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Did someone “grease the brakes” in Diana, Princess of Wales’s fatal crash?

‘Diana: 7 Days That Shook The Windsors’ looks back at the delicate situation that followed after Diana, Princess of Wales was killed 20 years ago.

The Channel 5 programme reports that Her Majesty’s response to finding out Diana was in the Paris accident was: “Someone must have greased the brakes.”

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward made the same claims in the 2015 book and article for the Daily Mail where she wrote:

“At first it was thought that, though the car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel was serious, Diana had not been killed.

“According to one witness present when the Queen heard the initial news, she mused out loud, ‘Someone must have greased the brakes’.

“That astonishing remark reveals something of the extraordinary and complex relationship between her and Diana.”

“Key players” in Diana’s funeral also give their accounts, such as Anji Hunter who was head of government relations at the time said how “the most tension in the room always came from Charles Spencer’s people.”

The documentary claims Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, wanted to walk behind the coffin down The Mall by himself. He has denied these reports.

Prince William, who was 15-years-old at the time, did not want to take part in the public funeral but wished to grieve in private.

It is also reported that despite Prince Charles and Diana having been divorced in 1996, Prince Charles wished to follow the procession on his own. Ultimately, the coffin passed down The Mall with Earl Spencer in the middle, Princes William and Harry on either side and Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh capping each end of the line.

Additionally, Earl Spencer had caused problems with his eulogy for Diana that drew a line between her “blood family” and the royals despite him only turning Diana away from the family home shortly before her death.

  • Lesleyc

    The headline has a spelling error …. It should be ‘brakes’ not ‘breaks’. Does no one here bother to spellcheck before hitting the publish button?

    • Julie Bateson

      It does say brakes,

      • Lesleyc

        It does now – it didn’t when I commented two hours ago!

        • Aussie Girl

          Your making your editorial mark Lesleyc!

          • Lesleyc

            LOL – and the other articles published here talk about William’s GQ interview being conducted by Tony Blair’s ‘doctor’, Alastair Campbell, it was his spin doctor. But they rarely correct anything here if readers point out errors.

  • Lesleyc


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