Princess Diana Shouldn't Have Been in Paris On the Night She Died

Thinking back on Princess Diana’s shocking death is difficult even now more than two decades later. It’s not just that her death was tragic and senseless — though it was both of those things for certain. One of the most frustrating things about that fateful night in August 1997 is that everything that happened was so avoidable.

And it goes beyond just the paparazzi chasing her and the driver of the car reaching a reckless speed in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel. On the night of Princess Diana’s death, every detail combined to create a perfect storm that ended with the world losing a beloved soul. The worst part of it all? Princess Diana shouldn’t have even been in Paris in the first place.

Diana was lonely and adrift

Though she had recently begun dating Egyptianbillionaire heir Dodi Fayed, Princess Diana was a bit lonely and depressed in1997, just one year afterher divorce to Prince Charles was finalized. In a Juneinterview with journalist Tina Brown, the Princess of Wales admitted that shedoubted she’d ever marry again.

“Who would take me on?” Princess Diana said whenasked that question. “I have so much baggage. Anyone who takes me out to dinnerhas to accept the fact that their business will be raked over in the papers.Photographers will go through their dustbins. I think I am safer alone.” 

Princess Diana should never have been in Paris inAugust

Even though she was no longer an official part of the royal family, Princess Diana was still a socialite, a famous person who was perhaps even more pursued after her divorce than she was before it. That’s what makes it so perplexing that she was hanging out in Paris in late August.

As Brown recounts, “When the news came of herdeath, my first thoughts were of place and time—of the wrongness of any royalprincess, even a divorced one, contriving to be in that place at that time. Inlate summer, the Paris of the rich and the titled simply closes down. Thecity’s grandees retreat north to cool woodlands or south to sunny coasts.”

She may have been trying to avoid her biggestcritics

It all makes sense that Princess Diana mightavoid the places where former friends were hanging out, however. Maybe sheintentionally chose Paris in August as the last place in the world where peoplewould think to look for her.

“The fact that she was there [in Paris] at all wasdiscordant, a poignant symbol of a season of panic and flight,” Brown concluded.

Of course, Diana couldn’t have known that her decision would ultimately end her life. Or that the paparazzi would hunt her down even in a place she shouldn’t be in.

We can speculate forever on how each decisionchanged the course of history. But now that it’s over, the only thing we can dois continue to celebrate Princess Diana’s legacy forever.

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