For many people, the summer of 1997 will be remembered for the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, at the age of 36. Although she lost her life suddenly and without warning, the late princess was sadly "consumed by death" that summer as she coped with the loss of friendships and her own personal heartache.
"The Crown and many other books and films have been able to speculate about Diana’s last weeks because there were so many contradictions and no one knows the full truth," royal expert and author Phil Dampier told an outlet.
"Dying at the young age of 36 in such [a] gut-wrenching fashion meant Diana's flaws were mostly forgotten. The truth is that Diana was a very complex and damaged person because of her childhood and her parents' divorce," he added.
Dampier continued: "We remember the amazing work she did with AIDS and landmines, but in her final years, her personal life was a total mess. She embarked on a series of reckless affairs, some with married men like art dealer Oliver Hoare. The man she really wanted to marry was Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan. Their romance had ended shortly before her last summer because he didn't want a life in the spotlight. Diana took her sons on holiday with the Fayeds because they had the 'toys' of a yacht and security to protect them."
"They [Diana and Dodi Fayed] were swimming a lot together. They were going on the jet skis. They went off on the yacht somewhere for the day. They had a fun time. It was the life the rich and famous live, and she was getting some of it," veteran royal photographer Arthur Edwards shared with a publication.
Although Diana was nearly a year divorced from Prince Charles and fiercely dedicated to her work with landmine victims, her personal life was chaotic as she struggled to figure out her future trajectory. Her grief over losing Khan as a romantic partner was soon met with a blow of tragedy when her friend, Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, was murdered in front of his Miami, Fla. home on July 15 by a deranged fan, Andrew Cunanan.
"It deeply moved her. This was only months before she died herself. Here she was sat at Gianni's funeral. She couldn't quite comprehend it. Death seemed to haunt her towards the end of her life. She was so consumed by thinking it might happen to her," Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, told an outlet when describing the princess' shock at Versace's sudden passing.
"She had the premonition she would be killed or die… not in a natural way. She would say, 'I think they are going to kill me. I am going to finish in an accident — helicopter, plane, or car crash," the one-time future queen's friend, Roberto Devorik, dished.
The Sun reported on expert opinions.