Princess Diana in the back seat of a car
Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
December 6, 2023 ·  4 min read

Princess Diana Feared Prince Charles Was Planning a Car ‘Accident’ Months Before the Crash, Ex-butler Says

Many strange and unsettling conspiracy theories surround Princess Diana’s death in 1997. While some conspiracies claim her death was no accident, only one alleges that Diana caught wind of the oncoming fatal accident. Former royal butler Paul Burrell claimed that Princess Diana gave him an alarming note. In it, she wrote that Prince Charles was planning “an accident in [her] car” that would cause “brake failure” and a “serious head injury“. Burrell said the princess gave him the handwritten letter 10 months before her death; at the time, she feared for her safety.

My husband is planning ‘an accident’ in my car

A segment of the note read:

“I am sitting here at my desk today in October, longing for someone to hug me and encourage me to keep strong and hold my head high. This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous — 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 Prince Williams and Prince Harry’s nanny.

In his book, A Royal Duty, Burrell claimed Diana gave him the letter as insurance two months after her divorce from Prince Charles. She said she was going to date it and give it to him for safekeeping, “just in case”. This letter sparked controversy in 2007 during the inquest into her death. [1] At first, the names Prince Charles and Tiggy Legge-Bourke were redacted in the book, but in 2007, their names came to light. [2]

At the time, Diana was traveling with Dodi Al Fayed in the backseat of a Mercedes, which crashed in Paris’s Pont de l’Alma underpass. Fayed and the chauffeur, Henri Paul, perished at the scene. Diana and Fayed’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, were critically injured and escorted to the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital. She suffered from a heart attack at the scene and later died at the hospital. Rees-Jones was the only one who survived the accident.

In 1999, a French inquest concluded the chauffeur had consumed drugs and alcohol and drove too quickly, causing the crash. However, this series of accusations of Prince Charles’s involvement in the collision arose at the 2007 inquest at London’s High Court.

I don’t believe she was fearing for her life

However, one of the princess’s closest friends, Lucia Flecha da Lima, did not believe the letter was genuine. At the inquest, she said, “I still don’t believe in it. Paul Burrell was perfectly capable of imitating Princess Diana’s handwriting. I don’t believe she was fearing for her life, especially from Prince Charles, the future king of your country.” 

Even Burrell didn’t believe Charles’ alleged involvement. “I could not possibly see the father of her children murdering her,” he said. “…Knowing the members of the Royal Family as I do, and knowing them so well, I think that’s impossible.”

The inquest concluded in April 2008, ruling the cause of death as gross negligence by the chauffeur and by the paparazzi who chased the car down. It added that Diana was not wearing a seat belt. [3]

The Police Question Prince Charles

However, a new report stated that back in 2005, police officers from the United Kingdom had questioned Prince Charles about Princess Diana’s death. This questioning was part of Operation Paget, an investigation into the many conspiracy theories that rose about her death. In 2003, Prince Charles was interviewed as a witness when the defamatory note became public.

“Yes, allegations had been made about the Prince of Wales and other royals but we had to find or examine the [existing] evidence before we approached him with formal questions,” said former head of Scotland Yard John Stevens. “We found no other evidence to support the scenario suggested in Diana’s note.

We were left with the note, which in itself was not enough to make Charles a formal suspect,” he continued. “If he chose to assist [Operation] Paget, he would be doing so voluntarily as a potential witness. We would not be interviewing him under caution.”

At the time, Stevens reportedly read the note to Charles. Then he asked, “Why do you think the princess wrote this note, sir?” The prince responded, “I did not know anything about [the note] until it was published in the media.” He claimed he had no idea the note even existed. When questioned, “Do you know why the princess had these feelings, sir?” Charles said, “No, I don’t.” Afterward, Stevens called him “cooperative” because “he had nothing to hide.” [4]

Keep Reading: ‘Meghan won’t be back. She disliked England’ – ex-Vanity Fair editor


  1. “Princess Diana letter claims Prince Charles was ‘planning an accident’ in her car. Months before she died in a crash.” Mirror. Robyn Darbyshire. August 30, 2018.
  2. “Did Princess Diana predict her own death months before the fatal Paris crash?Daily Mail. August 19, 2019.
  3. “Princess Diana letter claims Prince Charles was ‘planning an accident’ in her car just 10 months before fatal crash.Independent. Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith. August 30, 2018.
  4. “Prince Charles Was Secretly Questioned over Princess Diana’s Scared Note: ‘My Husband Is Planning an Accident’.” People. Stephanie Petit. June 21, 2021.