Surveillance video of Di's last night
September 5, 1997
Web posted at: 1:22 p.m. EDT (1722 GMT)
LONDON (CNN) -- Shortly before she died last Sunday, Princess Diana made a final request but the words she spoke have not been made public. The disclosure on Friday came as a surveillance video was released showing Diana and boyfriend Dodi Fayed leaving the Hotel Ritz in Paris minutes before their deaths in a car crash.
The developments were announced at a London news conference by a spokesman for Fayed's father, Egyptian-born businessman Mohamed Al Fayed.
A poem for Diana, a gift of love to Dodi
The spokesman, Michael Cole, told reporters about gifts Diana and Dodi Fayed had exchanged. He confirmed that Dodi Fayed gave Diana a ring at the hotel on the evening they died. He also revealed Fayed had written a poem to Diana and had it inscribed on a silver plaque placed "under her pillow at Dodi's apartment in Paris."
|Family spokesman Michael Cole describes gifts found in Dodi Fayed's apartment
||315K/27 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
The wording of the poem was not revealed. Mohamed Al Fayed asked Diana's family to put the plaque in her coffin, the spokesman said.
Earlier in their relationship, Cole said, the princess had given Dodi Fayed a gift inscribed "With love from Diana."
The princess' final request
Al Fayed, who owns the Ritz, went to Paris after the accident, and was approached by an unidentified person "who helped the princess during her final hours." Cole said.
"That person vouchsafed to Mr. Fayed the princess' final words and her requests. And yesterday (Thursday) those requests were conveyed to the appropriate person at a private meeting (in London)," Cole said. He did not elaborate on the final words and request.
Cole did say that the father saw both his son and Diana at the hospital but it was not clear if that's where he was approached by the unidentified person who conveyed the message from Diana. The princess survived the crash but died later at Pitie Salpetriere Hospital.
|Family spokesman Michael Cole reads quote from Al Fayed
272K/21 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
"I could see that Dodi was at peace," Cole said, quoting Al Fayed.
Dodi Fayed and the car's driver, Henri Paul, were killed instantly. The only survivor of the crash was Trevor Rees-Jones, a bodyguard for the Fayed family.
He's in the same hospital with serious face, head and chest injuries. Police have been told they will not be able to interview him for several weeks.
She gave him her father's cuff links
Speaking about the ring, Cole said he did not know what the gift signified. "What that ring meant, we probably will never know," Cole said. The Sun newspaper had reported that the ring was a diamond solitaire valued at about $205,000.
When Mohamed Al Fayed went to his son's Paris apartment, Cole said the father "found a gold cigar clipper with a gold tag inscribed, 'With love from Diana.'"
"The princess also gave to Dodi a pair of cuff links. They were the last gift she had received from her father, the late Earl Spencer," Cole said.
Final moments on video
The surveillance video released by the hotel contains shots of Diana and Dodi both inside and outside the hotel, where they had gone for dinner. The pictures include their arrival and departure.
As they prepared to leave, the video shows Diana waiting inside the hotel's rear entrance, Dodi's arm around her waist. After their car arrived to drive them off, they got in the back seat and the Mercedes drove off slowly, with no sign of pursuing photographers.
Video from a security camera at the front of the hotel showed a group of figures then racing toward motorcycles.
The video also contained footage of their driver, hotel security officer Henri Paul, talking to other staff at the hotel. He did not appear drunk.
The Fayed family showed the footage because they dispute official French findings that Paul was more than three times over the French blood-alcohol limit for driving.