Princess Diana’s death was an event that impacted people worldwide. Like major historical events such as JFK’s assassination or 9/11, many people specifically remember what they were doing when they learned of Princess Diana’s death. Initially, the car accident that killed Diana was ruled an accident. However, years after her death, a note written by Diana surfaced that suggested Prince Charles might have been planning her demise.
A suspicious note
In 2005, nearly a decade after Princess Diana’s untimely death, Prince Charles was questioned about the death of his ex-wife. This question was part of the British Metropolitan Police’s ‘Operation Paget,’ which was set up in 2004 to investigate conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana’s death.
The mysterious note, allegedly written in 1995 by Princess Diana, reads: “My husband is planning an accident in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for him to marry Tiggy. Camilla is nothing but a decoy, so we are all being used by the man in every sense of the word.”
Tiggy Legge-Bourke was a former nanny to Prince William and Prince Harry and was a personal assistant to Prince Charles until 1999.
Prince Charles cooperates with the authorities
During the Operation Paget investigation, John Stevens was the head of Scotland Yard. He recently sat down with UK’s Daily Mail to discuss questioning Prince Charles about playing a role in Diana’s death.
Stevens told the Daily Mail that he read Prince Charles the note Diana had written in 1995. Prince Charles could not explain why Diana had written that note in October 1995. The letter was later left in the pantry of Kensington Palace for her butler Paul Burrell.
Stevens reportedly asked Prince Charles, “Why do you think the princess wrote this note, sir?” Prince Charles then responded by saying, “I did not know anything about [the note] until it was published in the media.” Stevens then asked, “You didn’t discuss this note with her, sir?” To which Prince Charles replied, “No, I didn’t know it existed.” Princess Diana’s 1995 note was first published in the British press in 2003, which fueled conspiracies that the royal family had something to do with Princess Diana’s death.
Although Prince Charles was questioned about this seemingly incriminating note, there was no other evidence that supported Prince Charles or any other member of the royal family having anything to do with Princess Diana’s death. According to Stevens, the note “in itself was not enough to make Charles a formal suspect.”
Stevens added that “at the end of the day, he [Prince Charles] was incredibly cooperative because he had nothing to hide.”
Did this note have something to do with Diana’s controversial 1995 interview?
In 1995, Princess Diana sat down with journalist Martin Bashir to deliver a groundbreaking, tell-all interview. In this interview, Diana admitted to having an affair, struggling with bulimia and self-harm, and confirmed Prince Charles’s affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. More than 20 million people watched this interview.
Questions quickly arose about how this interview was secured shortly after it aired in 1995. In May 2021, The Lord Dyson Report confirmed that journalist Martin Bashir used unethical ways to secure his interview with Princess Diana.
Martin Bashir commissioned a graphic designer working for the BBC to draw phony bank transactions. These fake bank transactions showed payments from News International into the account of Alan Waller. Alan Waller was a former security guard for Earl Spencer. Earl Spencer was already nervous that Waller was selling his secrets to the press. Thus, Bashir played on these fears and used the fake bank transactions to use Earl Spencer to get closer to Princess Diana. Princess Diana first met Martin Bashir with her brother, Earl Spencer, in September 1995.
The English police never thought to investigate Martin Bashir during ‘Operation Paget’ because Bashir’s unethical actions didn’t come to light until 2021. Stevens said to the Daily Mail: “If there’d been an allegation then that Bashir had produced allegedly fake documents to Princess Diana, which is a criminal offense, we’d have investigated it. My goodness, we would have.”
Stevens added, “We don’t know what Bashir was saying to Diana. But if he had put the fears in her mind which caused her to write that note then that is what caused us to interview Charles. When we watched the Panorama interview at the start of the inquiry it didn’t cross our mind that Bashir could have done anything fraudulent. After all, this was the BBC, this was their flagship programme and it was being broadcasted to the world.” However, Stevens did add that “What we didn’t know, of course, was how Bashir had managed to get it.”
Stevens told the Daily Mail that Operation Paget could never find a critical incident or event that led to Princess Diana being so paranoid in the fall of 1995. They believed it was something she had imagined during a dark period. After learning about Bashier’s actions to secure his interview with Princess Diana, John Stevens wonders if Bashir had planted this paranoia in her head. “We found no evidence to support her fears in the note. But maybe her fears were simply [based on] what Bashir had told her?”
Tragically, the fears expressed in Diana’s note came to pass on August 31, 1997, when she was killed in a car accident in Paris. This note has been filed at the National Archives in Kew and will not be made public until 2038.