The UK government has finally released a heavily redacted official log detailing the events following the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
After five months of Freedom of Information requests, the British embassy document was finally handed to the Sunday People after Home Secretary Theresa May gave her approval, the Mirror reported.
The log, which was typewritten on three pages of foolscap paper, featured 65 deletions. The list of names in the log, almost all of which have been in the public domain since Diana's death, include the Prince of Wales, Diana's sisters Sarah and Jane and France's then President Jacques Chirac.
Officials said the redactions were necessary to ensure the privacy of the individuals mentioned in the document, but are likely to fuel widespread speculation that the authorities are attempting to prevent the real truth surrounding Diana's death from emerging.
A six-month inquest into the car crash that killed Diana ruled that she was unlawfully killed due to the gross negligence of chauffeur Henri Paul, who had been speeding away from pursuing paparazzi after leaving the Ritz Hotel in Paris.
However, Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi also died in the crash, has always maintained that the deaths were engineered by members of the royal family and agents of the British state because they wanted to prevent Diana from marrying a Muslim.
"This is not an accident," he said in the early hours of 31 August 1997, when he learned of the deaths. "It is a plot, an assassination."
In 2008, an inquest into Diana's death was told that MI5 and MI6 agents had been operating at the British embassy in Paris when Diana died in the car crash.
Paul, who had been drunk, died with Dodi at the scene after the car hit a pillar in a tunnel after travelling at more than 100mph. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones suffered multiple injuries but survived. Diana's funeral was held five days later at Westminster Abbey and watched on television by 2.5bn people across the globe.
The following details were included in the embassy log for 31 August 1997. The names in brackets were removed by civil servants, even though they are matters of public record:
(George Younes) duty security officer at our embassy in Paris, takes a call from the Elysée Palace – home of the French President – telling him Princess Diana has been involved in a car crash in a tunnel near the Pont d'Alma and is now at the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital. (Dodi Al Fayed) and the chauffeur (Henri Paul) are dead.
The news is "immediately relayed" to embassy duty officer (Keith Shannon) who in turn tells the Consul-General (Keith Moss). CG rings the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) who alert the Queen. She is at Balmoral with Di's sons William, 15, and Harry, 12. UK ambassador Sir Michael Jay is woken and informed.
CG is met at the hospital by French interior minister (Jean-Pierre Chevènement) and Paris police chief (Philippe Massoni).
Sir Michael gets to the hospital and find "a large police presence...
"Much of the emergency block had been emptied of other patients in order to maintain a high level of surveillance."
In intensive care, doctors are still frantically trying to save Diana's life.
CG briefs the Foreign Office and calls the press chief who is in the Philippines with Foreign Secretary (Robin Cook).
"The hospital set up briefing and incident rooms for use by embassy staff... The next couple of hours were taken up with a flurry of telephone calls to and from Balmoral, No10, the FCO, the Foreign Secretary's party in Manila." Throughout the day embassy workers "fielded a stream of calls from members of the public anxious for information".
Diana's life support machine is switched off.
An unnamed doctor "took the Ambassador to one side to break the news that the princess had passed away. The doctors had tried everything to save her life. Her injuries were, however, so severe there was nothing more that could be done."
Balmoral, No10, the FCO, the Foreign Secretary and others are quickly told.
Hospital hosts a news conference where "there were just a couple of relatively unimportant questions... Corridors were cleared while the princess' body was transferred from the resuscitation area to a private room.
"This was permanently guarded by teams of men and women police officers.
"The CG asked that curtains be put up – to prevent long-distance photography from neighbouring rooftops. There then followed a lengthy period of telephone calls between the hospital, the embassy, Balmoral, No10, the Elysée etc.
"In addition plans were made to enable the (President, Jacques Chirac) and (PM Lionel Jospin) to pay their respects."
It emerged Diana's "bodyguard (Trevor Rees-Jones) had been admitted to the same hospital. The CG spoke to (his) family in the UK".
(President Chirac's wife Bernardette) "paid (her) respects".
Sir Michael meets (Chirac) when he arrives at the hospital. "Balmoral were reassured that these visits were conducted with the utmost discretion. At the request of the Royal Family the embassy arranged for a wreath of lilies to be sent to the hospital."
Diana's butler (Paul Burrell) and another member of Princess Diana's household "had been asked to go to the Ritz to collect her personal belongings – especially, if possible, a dress which could be used for the preparation of her body." But they were told all her stuff had been packed up and returned to the UK.
"(Ambassador's wife Sylvia Jay) kindly provided one of (her) own dresses and shoes.
"Meanwhile, intensive exchanges were taking place on arrangements for the visit of (Prince Charles) and the repatriation of the body etc."
The minister of health (Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of the Medicins Sans Frontières charity), visited. Visibly upset (he knew the princess well) he paid his respects. CG cleared this in advance with Sir M Jay.
The Chief of Protocol at the French Foreign Ministry calls an urgent meeting of hospital, police, public security and embassy officials. "Co-operation, particularly from the Elysée and Protocol, was excellent."
(Prince Charles) arrives at the hospital with (Di's sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes) and are given a guard of honour on the steps.
(The royal party), "clearly very upset, were then introduced to the hospital staff. They made a point of talking to the junior staff – nurses, admin assistants etc – and circulated among them for more than 40 minutes."
"(Charles, Sarah and Jane) spent a few private minutes with the princess."
The cortege leaves with police motorbike outriders for Villacoublay airport.
After arriving at the military airfield on the edge of Paris "the coffin was taken from the hearse by Royal Air Force bearer party and was marched to the aircraft in the presence of (Prince Charles)... and a small party of other dignitaries."
The royal party boarded the aircraft and headed home.
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