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Netflix Is Recreating Princess Diana’s Fatal Car Crash, and Royalists Have Many Thoughts

If you’re not into dragons and dragon-centric controversy, perhaps Netflix can interest you in some real-life drama. It has real public figures, a modern tragedy, and a car crash that’s still the subject of many controversies and conspiracy theories.
Princess Diana was killed in a 1997 crash inside a rental Mercedes-Benz S280 29 photos
The rented Mercedes S-Class after first-responders cut it to recover the injured Princess Diana. She died on the way to the hospitalPrincess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1Princess Diana's 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo S1The rented Mercedes S-Class after first-responders cut it to recover the injured Princess Diana. She died on the way to the hospital
On November 9, 2022, season 5 of Netflix’s very popular and highly controversial (*with royalists) series The Crown premieres. The new episodes will touch on more current storylines, including the tragic death of the Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, in 1997. She is portrayed by actress Elizabeth Debicki, while her estranged ex Prince Charles is played by Dominic West.

To this day, Princess Diana’s death by car accident remains one of the most touchy and painful topics with the British Royal Family, royalists, and supporters of Diana’s work. The Princess of Wales was a beloved and passionate member of the Royal Family even at the time of her death when she had been divorced from Prince Charles for a year, so by extension, she was no longer part of the Royal Family.

On August 31, 1997, while in Paris with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and chauffeured around in a rental black Mercedes-Benz S280 limousine while chased by paparazzi, tragedy struck. The car crashed against the wall in the tunnel Place de l’Alma, killing Diana, Fayed, and the driver Henry Paul. The only person inside the car to survive was Fayed’s bodyguard.

Footage and photos have emerged showing a Netflix production team recreating the car chase in the vicinity of the tunnel where the crash occurred. A replica Mercedes dolly car carrying Debicki and other actors was spotted on the streets of Paris earlier this week, prompting outrage on social media and in the British media over fears that Netflix will try to show the actual crash. You will find some of the photos and videos at the links in the tweets below.

For the sake of clarity, Netflix will not show a recreation of the actual moment of impact, and will stick instead to the events leading up to it and its aftermath. Netflix said this much earlier this month when discussing the delicacy of that part of the storyline and again in a statement this week. Not that this is helping calm down troubled waters: royalists are up in arms over the "audacity" of showing any part of that fatal night, reopening old wounds, and exploiting Diana's memory for cash.

That said, The Crown is not a documentary series, even though it is inspired by real events.

The cause of the crash was later determined to be speeding and drunk driving in the context of a high-speed paparazzi chase. Driver Paul was trying to shake off a motorcade of scooters carrying French paparazzi, hitting speeds as high as 120 mph / 193 kph before he lost control of the vehicle inside the tunnel. All three passengers who passed away were not wearing seatbelts.





Editor's note: Photos in the gallery show the real-life Princess Diana and one of her most famous cars.

 

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