Trevor Rees-Jones: What happened to Princess Diana's bodyguard and sole survivor of the car accident that killed her?

The former paratrooper was in the car the day Princess Diana passed away

Trevor Rees-Jones
(Image credit: Getty)

What happened to Princess Diana's bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones? We look at where the sole survivor of the accident which killed Diana, is now.

Last month marked 25 years since Prince Diana died in a fatal car crash in a Paris tunnel, along with her then partner Dodi Fayed - leaving behind two sons Prince William and Prince Harry.

Her driver, Henri Paul, also died in the crash, however, bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, although badly injured in the crash, including a serious head injury, was the sole survivor of the terrible accident - which rocked the nation. 

Princess Diana's legacy has inspired both Prince William and Harry to carry on her charity work, but, where is Trevor Rees-Jones now, 25 years on, and what happened after he survived the accident? 

How did Princess Diana die?

The end of last month, August 31, marked 25 years since Princess Diana died, with both Prince William and Harry agreeing to remember their late mother privately

On the night of August 31 1997, Princess Diana was traveling by car with partner Dodi Fayed, when the paparazzi started to chase their car through Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris  - before her car accelerated and crashed.

The driver of the car and her partner Dodi Fayed died on impact, while Princess Diana was still alive when emergency workers found her in the car. The princess is thought to have said, “My God, what's happened?” before she died from injuries, in hospital, sustained from the crash.

The world went into mourning, laying thousands of flowers for the princess outside Buckingham Palace - she's never been forgotten with fans recently sharing heartfelt tributes to the royal on the 25th anniversary of her death.

While the world is also still fascinated with the late princess, with movies and documentaries dedicated to her life and death, including the New Princess Diana documentary, Princess, which is a sombre reminder of why Prince Harry was so concerned about 'history repeating itself' with Meghan Markle.

Diana Princess Of Wales At Luanda Airport

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

What happened to Trevor Rees-Jones in the accident?

Princess Diana's bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, was also in the car, at the time of the crash and is the only survivor.

The former paratrooper was severely injured in the crash - in a coma for 10 days after the accident, he had serious head injuries and it's said that his face was reconstructed with titanium parts. He still has scars today from the accident.

Rees-Jones' mother Gill said after the operation, "His face looked like it had been hit by a frying pan in a Tom and Jerry cartoon — smashed back and flattened."

However, due to his head injuries, he suffered memory loss and, although he was the sole survivor, he couldn't recall anything that happened, from 4 hours before he even got in the car with Diana.

Princess Diana and Trevor Rees-Jones

(Image credit: Getty)

What did Trevor Rees-Jones say about the accident?

Rees-Jones published a book, The Bodyguard's Story, in 2000, which told the narrative of what he remembered happening the day of the crash and the weeks after he came out of a coma - realizing his life had changed forever.

"I wanted to know what happened," he said in an interview, just before the book was published. He also said that he couldn't remember because of how badly injured he was, "I'm the only person who can tell people for real, and I can't remember. It will be so easy if I do remember. I can tell people and all this c**p will finish."

Talking about how the driver, Henri Paul, was unfit to drive he said in another interview, "I just consider it as an avoidable accident. That a mistake was made by Henri Paul to get behind the wheel of the car when he knew that he had been drinking. 

"Not declaring either to us or to Dodi that he wasn't fit to drive. That was the mistake. I have accepted the finding. It was a simple drink-driving accident caused by speed. And that is what it was."

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Where is Trevor Rees-Jones now?

Rees-Jones, who worked for Mohammed Al-Fayed, returned to work for the then Harrods owner as head of security six months after the accident. However, he resigned a few months later, due to the pressure surrounding the accident.

The bodyguard was part of the investigation into Princess Diana's death in 2008, and although he didn't have many memories he helped the inquest decide that driver, Henri Paul, and the paparazzi were the causes of her death.

He is thought to have moved to the US for work, in the hope of getting away from any press attention, surrounding Diana's death. Rees-Jones is now back in the UK, however, living in Shrewsbury with his wife - and working as head of security for a pharmaceutical company in the city.

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 

 

She also covers a variety of other subjects and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. 

 

As a journalist, she has written thousands of profile pieces - interviewing CEOs, real-life case studies and celebrities - interviewing everyone from Emma Bunton to the founder of Headspace.