Well done to the BPPA, NUJ and the CIJ for having battled with the Metropolitan Police to get the new guidelines adopted, ensuring that the Met Police deal appropriately with Press Photographers covering events in the London area.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good (or even crappy) conspiracy theory. I was chatting to someone the other night, who despite any reasoned discussion or conversation was absolutely determined that Princess Diana was murdered by the Royal Family.
The car that crashed was a left-hand drive black Mercedes S280. It was driven by Henri Paul. The front-seat passenger was bodyguard Trevor Rhys Jones. Dodi Fayed was seated behind Henri Paul, with Princess Diana behind Trevor Rhys Jones. According to reports at the time the only person wearing a seat belt was Trevor Rhys Jones, who was the sole survivor of the fatal accident.
The Facts that are known are:
12.25 30th August 1997 Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed entered the l’Alma Underpass in the Bulletproof and Armoured Mercedes at speed. At the entrance of the underpass, the car lost control, swerved across the road and struck, head-on, the thirteenth pillar. It is true to say that the Mercedes is not the best handling limousine in the world, especially with the extra weight of the armour and bullet-proofing, and being piloted at speed by a drunk driver there was only one way the evening was going to end. Henri-Paul was found to be 3 times the French legal limit, and twice the British limit.
The nine French press photographers that were following the Mercedes on motorcycles may have behaved immorally, and certainly didn’t cover the news media in glory when they continued to take photographs of the inside of the Mercedes, however, if they had been following Diana in the aggressive manner that had been reported, then you can guaranty that one if not more, would have also been caught up in the accident as well.
Diana was immensely skilled at avoiding the press-photographers and reporters that dogged her every move, if she didn’t want to be photographed, she knew how to avoid it, it doesn’t take a great deal of Money, just a little commonsense, however having money makes it an awful lot easier. There were numerous occasions that she thwarted photographers and reporters by leaving Kensington Palace hidden in the boot of a limo, or using decoy vehicles to get away to her various assignations.
As the casualties lay seriously injured or dead in their wrecked car, the photographers took pictures. The critically injured Diana was reported to be unconscious and was treated by a doctor who happened to be in the area at the time and an off-duty fireman.
Dodi Fayed and Henri Paul were both declared dead at the scene of the crash. Trevor Rees-Jones was still conscious and had suffered serious multiple injuries to the face.
Operation Paget technical examination confirmed that none of the occupants rear of the car were wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision. Many have speculated that if Diana had worn a seat belt, her injuries would have been less severe.
Diana was trapped in the wreckage for nearly an hour but the roof was cut off the car and she was eventually freed, alive, from the wreckage, and after some delay due to attempts to stabilize her at the scene, she was taken by ambulance to Pitie-Salpire Hospital, arriving there shortly after 2:00 a.m
Despite attempts to save her, her internal injuries were too extensive: her heart had been displaced from the left to the right side of the chest, which tore the pulmonary vein and the pericardium. Despite surgery, the damage was not reparable.
Two hours later, at 4:00 that morning, the doctors pronounced her dead. At 5:30, her death was announced at a press conference held by a hospital doctor, Jean-Pierre Chevenement (France’s Interior Minister), and Sir Michael Jay (Britain’s ambassador to France)
Later that morning, Chevenement, together with Lionel Jospin, the French Prime Minister, Bernadette Chirac, the wife of the French President Jacques Chirac, and Bernard Kouchner, French Health Minister, visited the hospital room where Diana’s body lay and paid their last respects. After their visits, the Anglican Archdeacon of France, Father Martin Draper, said commendatory prayers from the Book of Common Prayer At around 2:00 p.m. the Prince of Wales and Diana’s two sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, arrived in Paris; they left with her body ninety minutes later.
There was a programme on channel 4 last night that attempted to clear another conspiracy theory, that Diana was killed by the paparazzi photographers that were following her car. It raised a few points that were valid, and some that were glossed over. The Press Photographers that were following having been exonerated by the French judiciary have also been cleared by the Producers of the Channel 4 “Witnesses in the Tunnel”. The first photographer to arrive on the scene was witnessed by two bystanders, including a doctor some 30 seconds after the accident. At the speed that the Mercedes was travelling 30 seconds means that he was many hundreds of yards behind the vehicle.
Even the doctor who was working on Diana in the car, said that the photographers did not obstruct emergency services, and even using flashguns it did not effect the assistance he was giving. There were also only 80 photographs taken in the tunnel that night by photographers, that is an average of about 8 or 9 each. Hardly excessive, if anything a little heartless One of the facts that was missed was the White Fiat that was allegedly struck by the Merc, and left fragments of it’s tail lights in the tunnel. I put it to you that it is a complete red herring, if a Fiat, any Fiat, had been hit by a Merc wing mirror travelling at 80mph,it would have caused a lot more damage than a smashed rear lens, it would have also damaged the rear three quarter panel and would have left paint scrapes on the mirror also.
Even Al-Fayed has decided that the media were not responsible for the death of Diana; mind you he seems to blame everyone. He has spent 8 years battling the French judiciary, and lost, now there will be an inquiry in the UK, which will hopefully de-mystify events and prove once and for all that Henri-Paul was responsible, which by extension means Al-Fayed will have to take some responsibility.
The Pap’s that were working that night were cleared of involvement, and so the continued abuse and criticism of the press photographers should be stopped. I am fundamentally pissed off with Joe Public accusing me of being responsible for the Death of Diana, especially as at the time I was burying a relative in Northern Ireland.
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Surely only in the US could you suffer god knows how many of these mass killings, and still fail to do anything about gun controls. Admittedly our government did the usual knee jerk reactions after Hungerford and Dunblaine, forcing legitimate gun owners to give up their firearms, including the Great Britain Shooting team, forcing them to go abroad to practice. This banning of legal firearms, which has been shown to be completely ineffective as “Gun Crimes” are not carried out with legally owned firearms and the effect of banning all legal firearms has had no effect on the numbers of illegal firearms in this country. Actually now I think of it, what is going to happen in the 2012 Olympics, will we be allowing the competitors to take part in the UK or will the shooting events have to take place in France?
Once again congratulations to all of the press photographers that won awards and commendations at the Press Photographers Year. There are some cracking images amongst the entries. The results of
How bloody spooky is this, the “face of Newsfast UK” now I know I have taken the piss out of the carrot crunchers and yokels of East Anglia before, occasionally, now however their own media seems to be in on the act. To see the love child of Max Headroom and Max Wall
OK so big deal, HRH William and Kate Middleton have split up! But for cryin’ out loud, Sky News this morning have relentlessly, and I mean relentlessly been harping on about it. The main angle they have been playing is “the increased speculation” behind why they may have split. This is absolute garbage, the only ones that are speculating about it are the media themselves, I am not speculating, my wife is not speculating, none of my friends are speculating.