The Diana tragedy in numbers, 20 years on

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By Emma Beswick
The Diana tragedy in numbers, 20 years on

Twenty years on from Diana, Princess of Wales’ tragic death, here are the key figures that underpin one of the most examined car crashes of all time as well as the investigations and the national mourning that followed.

The crash


Diana was a passenger in a black Mercedes S-280 driven by Henri Paul. Her companion Dodi Fayed and his bodyguard Trevor Rees were also in the car.


The car left the Ritz hotel in Paris at 12.20am on Sunday, August 31, 1997.

Three minutes

Approximately three minutes after the car left the hotel, the crash occurred.


Diana’s vehicle hit the 13th pillar of the Alma tunnel, which crosses the dual carriageway running alongside Paris’ River Seine.


The car was travelling at an estimated 105 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

The investigation

Seven million pounds

The crash was the subject of both French and Metropolitan police investigations. One UK-based inquest lasted three years and cost £3.7m (€4m) and a second lasted six months and cost £7m (€7.6).


An 832-page report was produced following the three-year enquiry, which took place in 2006.


The six-month inquest heard evidence from 250 witnesses.

The tributes

Two thousand

Two thousand people attended the funeral for Diana in Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997.

32.10 million

British television audiences peaked at 32.10 million, which is one of the United Kingdom’s highest viewing figures of all time.

Two billion

Two billion watched the event worldwide, making it one of the most viewed in history.

10 to 15 tons

Officials estimated that about 10 to 15 tons of bouquets, including 60 million individual flowers, were scattered throughout London to honour Diana.