The chilling analysis of a crime foretold
A new film on the death of Princess Diana has shocked many, and set many others thinking about conspiracies writes Niamh Horan
There's one thing the controversial film Unlawful Killing has going for it. And it's not the infamous photographs of Princess Diana moments from death, nor is it notoriety that film maker Keith Allen (father to singer Lily) has acquired after seeing it banned in the United Kingdom.
No. The real selling point that is going to catch you off guard -- pull you in and make you feel like you haven't blown your hard-earned cash on a production filled with Jim Corr levels of paranoia -- is, quite simply, the sheer number of cold, hard facts.
It really is quite frightening. Here's just a taster from the movie: we all know Diana wrote a letter to her butler Paul Burrell saying that her husband was planning a car "accident" for her. But did you know that letter was purposefully kept from the public by the Metropolitan Police for years following the crash?
Director Keith Allen quite rightly points out that if Diana wasn't a princess but an ordinary housewife and her second name wasn't Spencer but, let's say, Smyth, and she was killed in a car accident shortly after warning that her husband was planning one in her name -- well, then surely to God that husband would be expected to take the witness box at her inquest and answer a couple of questions? And yet Prince Charles was never asked -- and he never did.
Did you also know that an expert told the inquest that blood samples of the driver of the car on the night, Henri Paul, indicating he was drinking before the crash may have been "cooked".
As he pointed out: "The most likely explanation is that it isn't Henri Paul's blood."
And did you know that Henri Paul's bank accounts had lodgements of 40,000 francs each month in the run up to the accident from an unknown source. Showing he was being paid off by someone, but for what?
Paul is also seen on CCTV footage signalling to someone at the back of the Ritz with a quick wave, just before the group leaves to take what will be a fatal journey.
Elsewhere medical evidence presented at the inquest confirmed that if Diana had been taken promptly to hospital, she could have survived.
Instead, due to a series of delays that have never been properly explained, it took an incredible one hour and 43 minutes to get the princess to hospital just a couple of miles away, even though the roads were practically empty at that hour of night. And by that time her life was ebbing away.
Why was she not taken to hospital straight away? She remained inside the ambulance for well over an hour.
What's more -- the official inquiry has never interviewed (or even named) most of other people in the ambulance.
However, perhaps the most eyebrow raising fact, which I certainly haven't seen explored before, is that the four motorcyclists who were directly behind Diana's car when it crashed have been officially blamed by the jury at the inquiry for her 'unlawful killing'. But these individuals were never found.
Everyone assumes they were photographers -- but all 10 of the paparazzi who were there on the night were quite some distance back from the car when it crashed; they couldn't keep up with the high-powered vehicle on their mopeds, and these have all been identified.
Similarly the driver of the Fiat Uno has never been located. Although one very well known, and rich, member of the paparazzi in France owned a white Fiat Uno, it was subsequently discovered.
This man was found dead two years after Diana's death in a burned-out car that had been locked -- but the keys were nowhere to be found. A member of the emergency services who found him stated that there were two bullet holes in the man's skull. But his death was ruled as suicide.
Perhaps what has caused the most sensation is a photograph of Diana moments after the crash. But in the grand scheme of things -- it is irrelevant. A load of hot air that does nothing for the film but help it to garner publicity.
Lily Allen has been quoted in the tabloids as saying the movie will lose her father friends and make him enemies in high places. Undoubtedly, yes. But it's certainly a film that needed to be made.
However, Keith Allen was foolish to use Mohammed Al Fayed's money to fund the documentary, and would have maintained greater credibility if he had raised the financial support from elsewhere.
Do I believe the conspiracy theory that the Windsors killed Diana? No. I have a different hypothesis altogether, after being presented with the facts. I do believe there was a cover-up though; that there were murky dealings by people in high places. But it had nothing to do with the British Royal Family.
But that's for another day. For now I'll save my lawyers the headache and refrain from sharing my guess here. In the meantime -- go and see the movie-and make up your own mind. I think by the time the lights go up, your opinion of that fateful night, and how it came to pass, will have changed forever.