Princess Diana's final words as she lay dying in a car wreck? Yes, if you believe bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, the lone survivor of the fatal crash.
For the first time in six months, Rees-Jones says he can recall details--"flashes" is how he terms it--of the August 31 accident that killed Diana, Dodi Fayed and their chauffeur, Henri Paul.
In an interview with London's Mirror newspaper, the bodyguard claims: Diana cried out for her dead lover. "I have had flashes of a female voice calling out in the back of the car. First, it's a groan. Then Dodi's name is called...It could only have been Princess Diana. I was conscious, and so was she," Rees-Jones says.
Driver Paul--whose blood-alcohol content was way over the legal limit--appeared to be sober. I know exactly what happened because I was there. I can state quite categorically that he was not a hopeless drunk as some have tried to suggest...If he had shown any signs of being drunk, I would never have let him near our car."
Two cars and a motorbike were chasing Diana's Mercedes as it entered the tunnel--one of the cars was a white hatchback, perhaps the mysterious Fiat that some allege was the cause of the crash. Also, it was Diana who ordered Paul to speed up to avoid the pursuing paparazzi, Rees-Jones says.
Then again, nobody's taking the bodyguard's words as gospel, at least not yet. Rees-Jones was seriously injured in the wreck--during his convalescence he couldn't remember any particulars of the wreck. Now, six months after the fact, many are wondering if his story's believable.
Especially with Dodi Fayed's father, Harrods owner Mohamed al Fayed, not only employing the bodyguard but also footing Rees-Jones' medical bills and arranging the newspaper interview.
Al Fayed told the Mirror last month that he was "99.9 percent certain" the crash was part of a racist conspiracy (i.e., certain people would rather have Dodi and Diana dead than happily together) and that the couple were engaged. He also produced what he claimed were Di's "last words."
However, the French doctor who treated Diana said she had been semiconscious and muttering, and did not say "anything precise." Meanwhile, the British royals and Diana's family have been skeptical of claims that she was aware of the crash, and have criticized al Fayed's conspiracy theory.
Also on Monday, Diana's will was made public. The ex-royal left an estate worth $35.6 million. The bulk of the $21 million remaining after taxes will go to her two sons, Princes William, 15, and Harry, 13. The money will be held in a trust fund until the boys turn 25.
And, in an unrelated incident Monday, Mohamed al Fayed was questioned by police on charges of theft and criminal damages. Broadcast reports say the interrogation was based on allegations made by a longtime business rival who accuses al Fayed of tampering with jewel-filled safe-deposit boxes at Harrods.