Lone Survivor Of Princess Diana Car Crash Kept Repeating One Thing After The Accident

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Who Is Trevor Rees-Jones? New Details On The Lone Survivor Of Accident That Killed Princess Diana And What He Kept Repeating After Crash

The only surviving passenger remains a mystery all these years later.

August 31, 2019 marked the 22nd anniversary of Princess Diana's sudden death, drawing tributes and mourning from around the world. Even today, the wounds from this loss are raw, with many still grieving from the catastrophic collision in Paris. Universally revered, the nontraditional "people's princess" died along with her boyfriend at the time, Dodi Fayed, and the acting security manager of the Hotel Ritz Paris, Henri Paul, while fleeing paparazzi. 

Only one member of the vehicle survived and he has since become a figure of public fascination and intrigue. Around the death anniversary, he is always at the center of discussion, yet many know little to nothing about him; and with limited answers out there, we still have questions years later.

Who's Trevor Rees-Jones, you ask? And perhaps more importantly, how was he directly involved in the crash? Read more to find out everything you need to know.

1. Who is Trevor Rees-Jones?

Trevor Rees-Jones was hired as a bodyguard by Dodi Fayed’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed. For context, Dodi Fayed was an Egyptian socialite, who most notably dated Princess Diana and died instantly in the Pont D'Alma tunnel. During this time, Dodi Fayed was constantly subjected to paparazzi bombardment, especially since his relationship with the princess was unraveling in the public eye. This is where Rees comes in: Rees previously had a remarkable career in the military, receiving accolades and honors including the General Service Medal. From Fayed's perspective, this made him a great fit for the coveted bodyguard position.

2. Why was he in the car?

On that fateful night, Rees was in the car accompanying Dodi and Princess Diana during their holiday together. After a romantic cruise around Sardinia, the duo had travelled to Paris, where they were met by paparazzi incessantly following their every move. To avoid further harassment, Henri Paul devised a plan: the two cars the group had been using all day would serve as decoys in front of the hotel, while the gang would use a hotel limo to get around without the hassle. This meant splitting the security guards, leaving Rees with Henri Paul, Princess Diana, and Dodi Fayed in the soon-to-be decimated vehicle.

3. How did he survive?

Though none of them were wearing seatbelts, it’s widely believed that Rees was saved by the airbag; but that doesn’t mean he was left unscathed. In the aftermath, Rees had to have his entire face reconstructed, as every bone in his face was broken. He was in a coma for 10 days, while surgeons inserted 150 titanium pieces into his face using old photos as a guide. To give you an idea of just how unrecognizable and damaged his face was, his mother, Gill, described it in graphic detail, stating: “his face looked like it had been hit by a frying pan in a Tom and Jerry cartoon — smashed back and flattened.” That's pretty unfathomable.

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4. What did he kept repeating after the crash?

According to first responders at the scene, he kept asking for the princess, saying, ‘Where is she? Where is she?'” At the time, they didn’t know that the woman they were trying to save was Princess Diana. Fayed and Paul died instantly, while the princess and Rees were still alive. First responders were tasked with two difficult challenges: clear the wreckage and ensure the two remained fully conscious until additional help arrived. Xavier Gourmelon, a firefighter who was one of the first at the scene, mentioned that Rees persistently inquired about the princess’ state and location, to which he assured him that he and his team were doing everything in their power to ensure their safety.

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5. How did his life change after the accident?

After the accident, Rees moved back home and later dropped the “Jones” from his name. Rees has stated that he doesn’t remember much of the evening that forever changed his life. Amid the swirling conspiracy theories, many questions emerged surrounding Rees and his involvement, like how and why would he allow the heavily intoxicated Henri Paul drive the car. It didn’t take long for people to begin blaming him for the tragedy, leaving the battered Rees as both victim and pariah. Fayed’s grieving father viewed him as a dishonorable traitor, and eventually took him to court. Just three years ago in 2016, former bodyguard Ken Wharfe wrote in the Daily Mail that Rees was to blame, citing Rees’ lack of basic training and understanding of the paparazzi as sufficient evidence. Another key witness mentioned Rees’ was beyond exhausted from the demanding job responsibilities, especially working 18 hour shifts to protect the royal pair. 

Back home, Rees had a gig at a friend’s sportswear store and remained relatively lowkey, until a few years later when he published The Bodyguard’s Story: Diana, the Crash, and The Sole Survivor in 2000. The book describes in griping detail about his uneasy recovery, and the permanent and devastating transformation of his once normal life. 

6. Where is he today?

Rees has been a recluse since the accident. Today, he leads a rather quiet and peaceful life surrounded by loved ones. It is believed that he and his wife now reside in Shropshire County, where he works as a security consultant. Prior to this move, he worked in Iraq, where he lived during the investigation of Princess Diana’s death. Now, he keeps mostly to himself and out of the media, continuing to rebuild day-by-day after being part of a tragedy that rocked the world.

7. His book

In 2000, Rees published a book called "The Bodyguard's Story: Diana, The Crash, and the Sole Survivor," which outlines Rees' role in the infamous accident as well as his thoughts on and relationship with Princess Diana before her untimely death. One reviewer said of the book, "I was saddened to learn of her tragic death years ago. I enjoyed reading about how lovely a person she was. Her bodyguard spoke highly of her."

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Dominique is an unapologetic Scorpio, reality TV-loving heathen, and twenty-something, NYC-based writer with a moderately interesting life, knack for editing, and passion for content creation.

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