Princess Diana’s driver has revealed the moment he thought the Princess of Wales was still alive as he tried to stop paparazzi taking photosof her in hospital.
Former Royal Protection Officer Colin Tebbutt MVO, who also drove for Diana, has spoken about how he glanced over to see the late princess’ hair and eyelashes move following the fatal crash in Paris in 1997.
Mr Tebbutt was assigned to go to Paris with butler Paul Burrell after news of Diana’s passing reached her household at Kensington Palace.
He spoke about going to see Diana's body in hospital during the episode of Secrets of the Royal Palaces, due to be broadcast on Channel 5 on Saturday at 8:30pm.
He said: “I walked into the room and there was the princess in a bed. The face was not covered up but not as I thought it would be, a dreadful thing to look at.
“There she was in the room with people walking in and bowing and walking out.”
Mr Tebbutt began to take control of the situation but then had to contend with photographers he spotted on a nearby rooftop looking to get a picture of the late princess.
He describes huge windows with no curtains meaning photographs may be able to get a photo and as a last resort to gain Diana privacy, used a blanket stop block the window.
However, the result of the blanket made the room too warm so some fans were requested.
Prince William's moving comment about Diana's tragic death as he comforts young boy
It was at this moment that both Mr Tebbutt and Mr Burrell thought Diana was alive for a brief moment.
Mr Tebbutt said: “I turned round to look at the princess and her hair was moving, and her eyelashes were moving.
“And just for that millisecond, and Paul did as well, we thought that she was alive.”
Prince Charles later flew to Paris and arrived at the hospital and thanked Mr Tebbutt for being there and for everything he had done.
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Mr Tebbutt was one of very few members of staff allowed to attend Diana’s private burial in the Spencer estate of Althorp.
He watched on as the princess, staff nicknamed “the boss”, was laid to rest on an island surrounded by water.
Diana was tragically killed in a car crash after fleeing from paparazzi.
She passed away from internal bleeding and other injuries on August 31 in 1997, aged 36.
Secrets of The Royal Palaces continues on Channel 5 at 8.30pm on Saturday.
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