In addition to exposing the close relationship between Prince Philip and Penelope Knatchbull, bringing up the name of one of the forgotten characters of the royals as Sidney Johnson, and showing the one who was the fiancée of Dodi Al Fayed, the fifth season of ‘The Crown’ shows other key moments of the nineties, such as the time that Princess Diana’s vehicle ran out of brakes. Did they really cut them?
The Netflix series has shown several controversial moments that the royal family experienced in the nineties, such as Charles III and Camilla’s intimate phone call that sparked a scandal, but it also exposes the fact that Princess Diana reported brake failures in her car before the fatal accident in which she lost her life happened.
The Crown: Princess Diana’s brakes were cut
It is well known that ‘The Crown’ is a fictional dramatization inspired by real events. That is, some events are faithfully portrayed, but there are others that are not so much.
Such is the case of the scene in which Princess Diana runs out of brakes. In the series, moments before this incident, Diana had commented to her son, Prince William, that she believed her phones had been tapped.
But on her way to visit her brother, Charles Spencer, the princess is unable to stop at a red light, so she must maneuver to avoid crashing into other cars.
He finally manages to pull over, but when he arrives next to Spencer he tells him his suspicions about someone tampering with his car’s brakes. He also mentions the possibility that maybe they just need service.
This event did happen in real life, but it was different than how the series portrays it.
The true story of how Princess Diana ran out of brakes
Through the police report called “Operation Paget”, which was in charge of investigating various conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Diana of Wales, there is evidence that the princess did have an incident with the brakes of her car.
According to the testimony of Simone Simmons, a close friend of Diana’s, one day in 1995 the Princess of Wales called her telling her that her car’s brakes had failed and that she thought they had been tampered with.
Some time later Diana wrote a note to Simmons in which she said that MI5 or MI6 were involved in that incident. According to Simone’s testimony, the note went something like this:
“Dear Simone, as you know, the brakes on my car have been tampered with. If anything happens to me it will be MI5 or MI6 who will have done it. Lots of love, Diana.”
Simmons commented to the princess that someone should check her car, and after this was done it turned out to be just normal wear and tear on the vehicle:
“It turned out to be normal wear and tear. That was the only time she ever expressed any fear for her safety to me. Diana could be quite impulsive and jumped to conclusions. She was feeling very depressed at the time of the brake problems because of her separation and because she was taking sleeping pills.”
Princess Diana’s ex-partner, Dr. Hasnat Khan, was also questioned regarding the issue in this police report. He described that around 1995 Diana had changed cars. When he asked her what had happened to the previous one, the Princess of Wales told him that the brakes had been tampered with and that is why she decided to change it.
Ultimately, Operation Paget concluded that no evidence was found to support Princess Diana’s concerns that someone had tampered with her car’s brakes.
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