Diana’s bodyguard says crash ‘could have been avoided’, talks ‘glaring errors’

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Princess Diana's letters
Britain's Princess Diana holds Prince Harry during a morning picture session at Marivent Palace, where the Prince and Princess of Wales are holidaying as guests of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, in Mallorca, Spain August 9, 1988. Reuters/Hugh Peralta

Princess Diana’s bodyguard Ken Wharfe has talked about his royal experiences and the car crash that killed the royal in Paris. He believes the incident could have been avoided had he have been in charge of security.

“The two inquests that were held both concluded that Diana died in a tragic accident, which in my view could and should have been avoided,” Wharfe said on “Today” show. He added that security did not have the expertise that Scotland Yard had.

In Wharfe’s judgement, there were some “glaring errors.” He pointed out that local police weren't involved and the British embassy was not contacted.

Wharfe said a man with a “drink problem” was allowed to drive the car. “If all the seat-belts were put on, all the basic instruments of what protection is all about were just not adhered to,” he added.

The infamous crash in 1997 took away the life of the People’s Princess, alongside Dodi Fayed when their vehicle crashed in a tunnel. Since 2005, the car has been in a London police pound for tests.

Wharfe also slammed reports that the destroyed Mercedes’ owner wants to put the car in a US museum, calling the plan “distasteful.” But Jean-Francois Musa said he will take it back to Paris as a “mark of respect” to the late princess, news.com.au reports. Musa said he is the legal owner of the car, but he has not seen it for nearly 20 years.

The queen’s letter

The royal family had faced criticisms for the way Diana’s death was handled, with Queen Elizabeth II taking some of the harshest comments. The queen was in Scotland with Princes William and Harry at the time of the car crash, and she decided to stay there with Diana's two young sons rather than return to England immediately.

The decision drew negative comments from many, who felt she should have returned immediately to England upon learning of Diana’s death. Now, a newly discovered letter written to Lady Henriette Abel Smith, the queen’s close aide, explains Elizabeth’s reasoning behind her star at Scotland.

In the letter, she said she chose to stay with William and Harry as she believed it was in their best interest to distance themselves from the media at that time. The queen also described Diana’s death as “dreadfully sad” and recognised that she was a huge loss to the country. Wharfe said he feels sympathy for the queen.