AUGUST 31, 1997, PARIS. The car that sped into the pont d’Alma tunnel at 23 minutes past midnigt was carrying the most famous woman in the world, an icon of blondness whose long legs were crossed in the backseat of the black Mercedes. Diana was at the end of a chaotic night out, and her mood was sour. You could see her displeasure in the tight expression caught by the closed-circuit security camera as she pushed quickly through the revolving doors of the Ritz Hotel’s back exit.
Arthur Edwards, the dean royal photographers, knew the look well. On thatlast night with Dodi al-Fayed, the princess understood things were out of control, he recalls today. “She wanted to get home. She wanted to see the boys. She wasn’t a pop star. She was a princess. She was used to the front door, a red carpet. That whole Dodi thing-decoy cars, back entrancess-wasn’t Diana’s Style.”
Edwards is wrong about that. The chaos of her last night was increasingly Diana’s style ever since her 1996 divorce from Charles transformed her from protected royal princess to free-floating global celebrity.