Princess Diana Likely Wouldn't Have Died If She Were Wearing A Seatbelt, Pathologist Believes

Princess Diana - Paranorma Interview screenshot

Life is full of mysteries and what-ifs. There's no denying that a person's existence is often filled with big questions exploring the various possibilities of what one person could've done during pivotal points throughout their time on this planet. Should they have said this thing or that thing? Should they have made that trip when they had the chance? Should they have said yes when they instead said no and vice versa? The past cannot be changed, and we are often left mulling about what we could've done had we had the foresight to know what the consequences would be.

When it comes to the tragic death of Princess Diana, there are undeniably a lot of unknown variables and lingering queries. Was there a way to save her life? Could the devastating car crash that took her life have been prevented? Were there steps that could've been taken to avoid such an untimely demise of such a beloved royal figure? These questions continue to haunt people, including Dr. Richard Shepherd.

A forensic pathologist who has studied the notorious deaths of famous people, Dr. Richard Shepherd has investigated a series of popular stories throughout the past few decades. One of his biggest and most compelling cases to date involves the August 31, 1997 car crash that resulted in the death of Princess Diana.

For years, several questions have been raised about the incident. Probing "what-if" inquiries continue to fester inside the minds of many regarding the devastating death of Princess Diana. One of which, according to Dr. Richard Shepherd, involves the seatbelt that Princess Diana failed to wear while she was inside the car that fateful night. Had she been wearing her seatbelt, according to Dr. Shepherd, there is a good chance that Princess Diana would've survived the car crash, and she might've still been alive today. Here's what Dr. Shepherd wrote for The Daily Mail.

The biggest if only, in Diana’s case, was within her own control. If only she had been wearing a seat belt. Had she been restrained, she would probably have appeared in public two days later with a black eye, perhaps a bit breathless from the fractured ribs and with a broken arm in a sling.

According to Dr. Richard Shepherd, there is a greater likelihood that Princess Diana would've survived that car crash had she been wearing her seatbelt on her person. While she wouldn't have walked away unharmed, there is a chance that proper seatbelt protection might've prevented the injuries she secured from being so ultimately critical. While this is only speculation, Dr. Richard Shepherd feels certain about the chances of her survival if Princess Diana had been wearing her seatbelt that night, also noting:

Her specific injury is so rare that in my entire career I don’t believe I’ve seen another. Diana’s was a very small injury – but in the wrong place. Diana’s death is a classic example of the way we say, after almost every death: if only. If only she had hit the seat in front at a slightly different angle. If only she had been thrown forward 10mph more slowly.

Of course, nobody can know for absolute certain what would or wouldn't happen at a critical moment such as this one. And it's a bit morbid to assume that something so specific as a seatbelt could've prevented such a tragic death. But nevertheless, Princess Diana's death remains a great mystery to many people, including Dr. Richard Shepherd, and there are many unclear circumstances which continue to make people wonder if there were measurable steps to prevent such an unfortunate devastation from occurring towards the tail-end of the 20th century.

Alas, this information from Dr. Richard Shepherd provides a little more clarity about what happened that dark evening. It also satiates curious minds with even more information about what occurred during Princess Diana's accident and what could've been done to prevent this car accident from being so calamitously fatal.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.