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Princess Diana photos prompt sons' outcry

June 06, 2007|Robert Barr | Associated Press

LONDON — Defying royal wishes, a British television channel said Tuesday that it would show photographs taken immediately after the car crash that killed Princess Diana nearly 10 years ago.

Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, had protested that showing the images in a documentary scheduled to air today would be a "gross disrespect to their mother's memory" and "deeply distressing" to them.

"If it were your or my mother dying in that tunnel, would we want the scene broadcast to the nation?" the princes' private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, asked in a letter to Channel 4 that was released to the media.

The documentary, "Diana: The Witness in the Tunnel," focuses on the role of the photographers at, before and after the crash that killed the princess, her friend Dodi Fayed, and their chauffeur in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.

"We have weighed the princes' concerns against the legitimate public interest we believe there is in the subject of this documentary and in the still photography it includes," said Julian Bellamy, head of Channel 4.

According to the company's website, the film poses questions such as "Did the photographers chase Diana to her death in the Pont d'Alma tunnel?" and "Were they too busy taking pictures to call the emergency services and did their presence hinder those services?"

Channel 4 has said it had dealt carefully with the photographs.

"We acknowledge that there is great public sensitivity surrounding pictures of the victims and these have not been included. Some photographs will be of the scene inside the tunnel but in none of the pictures is it possible to identify Diana or indeed any of the crash victims," it said. "We do not show, nor have we ever considered showing, Diana's final moments."

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