Princess Diana was "a little agitated" and felt "trapped" the night before she died
The late princess called friends on her mobile phone from Paris on the evening of 30 August 1997 - hours before her death alongside boyfriend Dodi Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul in a car crash - and she admitted to journalist Richard Kay she was anxious to get back to her sons, Princes William and Harry, in London as she was tired of the constant "circus" of being followed by photographers desperate to capture footage of her on holiday with her partner
23 June 2021
Richard - who met Diana in 1991 - recalled to the Daily Mail newspaper of their conversation: "She was a little agitated. Her plans had gone awry. She was anxious to get home to see her boys and there had been those scenes in the afternoon with the paparazzi racing after them when they'd arrived in Paris.
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"I think she was beginning to find the whole circus with Dodi a little tiresome. Not Dodi himself. But the whole fascination with her [private life] throughout the summer was beginning to get on her nerves.
"She felt very trapped by the photographers always being there, and even Dodi Fayed — with access to his father's great fortune and all the 'toys', as Diana put it, like the private jets, boats, chauffeur-driven cars — couldn't help her escape that sense of being hunted."
According to Richard, Diana also had concerns that the security team used by Dodi and his wealthy family was very different to that she'd had protecting her during her marriage to Prince Charles.
He added: "'And the security around the Fayeds was very different from the kind of security she was used to around the Royal Family, which was, I would say, much more professional."
Despite her closeness to Dodi, Diana had been quick to reassure Richard and other friends she had no interest in rushing to get married again.
He said: "She asked me about Dodi and why the Press was focusing so much on his background and previous romantic entanglements. I told her that it was entirely normal and to be expected, whether he was a dustman or the son of the owner of Harrods.
"There is no doubt that her relationship with Dodi was fast-moving and could have gone somewhere, but in those last weeks of August she had made the point to me repeatedly, when there was speculation about her relationship with him, that 'I haven't got out of one marriage to jump into another'.
"I wasn't the only person she told, 'Look, if I get a ring, it won't be on this finger' — indicating her wedding ring finger.
"Her last words to me were something like, 'You've been working hard. Get a good night's sleep, unplug your phone. I'll speak to you tomorrow and we'll meet on Monday.' "