Almost 11 years after the death of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, a jury has finally reached a verdict on the cause of the automobile accident that ended both of their lives in 1997. The 11-person jury agreed that the car’s driver and the paparazzi who were chasing the vehicle – a Mercedes Benz – were at fault, much to the dismay of conspiracy theorists who believed the couple was killed by the British secret service under orders from the royal family.
According to the jury, the couple’s death was the result of the “unlawful, negligent driving of the Mercedes and the following vehicles.” The jury added that the manner and speed in which chauffer Henri Paul and the paparazzi were driving, Paul’s impairment due to drinking and that neither Diana nor Fayed were wearing seatbelts when the car struck a pillar in Paris, all contributed to the accident. Paul also died in the car wreck.
Following the crash, Dodi Fayed’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed, was heartbroken. The multimillionaire believed that the couple were victims of a plot by the British secret service and the royal family to end Diana’s life. “The verdicts have come as a blow to many millions of people around the world,” said a statement read by Mohamed Al Fayed’s spokesperson Katharine Witty. “They were taken away in the prime of their life when they were at their happiest.”
The investigation into the tragic accident lasted three-and-a-half years and cost $16 millon, according Scotland Yard’s deputy commissioner Paul Stephenson.