Princess Diana 20 years on: Firefighter reveals her dying words

Have your say

A FIREFIGHTER who battled to save the life of Princess Diana has revealed her final words at the crash scene 20 years ago.

Sergeant Xavier Gourmelon was in charge of a medically trained Sapeurs-Pompiers (fire service) team and said the stricken royal uttered the words ‘My God, what’s happened?’ moments before she lost consciousness in the Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997.

Princess Diana died 20 years ago today. Photo by Mario Testino

Princess Diana died 20 years ago today. Photo by Mario Testino

In his first interview since the crash, and having only spoken publicly once before - via video link during her inquest in 2007 - Mr Gourmelon described the scene and how he thought Diana would come through.

The retired firefighter said: ‘The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident.

‘The woman, who I later found out was Princess Diana, was on the floor in the back. She was moving very slightly and I could see she was alive.

‘I could see she had a slight injury to her right shoulder but, other than that, there was nothing significant. There was no blood on her at all.

William and Harry with Diana

William and Harry with Diana

‘I held her hand and told her to be calm and keep still, I said I was there to help and reassured her. She said: ‘My God, what’s happened?’”

The 50-year-old said Diana soon stopped breathing, so he gave her CPR. Diana started breathing again, but she later died in hospital.

He added: ‘As a first responder, you want to save lives – and that’s what I thought I had done.

‘To be honest, I thought she would live.

‘As far as I knew when she was in the ambulance she was alive and I expected her to live. But I found out later she had died in hospital.’