THE DEATH OF DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
(August 31, 1997 — Paris, France)
& Henri Paul
(Diana’s Bodyguard & Driver)
The Official Story
(British Bodyguard of Princess Diana)
Trevor Rees-Jones (also known as Trevor Rees; born 3 March 1968) is a British bodyguard who was the sole survivor of the car crash in Paris that killed Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. Because he suffered a serious head injury, he does not recall any details from the crash.
Some media reports claimed he was wearing a seat belt and survived, but investigations revealed that none of the occupants of the car were wearing their seat belts.
Car crash, injuries and aftermath
On 31 August 1997, Rees-Jones was seriously injured in the crash that resulted in the death of Princess Diana. The Princess’s boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the car, Henri Paul (aged 41), were pronounced dead at the scene; Rees-Jones was the only survivor.
Hospital care costs were paid by Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Rees-Jones’s employer at the time of the crash, and the rest by the British National Health Service (NHS). At first, it was widely rumoured that Rees-Jones had lost his tongue in the crash, but this was not the case. He underwent a 10-hour operation to restore his jaw to a normal condition.
After spending a month in hospital, he returned to the United Kingdom on 3 October 1997. At the time, he was able to communicate only by whispering and writing down answers. He resigned from his job as a bodyguard on 19 May 1998. Al-Fayed was reported as saying that his job would be available if he wished to return.
Recovery and later life
Following recovery from his injuries, he moved to north Shropshire and for some time worked in a small family-run sportswear shop in Oswestry. He remarried on 15 February 2003, to Ann Scott, a teacher at Belvidere School, Shrewsbury. The ceremony took place in Welshpool, Wales.
He wrote a book, published in 2000 and titled The Bodyguard’s Story: Diana, the Crash, and the Sole Survivor (ISBN 0-446-61004-6), about his experiences, with the help of ghostwriter Moira Johnston. The book reconstructed the events from Rees-Jones’s partial memories and those of his family and friends. He decided to write the book because many bizarre stories had circulated about the crash and because his former employer, Al-Fayed, had accused him of not doing his job properly.