Princess Di's Death: Still an Accident

A British investigation into the deaths of Princess Diana, Ehmad "Dodi'' Al Fayed and their driver will reportedly concur with the results of a 1999 French probe that the crash was an accident caused by excessive speed and the intoxication of the driver Henri Paul.

The report is planned for release Thursday morning at 7 a.m., ET.

A series of intriguing but mostly explainable questions have swirled around the1997 crash for years and fueled suspicions that the internationally adored princess and her Egyptian boyfriend were murdered.

Still, the results of the investigation may never satisfy some, including Fayed's vocal father Mohammed and stalwart fans of the photogenic blonde icon.

"Whatever they say, some people will still be convinced she was murdered," Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, told ABC News' Law & Justice Unit.

The investigation's presumed results are being met in England with a mixture of anticipation and weariness, Seward said.

"It's a big story here," she said. "It's just that we think we know the answers and that there won't be anything of great surprise in the report.

"There's going to be no personal stuff," Seward said wryly. "Which is what we all want to know."

Media Queen

The report comes amidst a minor media renaissance surrounding Diana and the ever-embattled royal family.

"The Queen," a Hollywood movie about the royals' muted, baffled response to the princess's death has generated Oscar buzz. On Tuesday, Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Henry, announced plans to hold a Live Aid-type concert this summer at Wembley Stadium to commemorate what would have been their mother's 46th birthday.

Also, a public inquest will be held in England next month to determine the cause of Diana's death.

Earlier this week reports surfaced in the Fleet Street press that an unnamed U.S. government agency had been eavesdropping on Diana's phone the day she died -- a claim that's been denied by the U.S. National Security Agency.

And Paul Burrell -- Diana's garrulous personal butler -- resurfaced this fall to resume his years-long waltz with the press with a new book about Diana's previously unreported private thoughts, feelings and letters.

It was Burrell's 2002 revelation of an apparently discounted note Diana wrote to him in 1996 that sparked the latest investigation.

"My husband is planning an 'accident' in my car, brake failure and serious head injury to make clear the path for him to marry,'" the note said.

Lead investigator Lord John Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner, has said he is investigating the note's claim, but it is not believed that he has uncovered any evidence to support it, according to press reports.


An 18-month French investigation found that Paul lost control of the car as he was speeding through a Paris tunnel in an attempt to outrun paparazzi photographers on motorcycles. He slammed into a concrete pillar, killing Fayed, the princess and himself. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived.

Mohammed Al Fayed, who has argued tirelessly that his son and the princess were murdered, hired his own investigators and launched a probe into the crash seven years ago.

Many of the alarming conspiracy theories about the crash first surfaced in the Daily Express newspapers in England, which are owned by Richard Desmond, reportedly a friend of Fayed.

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