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Paris plans to name square after Diana, Princess of Wales


John Mathew Smith/CC/Wikimedia Commons

The city of Paris in France has announced plans to name a square after Diana, Princess of Wales, at the site of the 1997 car crash that claimed her life and that of her companion Dodi Fayed and the driver of the car, Henri Paul. The square is adjacent to the Alma Tunnel where the accident happened.

The square is currently named after Maria Callas, an opera singer. The city council will vote next month on the measure to rename it after Diana, Princess of Wales as it wants to honour Diana for her humanitarian work. Maria Callas also has a nearby street named after her. The square is already home to a golden flame which is in use as an unofficial memorial.

By Keimzelle – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62117680

Diana, Princess of Wales, died on 31 August 1997 in a car crash as the driver was fleeing the paparazzi. Henri Paul lost control of the car at high speed while he was intoxicated and under the effects of prescription drugs and the vehicle struck the righthand wall, swerved to the left and collided head-on with a pillar that supported the roof. The car was travelling at an estimated speed of 105 km/h (65 mph). Diana, who had been sitting in the right rear passenger seat, was initially conscious after the crash and was transported to the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital where she died at 4 in the morning.

Her funeral on 6 September at Westminster Abbey drew 3 million mourners to London, while a further 2.5 billion people watched television coverage. Elton John performed a rewritten of “Candle in the Wind.” After the ceremony, Diana was buried in a private ceremony on an island in the middle of a lake at Althorp. Visitors can walk around the lake during the summer months and visit an exhibition about her life.