The world marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana
Twenty years ago this week Diana, Princess of Wales, died when the car she was travelling in crashed in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris.
The powerful Mercedes S280 went out of control and smashed into a pillar in the tunnel as it attempted to outrun pursuing paparazzi.
The high-speed crash on 31st august 1997 was devastating. Diana’s fiancé Dodi Al Fayed and driver Henri Paul were pronounced dead at the scene. Diana herself was rushed to hospital but died of her injuries. The only survivor was her bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones who suffered head injuries and was lateral to have virtually no memory of the accident.
It was an incident that had immense repercussions. In the UK there was mass mourning for the Princess and widespread vilification of the paparazzi photographers even though it was later shown hat hey were not even close tooth car when it crashed.
In Paris the entrance to the Alma tunnel on the banks of the River Seine became a Diana shrine. Across Europe conspiracy theories were rife. Some even believed that Diana - estranged from the heir to the throne - had been assassinated by the security services. Reports that her driver was drunk on the night of the crash were questioned while claims that Rees-Jones had irreversible amnesia caused widespread speculation.
To this day Diana stories fuel a certain type of tabloid press. So it is of little surprise that this 20th anniversary of her tragic death has captured the public’s imagination. There are countless magazine and newspaper features, saturation online coverage. Diana is everywhere. Her sons, Princes William and Harry have spoken openly on camera about the their grief too.
Everyone wants to hear about Diana. Clive Conway Productions has its own eyewitness her era: designer Elizabeth Emanuel who shot to international fame in 1981 as world interest focused on the marriage of the then Lady Diana Spencer to HRH The Prince of Wales. Initially it was Emanuel's famous black evening dress that changed overnight the image of a shy teenager into that of a future Princess.
And it was to Emanuel that Lady Diana Spencer turned to create the wedding dress of the century. A staggering 700 million television viewers around the world watched as she walked down the aisle in that dress. now as we reach the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death Elizabeth Emanuel is once more under the spotlight. She is the subject of a many high-profile interviews and now she’s available to talk about her astonishing career and her connections with Princess Diana with Clive Conway Productions in a new show An Audience with Elizabeth Emanuel.