Princess Diana's former bodyguard believes he could have saved her from fatal crash

Princess Diana smiling
Princess Diana's former bodyguard says he would have saved her. Photo credit: Getty Images

One of Princess Diana's former bodyguards says she would be still alive today if he'd been in the car with her on the night it crashed in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997.

Lee Sansum, who was nicknamed Rambo by Diana, told The Sun that security guards drew straws to be in the car with Diana, and he lost.

"We drew straws to see who would be accompanying Trevor [Rees-Jones, another of Diana's bodyguards who was in the car with her when she died] that weekend. I pulled a match and it was a long one," Sansum told the outlet.

"When I learned they were not wearing seatbelts in the crash I understood why they didn't survive. That shouldn't have happened.

"It was standard practice for the family to wear seatbelts. It was an order sent down from the boss, Dodi's dad Mohamed Fayed. Dodi, in particular, hated wearing seatbelts and I always insisted on it."

Dodi Fayed, an Egyptian film producer and the son of billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed, was the romantic partner of Diana and was in the car with her on the night of the crash. He also died. 

Promoting his new book The Bodyguard: Real Stories of Close Protection from Tom Cruise to Princess Diana, Sansum also revealed Diana had been worried she'd be assassinated after hearing of the murder of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace in July that year.

"She confided in me her own fears that she might one day be assassinated," Sansum said.

"She asked if I thought his murder outside his home was a professional killing.

"I thought it was. Then she said something that always stayed with me - 'Do you think they'll do that to me?' She was shaking and it was clear from her tone that she really thought that they might, whoever 'they' might be.

"I spent some time reassuring her that no one was going to try to kill her and she was safe with us, but she definitely thought there was a risk that one day she might be assassinated."

Sansum also said he didn't believe the Princess was murdered in Paris.

"I believe that security officers following Diana, possibly British or a combined British–French team, may have either inadvertently caused the crash or were in proximity to the car when it happened.

"If it was known that MI6 operatives were right by the Mercedes at the critical moment, a lot of people would have blamed them for it, and that would have been a huge scandal."