Fury as TV shows dying Diana


Friends of Princess Diana last night expressed disbelief after a picture of her dying in the wreck of her Mercedes was broadcast on TV.

The American network CBS showed the black and white image, taken by paparazzi moments after the car crashed in Paris.

On air for ten seconds, it clearly showed Diana's face, shoulders and upper torso as she lay dying.

Friends were distraught at the decision to show the picture, which they said would horrify Princes William and Harry.

'Gross invasion of privacy'

"I am appalled, it is just beyond the pale," said Vivienne Parry, a former trustee The Diana Memorial Fund. "This is something that should be absolutely private and there is no defence for deciding to show it.

"It is such a gross invasion of privacy. Here is a woman who is dying and you can do nothing about it - yet they replay that moment all over again.'

American fashion designer Lana Marks said the picture was 'the ultimate betrayal".

She added: "I can't believe they would do this. I am so shocked and hurt that they would air a picture of the princess's last minutes alive.

"I can't think of a more serious invasion of her privacy or anything that could be more terribly distressing for William and Harry.

"Their wellbeing was paramount to her and she would be devastated to think of what it will do to them to have a picture of their dying mother on television."

Diana's Secrets

The CBS programme, 48 Hours Investigates, showed the picture last night as part of a report entitled Diana's Secrets.

It was accompanied by a voiceover from French doctor Frederick Maillez, who arrived at the crash scene at the Pont d'Alma tunnel and gave emergency first aid to the princess.

He told viewers Diana's face was not injured and "she still looked beautiful" as he desperately tried to save her life.

CBS said the picture was one of several seized from French photographers which formed part of the official investigation into the crash in August 1997 in which Dodi Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul also died.

"It is on air for about ten seconds," said CBS spokesman Marcy Erhard. "It is not gory in any way, shape or form. It is not graphic."

Police report

Much of the hour-long programme was devoted to the 6,000-page French police report into the crash.

The princess's former bodyguard Ken Wharfe, who also appears on the programme, said he had no idea such a picture would be used.

"There are other ways of establishing the cause of Diana's death than showing pictures that even the paparazzi would not publish," he added.

"I would have thought CBS would have done better than this. I was interviewed, but of course they didn't tell me they were planning to use this picture."

Clarence House declined to comment on the broadcast last night.

A spokesman for Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed said the use of the image was distressing and distasteful.

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