquely ill-conceived.

“I’d told myself that I wanted closure, but I didn’t really.”

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