Looking back. Following Princess Diana’s fatal 1997 car crash, lead investigator Lord John StevensRemembers talking with her two sons. Prince William Prince Harry, about her passing.
“Yes, of course, it was a difficult thing [to do],” Stevens, 79, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, August 16, while promoting Discovery+’s The Diana Investigations docuseries. “So, I went along with two other people who were part of the investigation [including a]Detective inspector [when we were]Outside the door [at Kensington Palace], it was said, ‘No, they only wanna see you,’ that’s me.”
He added: “So, I went in there and we had … over an hour, probably, I can’t remember exactly how long. I outlined what the conclusions were for about 10 or 15 minutes and then the rest of the time was them asking me questions, which you’d expect because they didn’t know the circumstances of their mother’s death, where [and] when she’d died, what did she say and, and beyond that, I don’t wanna declare what the conversations were.”
Stevens — a former police chief who led the years-long investigation into Diana’s death — called their discussions “very emotional” for both the Duke of Cambridge, now 40, and the Duke of Sussex, now 37.
“I have to say, I was quite emotional about it myself,” he told Use on Tuesday, noting Diana’s sons were upset by the circumstances of her death. “What they were angry about, they declared it publicly, were the paparazzi who they thought were very much behind what had taken place by chasing the car and making the car or inducing the car to go at 75 miles an hour. They weren’t too happy about that. I can tell you.”
Diana — who shared William and Harry with ex-husband Prince Charles — tragically died after succumbing injuries in an August 1997 car crash in Paris. Following the accident, both William and Harry have been candid about their grief and remembering the late Princess of Wales’ legacy.
“Slowly, you try to rebuild your life, you try to understand what happened. To help you get past the shock phase, I kept myself busy. We’re talking maybe as much as five to seven years afterwards,” William said during HBO’s Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy Documentary, which was released in 2017. “You know, there was times when you look to someone or something for strength and I very much felt she was there for me.”
The former RAF pilot added: “We’ve got more photos up around the house of her, and we talk about her a bit and stuff. And it’s hard because obviously [Duchess Kate, my wife] didn’t know her, so she cannot really provide that level of detail. I do regularly, [while]Putting [our children Prince]George [Princess] Charlotte to bed … and just try to remind them that there are two grandmothers — there were two grandmothers in their lives. And it’s important they know who she was and that she existed.”
William — who shares George, 9, Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4 — with the Duchess of Cambridge, 40 — and his younger brother also honored Diana last year with the dedication of a Kensington Palace statue. (Harry is a father to Archie, three-year-old, and Lilibet who is 14 months old with his wife. Meghan Markle.)
“Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better,” the dukes said in a joint July 2021 statement during the unveiling. “Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.”
The Diana Investigations, which is set to air on Discovery+ later this month, aims to offer viewers new insight into Diana’s death with new interviews with the case’s lead investigators.
“The bottom line is we worked on this for three years and then every single aspect of what we did, every single allegation, we brought it down to 104 allegations and each and every one was investigated,” Stevens recalled to Use. “This is one of the reasons for doing the program. We’re doing a program with people who we can trust, who put it forward and not spin it in any way, one way or the other.”
The Diana Investigations Premieres Thursday, August 18 on Discovery+
Christina Garibaldi reports