It’s been 20 years since Princess Diana died at age 36 in a 1997 car crash in Paris — and her former bodyguard is still reflecting on what went wrong that fatal night.
Ken Wharfe was the late British royal’s personal protection officer from 1987 until 1993.
“The biggest flaw was not reaching out for assistance,” the 68-year-old told Australia’s Now to Love Wednesday. “You can never go it alone on these things and with an operation like this in a foreign city, protecting the most famous person in the world at that time [you need back-up].”
Wharfe stressed Diana didn’t have enough people watching over her like she once when she was still married to Prince Charles. Wharfe insisted Diana’s security team used to “spend hours preparing the exact execution of her outings,” leaving no room for error.
“The local police were not engaged, the British embassy was not engaged, you had a chauffeur who was not a chauffeur, he was a security adviser within the Ritz hotel and an alcoholic,” he claimed. “There was no proper liaison with Diana and [boyfriend] Dodi Fayed about how they were going to plan this departure. Going out of the rear entrance trying to escape the paparazzi, no one had talked to the press. There was no suggestion of actually setting up a photo opportunity [for the press pack] and looking for a police escort.
“All these basic things that we did on a daily basis over a number a years are proven and a well-tried system of protection that never failed. And yet none of these things were done!”
Wharfe stressed that if Scotland Yard was involved in Diana’s outing, they wouldn’t have allowed Henri Paul to drive the car and attempt to escape paparazzi on his own. He also believed setting up a photo opportunity would have given paparazzi the photos they desired that evening, and a police escort would have ensured Diana’s safety.
Fayed and Paul also perished that night.
Despite the numerous flaws, Wharfe wasn’t completely surprised that Diana died in a car crash.
“When we used to travel down to Highgrove most Fridays on a motorway… there wasn’t a weekend that went by that we didn’t see an accident and she’d say, ‘Oh God, one of these days that’s going to happen to me,’” he claimed. “It’s quite spooky that she said that.”
Diana’s biographer Andrew Morton previously told Fox News that while there have been numerous conspiracy theories surrounding Diana’s sudden death, the explanation for her tragic demise is a simple one.
“Well, I think the paparazzi followed her all of her adult life, so they contributed to her death,” he said. “[But] it wasn’t their fault. It was the fact that she was being driven too fast… by a man who was found with drugs and [alcohol]. It’s the banality of her death which I think most people can’t come to terms with.”